Get The Answers: Ultra-fast broadband will help with competitive edge

By Gill South

Orcon chief executive Scott Bartlett. Photo / Supplied
Orcon chief executive Scott Bartlett. Photo / Supplied

Easy access to fibre will smash the barriers of distance, writes Scott Bartlett.

Ultra-fast broadband is going to be revolutionary for all NZ businesses as it makes fibre, which is a robust and stable platform, more affordable.

UFB will take the handbrake off for businesses that haven't been able to take that step up to fibre. Keeping abreast of the latest developments is non-negotiable for companies wanting to keep a step ahead of their competition.

How much is data usage growing? We're already seeing data usage doubling every 18 months and this will only increase as fibre is rolled out.

We're about to see a real shift in the way data is consumed. We already have a number of video content services in New Zealand such as iSKY and TVNZ on Demand, but none of them has hit the levels of use that we are seeing overseas.

In the US and UK, 25 per cent of all internet traffic comes from Netflix and BBC's iPlayer respectively.

In New Zealand, Orcon distributes iSKY and video content. This reduces the amount of traffic we send internationally and that means the local network is faster and cheaper.

How will the roll out help to grow business opportunities for small businesses and how can they take advantage of UFB to get ahead of the competition?

The roll out of UFB is an absolute game-changer. It will enable small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to take full advantage of technology designed to help give them a competitive edge and streamline systems and processes at the same time.

Easy access to fibre will revolutionise business and smash the barriers of distance that many local businesses have felt in the past.

To be able to communicate easily with markets half a world away is immensely powerful. I believe there will be benefits we can't even envision yet. My advice is to start talking to your technology partners now.

What technology should small businesses look to in order to make the most of fibre?

Cloud is a massive one. Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service that delivers shared resources, software and information to computers and other devices over a network - typically the internet. Maintaining a server is expensive and time-consuming, we will soon see huge growth in the number of services offered to SMEs that are cloud-based and this will allow better ways to work remotely and access services from anywhere at any time.

Putting your phones over the internet (like most large companies do already) is a huge cost saver that SMEs will flock to, and it would be the first thing I would do if I was a small business owner with a new fibre connection.

Next would be video-conference and remote working capabilities. It's claimed 90 per cent of traffic growth on the internet in coming years will be video transmission.

What are your predictions around fibre uptake in New Zealand?

We already have a trial business customer in Whangarei on UFB and his service is 10 times faster than his standard broadband connection. In five years' time, the UFB roll-out will be more than halfway completed. The Government has committed to getting fibre to more than 600,000 priority premises by 2015.

- NZ Herald

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