Pacific Internet has launched a premium DSL service for business users based on a partnership the ISP signed with NEC in May.
The ISP already offers DSL services for home users, priced at less than $60 per month, as well as a business DSL service for SOHOs and SMEs that starts at $109 per month. Both of these are based on access to Telstra's FlexStream network.
In May, Pacific Internet managing director Dennis Muscat said that channel partners had been calling for a more reliable network to sell services on, citing Telstra's outage problems as being inhibitive to selling services. Pacific Internet decided to sign with NEC, which had just rolled out a high-speed network called NEXTEP.
"Telstra's services, admittedly, have seen a lot of improvement since then," said Muscat. "But we still felt the need for a premium service, something to fill the gap in the market."
Muscat is referring to businesses that are still on narrowband that have been waiting for DSL services to become more affordable, and businesses on ISDN and Frame Relay connections that have been waiting for DSL services to mature in terms of availability. Pacific Internet's new product starts at $230 a month and guarantees 99.9 per cent uptime.
The availability improvements should lead Pacific Internet's 90-odd channel partners to offer a wider variety of services, Muscat said. They can have the confidence with such a service-level agreement to begin selling VPN, videoconferencing and even voice-over-DSL services on top of the connectivity, he said.