Retailers and ISPs have to share the responsibility of educating consumers on the benefits of high-speed Internet services to help accelerate uptake, according to broadband distributor Quadtel.
Denis Orrock, who was recently appointed as telecommunications ISP/ADSL manager at Quadtel, said only "better education of the consumer" would accelerate the slow uptake of broadband Internet.
"Retailers need to better inform their customers on the shop floor and ISPs need to advertise their services to potential users and demonstrate to them what broadband will mean to their business," Orrock said. "Consumers need to be educated, not only in terms of the faster speeds available, but also in terms of what they can do with those faster speeds."
Orrock said that it is important that the industry has a "more defined" educational message. "They need to know what [broadband] is, how much it costs and how it compares to having a dialup account," he said. "People discount the costs of local calls. People discount the costs of having a second phone line set up.
"Those costs add up and there are now some excellent deals going around that make DSL services far more attractive."
Orrock is a firm believer that increased broadband adoption is one of the keys to the IT industry's recovery. He feels there is still plenty of misunderstanding about the true cost comparisons and benefits of broadband Internet service. "Only education will alleviate that situation," he said.
Orrock said Quadtel's xDSL business is expected to grow by 50 per cent this financial year as more SMEs and home consumers get hooked up.
Quadtel sold $4 million worth of xDSL modems last financial year, according to Orrock, with revenues for this year expected to exceed $6 million. That gives the company an estimated 12 per cent of the local broadband modem market. Its sales are garnered from "a whole range of tier-two service providers" with Telstra taking the lion's share of the rest, he said.
Orrock, who has been on the Quadtel management team for two years, is the brother of Rod Orrock, who recently resigned as CEO from Quadtel to take up a senior management role with retailer Harvey Norman.
Denis Orrock replaces Ivan Hurwitz, who has moved to NetComm to take charge of the communications hardware vendor's DSL products.