Pacific Internet and Southern Cross Telco (SCT) has signed an agreement to deliver bundled Internet and telecommunications services for businesses in rural and regional Australia.
SCT will resell Pacific Internet’s business and home broadband and dial-up internet services to more than 20,000 fixed line and mobile small business customers.
Pacific Internet’s Australian managing director, Dennis Muscat, said the deal was a huge channel opportunity for both companies.
Muscat said that partnering with SCT was a way of offering regional Australia an alternative to other companies, and, therefore, a way of increasing competition, which was not prevalent.
“You have to fight for your customers when you don’t have a great deal of marketing expenditure like the larger telcos,” he said.
“We are not purely competing on price [with other telcos], but offering customers an alternative by bundling our products with a mobile and fixed line carrier that has become well respected in regional Australia.”
Muscat said the Pacific Internet Broadband Barometer showed how unbalanced the dispersion of broadband was throughout regional and metropolitan Australia.
He described it as a major divide.
“In regional Australia there is still such a great technical divide with only 18 per cent of internet enabled small businesses connected to broadband, compared to 49 per cent in metropolitan areas,” he said.
The infrastructure was available in regional Australia, but many companies were deciding not to focus on it, Muscat said.
“There is infrastructure, but the problem with many companies is having the willpower to get out there,” he said.
“The alliance will bring more choice to regional Australia and an affordable alternative to the existing small business solutions offered by tier-1 telcos.”
Muscat said that as a channel partner, Tasmanian-based SCT has a similar focus on the region and customer service needs.
SCT’s managing director, John Lawrence, said the partnership would deliver benefits for his company not only in terms of revenue growth, but also as part of an expanding focus on bringing end-to-end solutions to this market.
Lawrence said that by focusing on what both organisations did well, the partnership was able to deliver the best outcomes for customers.
“Both companies focus on providing quality products and services backed by a focus on customer service at all levels - a feature which is often absent in most other telecommunications providers,” Lawrence said.
Small businesses demand value, reliability and security, which are values that SCT has always incorporated in its telecommunication solutions.
“By partnering with Pacific Internet, we can extend these values in internet services,” he said.
Muscat, although wishing to not comment on the company’s partnership performance so far, said Pacific Internet had been pleasantly surprised with the number of connections to date.