Australia’s newest publicly-traded telecommunications company, Aussie Broadband, has started laying the first connections of its first fibre-optic network. As the move will see the company challenging Australia’s telecommunications giants, Aussie Broadband’s network will impact the entire telecommunications industry - including the world of online faxing.
This article will explain who Aussie Broadband is and what their network means for Australian businesses who fax online.
Inside Australia’s Newest Telecommunications Company
Aussie Broadband was formed in 2008 with the merging of two businesses: Wideband Networks, which was founded by John Reisinger and Phillip Britt in the Latrobe Valley, and Westvic Broadband, which was based in Warrnambool. Today, Mr Britt is the Managing Director of Aussie Broadband, owning just over 10% of the business.
For several years, Aussie Broadband remained one of Australia’s retail-only home broadband providers. Last year, however, the company decided to expand by building its own fibre-optic network.
Aussie Broadband’s Fibre-Optic Network
Aussie Broadband has already begun network construction in several states. As part of its $67 million plan, the company will lay hundreds of kilometres of dark fibre-optic network, connecting its data centres to 76 of the NBN’s 121 Points of Interconnection (POIs).
In Victoria, the company has currently completed 79 kilometres of construction, connecting 6 data centres and 7 NBN POIs. In New South Wales, Aussie Broadband has connected 11 kilometres, with further construction in Western Australia, NSW and Victoria. Currently, the project is roughly 7% complete.
By the end of June, we can expect to see 40 of the 76 POI’s connected.
Although the project may seem expensive, Mr Britt believes it is necessary to expand Aussie Broad’s operations. Previously, the company rented access to Telstra’s fibre network and sold NBN plans. As the company is now working with both business and residential customers, however, laying its own fibre network would increase its profit margins while giving customers a faster connection through the NBN.
“From FY23 onwards, it improves our EBITDA position by around $15 million,” Mr Britt says, “the project to roll out costs $67 million, so it doesn’t take too long to see the benefits of that.”
In an article published by IT News, Mr Britt also explained that Aussie Broadband’s new strategy is winning them customers who are “disenfranchised” with other NBN providers.
“We’re seeing over 70 percent of our orders coming from people that are switching from other providers,” he said, “we’re definitely winning in the performance front and taking good market share and demonstrating people want faster broadband.”
As a result of their new venture, Aussie Broadband finished 2020 with a market share of 4.2% in the NBN fixed-line and fixed-wireless technologies market. That’s up from 2.8% the year before.
New Network, Happy Investors: Aussie Broadband’s IPO
Aussie Broadband is the latest telecommunications company to list on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). The company listed on October 16 with a $40-million initial public offering (IPO). On the day of the listing, Aussie Broadband had an initial market capitalisation of $190.3 million, offering 40 million shares at $1 each. By the time the market closed, the company’s shares were trading at $1.91 each.
In an article for the Australian Financial Review, Mr Britt described the company’s IPO success as an “unbelievable result”. In a later article, he would explain:
“When it opened on day one, we were ecstatic, and to see it improve from there was really good. The market got a sense we’ve got big plans and wants to be part of it.”
The interest in investing is due, in part, to the company’s new fibre-optic network strategy. Although Australia has over 180 retail service providers (RSP’s), very few companies also operate a network. That leaves Aussie Broadband competing directly with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.
In February this year, Aussie Broadband would release its first results after its IPO and its fibre-optic network project’s initial success. Although the company is still in the red, its revenue and earnings before tax (EBITDA) figures increased dramatically from July to December last year.
During that period, Aussie Broadband’s revenue increased by 89%, reaching $157.4 million. Their earnings before tax increased a similar amount, jumping 87% to $7.3 million. In the statement released to investors, Mr Britt described himself as “extremely proud” of the results, writing:
“In a year with significant disruption to the community and many people and businesses doing it very tough, our team has managed to significantly grow our market share, maintain network performance and further improve our already great customer experience”
Aussie Broadband and the Future of Faxing
According to Aussie Broadband’s investors centre, they are now the fifth-largest provider of NBN services, with over 342,000 business and residential customers nationwide. As of December 31st 2020, that includes 313,193 residential broadband customers and 29,441 business broadband customers. Since June 2020, that’s a customer increase of 30% and 49%, respectively.
Although they may be a relatively new player in the telecommunications industry, their work is already impacting Australian businesses. With a faster network than the NBN 100, Aussie Broadband is among a handful of providers setting the standard for high-speed internet in Australia.
This has huge implications for businesses that use online faxing. As traditional fax machines cannot connect to the NBN directly, many Australian businesses lost their fax connection when they switched to the network. This caused people to switch to online faxing, which allows people to transmit faxes via the internet through their computer, smartphone or tablet.
For businesses that use online faxing, faster network speeds means more efficient faxing. This is because a faster network has:
Lower latency, meaning the time to send and receive faxes (i.e. ‘lag time’) will shrink.
Better bandwidth, as faster networks can transmit more faxes at once.
A higher capacity, meaning more devices can use the network at once.
With a faster network, online faxing won’t just beat traditional faxing, it will crush it.
Embrace The NBN With eFax
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As eFax wants to prepare your business for the future, their online faxing system is fully NBN compatible. That means that you won’t lose your fax connection or fax number when you switch to the NBN.
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