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Online services key

Online services key

Resellers of Internet services will need to turn to security, VoIP and other online offerings to continue lucrative relationships with SMB customers, according to the results of the sixth Pacific Internet Broadband Barometer survey.

The survey of more than 500 SMBs compiled by analyst firm, GfK, found opportunities to sell virgin broadband services to SMB had almost gone. A total of 92 per cent of SMBs, defined as companies with 5-199 employees, now use a broadband Internet connection.

This was up from 79 per cent a year ago.

With the broadband mountain conquered, PacNet managing director, Dennis Muscat, said SMB requests would now relate to services like security, VoIP and, to some degree, increasing broadband speed.

"Just about everybody's got broadband now. Dial-up is officially pronounced dead," he said. "The big thing that's now concerning small businesses is the area of data security."

The majority of respondents listed their largest online concern as viruses (36 per cent) or the security of organisational data and financial transactions (33 per cent). Muscat said this created huge opportunities for resellers to communicate the importance of security and deliver solutions.

VoIP was another growing area identified by the survey. Muscat said penetration was still relatively low and more than half of current users were still accessing a free service. That meant resellers could look to sell business-grade solutions.


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