M2 launches NBN wholesale offerings

M2 today unveiled a new wholesale service for the National Broadband Network.

The telco's new 'NBN Connect' offering allows resellers to reach customers at all of the network's 121 Points of Interconnect (POIs).

NBN Connect includes a whitelabelled 'Brand Connect' product: A turnkey offering that can include M2 managing provisioning, customer service and billing.

The other two components of NBN Connect are a Layer 3 service targetting resellers ('Reseller Connect) and a Layer 2 service ('Network Connect')

"A key barrier to greater consumer choice in NBN is the relatively high fixed costs associated with connecting to the NBN's POIs for service providers," M2's COO, Scott Carter, said in a statement

"This is especially true for new market entrants, where the fixed costs of entering the retail broadband market can be a multi-million dollar exercise to gain access to the NBNs POIs."

"M2's NBN Connect mitigates these obstacles and provides a platform for existing service providers and new market entrants to offer a high quality, efficient and scalable solution to cost effectively offer their customers NBN services."

The cost of connecting to the large number of NBN POIs has previously been a source of criticism, particularly among smaller retail service providers.

Earlier this year NBN CEO Bill Morrow said he wanted to look at ways of making it easier for retail service providers to sell services on the network, including providing lower-cost ways for RSPs to connect to the 121 POIs.

A number of POIs were particularly expensive to service due to the cost of backhaul, Morrow said.

"We are working with others who see a market opportunity by solving for this remote regional point of entry. At the end of the day, it’s about levelling the playing field and ensuring there is a low barrier to entry and we would hope the markets will do just this," the NBN CEO said in a National Press Club address.

"M2's entry into NBN wholesale aggregation and backhaul introduces more choice for providers to offer retail services on a national basis over the NBN network," NBN's chief customer officer, John Simon, said in a statement included in M2's announcement today.

"As Bill Morrow has often said, our preference is for the market to solve gaps in service and moves such as this one are great signs. More competition will drive greater choice for consumers, which can only be a good thing for families and business owners," Simon said.

M2 is currently engaged in a merger process with Vocus.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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