NBN Co is planning to introduce new incentives for its channel partners and retail service providers (RSPs) from January in a bid to boost business National Broadband Network (NBN) services uptake.
The network builder detailed the new incentives, which are part of its Business First sales incentive scheme, at an industry briefing event held on 17 December.
The scheme is the latest move in a line of actions taken by the builder to help raise awareness of business-grade NBN services, particularly higher bandwidth and symmetrical bandwidth services.
Business NBN services are differentiated from typical consumer services by featuring reliable committed bandwidth, improved service assurance and high bandwidth services of up to 1Gbps.
In its efforts to better tap into the business market, NBN Co is planning to launch two new sales incentives in the second half of the 2020 financial year, both of which are focused on engaging its network of ICT channel partners and RSP front line sales staff.
“We’ve made a strong commitment to grow the digital capability of Australian businesses, helping them access broadband services to meet their needs,” an NBN Co spokesperson said. “More than 680,000 businesses are already on the NBN network, but our research shows that many of them have demands above and beyond a regular residential product and they aren’t aware of the various business-grade NBN-powered services available.
“The Business First sales incentive is designed to encourage retail providers to raise market awareness of business-grade NBN-powered services to help meet the needs of Australian businesses,” the spokesperson added.
The new incentives include the ‘ICT Channel’ incentive that will run from 1 January 2019 to June 2020, and the ‘RSP Business First’ incentive, which will run from 1 February 2019 to 30 June 2020.
It is understood that both programs will pay incentives for individual sales people of up to $1788 for the sale of an eligible Enterprise Ethernet service -- NBN Co’s business-focused layer 2 wholesale broadband product, designed to achieve symmetrical speeds of up to 1Gbps.
From there, the incentive pay-rate scales back in value for lower bandwidth services on Traffic Class 2 (TC2), which is designed for business grade data services, and Enterprise Ethernet.
For example, a 100Mbps/100Mbps symmetrical service on TC2 and Enterprise Ethernet will attract an incentive of $1221; a 50Mbps/50Mbps service would result in an $885 incentive; and a 20Mbps/20Mbps service would attract a $690 incentive payment.
To be eligible, however, RSPs will need to provide NBN Co with a Sales Activity Plan that shows the incremental activity they will deploy to drive TC2 and Enterprise Ethernet sales via their frontline sales staff. This needs to be approved by NBN Co.
Additionally, a cap will apply in cases where an RSP places orders for TC2 or Enterprise Ethernet services for more than 50 locations in respect of a single end user within the eligibility period.
It is understood that once the cap has been reached, no further sales incentive rebates will be paid to that particular RSP for additional orders placed for that end user within the eligibility period.
The business market sales drive comes roughly two months after NBN Co hit back at criticism suggesting it “overreached” itself by going directly after business consumers with enterprise broadband deals.
The head of NBN Co’s enterprise division Paul Tyler defended the wholesale broadband network provider against comments made by Telstra chairman John Mullen, who called its push into the telco's territory “problematic” and outside its mandate.
"It seems inequitable that the NBN can now move outside its mandate and sell directly to our customers, but RSPs have to stay within their mandate and cannot sell to the NBN’s own protected market in return, due to regulations which prevent retail providers investing in fixed line infrastructure to provide consumer services," Mullen said during the telco’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) earlier this year.
His comments echoed those made by Vocus CEO Kevin Russell who meanwhile argued it was “not economically efficient” for NBN Co to promotes its own infrastructure over and that it had “long-term implications for the enterprise market”.
In a blog pot published on 16 October, Tyler claimed NBN Co was not “overstepping the mark” by going after business clients, saying the “criticisms could not be more wrong”.