Crown Fibre Holdings and the Telecommunication Users Association (TUANZ) have collaborated on a study of what business users are seeking from the ultra fast broadband network (UFB).
The study was released at the second Computerworld Fry Up breakfast in Auckland last week. It attracted 283 responses, of which 50 percent were from companies of more than 100 employees.
“A fairly price-sensitive business telecommunications market was depicted, with price perceived by most as the greatest barrier to connecting to the UFB, but also one of the key drivers to uptake along with speed/bandwidth,” the survey’s executive summary states.
“Those without any fibre services were especially concerned about price, with 87 percent of non-fibre users perceiving it as a barrier to uptake and nearly 77 percent seeing it as a main driver for connecting to UFB.”
Of those businesses already connected, 23 percent would wish to purchase dark fibre. And some businesses, a notable 12 percent, would consider forming buying clubs or shared service organisations to purchase UFB, the summary notes.
When asked about current services, the most common services businesses reported receiving was a non-fibre connection providing maximum downstream speeds of 5-10Mbps. Of those with fibre connections, 19 percent reported receiving speeds in excess of 100Mbit/s. Regardless of whether respondents already had fibre services, when asked what they would use faster connectivity enabled by UFB for, the answers were similar. Most favoured were collaborative tools, VoIP, cloud and remote working.
The study document is peppered with end-user comments from TUANZ board members. Mainfreight CIO Kevin Drinkwater provided the following observation on engaging business managers in the UFB.
“The only way I could get our senior executives interested in coming to a workshop would be to tell them we could quadruple our bandwidth and for a quarter of the current price... Even then it would be difficult to get them there.”
The survey concludes by asking for ideas in which both organisations can develop initiatives to build demand for the UFB network.
“What are the key learnings from this survey? Questionnaire respondents, both those with some fibre services and those without, show a strong propensity to move to UFB as it becomes available. Most of those surveyed who are using fibre are currently playing a lot more than for copper,” it states in conclusion.
“At reasonable prices, it could be expected most will migrate to UFB. Staff productivity, flexibility in staff location, and customer relationships are among the leading reasons to take up UFB, however its uses and benefits need to be better articulated. Certainly smaller businesses with any fibre services, need to be more engaged.”