Small ISPs and MSPs to benefit from new nbn rules

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Amid the exodus of customers from the big telcos, small ISPs and MSPs are set to benefit more from changes to how the nbn is priced and regulated.

After several rounds of negotiations and rejections, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has accepted the latest proposed Special Access Undertaking (SAU) to Australia’s national broadband network, nbn. The SAU is offered by the operator, NBN Corporation.

Some of the major changes that will be adopted thanks to SAU are:

  • CVC bandwidth will no longer be charged for services of 100 Mbps or more from 1 December and for other services from mid-2026.
  • The price cap for 12, 25, and 50 Mbps services in FY24 will not exceed $55, regardless of data usage.
  • A new basic blank and data service is offered at half the price of existing entry-level bandwidth.
  • The wholesale price will drop for speeds of 25 Mbps and 100 Mbps or faster, although there will be a slight increase in the wholesale price of 50 Mbps service.

Additionally, some regulatory changes will be encouraging for smaller ISPs and MSPs. As noted by ACCC Commissioner Anna Berkey, the SAU will lead to a more competitive wholesale environment to go along with improved pricing and service quality.

More competition among retailers will lead to more choice and innovative products for consumers, Berkey said in a statement.

The change introduces a new framework for setting service standards, which aims to provide greater consistency in the quality of service that NBN Co provides to broadband providers.

How will smaller providers benefit?

Thanks to changes in SAU, smaller organizations should find the cost model more efficient when handling a smaller number of total customers.

This comes at a good time, as consumers and businesses alike are moving away from large incumbents and trusting their digital experience to smaller ISPs. Where incumbents are often criticized for service standards and inflexibility, smaller players can offer the personalization customers want in their IT environments.

In fact, it’s an opportunity for MSPs to engage more deeply with their customers. There are several ISPs that offer wholesale or retail nbn services to MSPs, which can be white-labelled, handing over customer ownership of the internet service to the partner.

As businesses look to transform and embrace digital and cloud communication platforms, MSPs who can identify themselves as having an ISP will find it more cost-effective than ever to manage a relatively small number of customers compared to a true ISP.

With customers showing that they are more interested in quality of service and appropriate solutions than price, the ACCC’s decision to accept SAU could lead to MSPs accepting the ease of adding new services to the mix, and from there many micro ISPs will be able to connect the Internet to Build an overall managed service offering.

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