Telstra has launched a major upgrade of its networks allowing us to offer nationally a new improved business broadband service called ‘ TBB Ethernet’, replacing our current ‘Business DSL’ service.

The new service will help drive innovation in Australia’s small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) bringing increased reliability and a boost in upload and download speeds, up to 10 megabits per second (subject to service qualification).

TBB Ethernet is important for our customers as many currently use Business DSL and the maximum speed they can get is 4 megabits per second or less, depending on their distance from the Telstra exchange.

As demand for bandwidth constantly increases, some are starting to find Business DSL is not really meeting their day-to-day needs. To deal with this problem up until now, businesses have had to look at getting a more expensive fibre connection to their premises – which for small and medium-size businesses is too expensive.

While faster speeds always grab headlines, there’s much more to TBB Ethernet in terms of how it will help businesses to cut costs and become more productive.

TBB Ethernet makes it possible to support quality IP telephony and applications like video-conferencing, offering big savings in telephone call costs and the travel budget.

Unlike consumer ADSL, which offers faster download speeds and slower upload speeds, TBB Ethernet is ‘symmetric’, offering the same speeds in both directions. This helps reduce waiting times for businesses that are often uploading big documents.

Many of Australia’s SMEs are geographically dispersed, with branches in different regions and states. TBB Ethernet means they can reliably run IT applications from a head office, rather than have to deploy equipment and send an IT person out to branch offices. It also means the whole business can have a proper daily computer back-up service off the premises and use the one version of software applications, which streamlines administration.

At Telstra Business we’re looking at what we can do deliver better value to encourage more of Australia’s small and medium businesses to take a technological leap forward and become truly ‘digital businesses’, using products like TBB Ethernet to become more efficient.

On the value front, we’ve released great new mobile and broadband plans over the past month that are already proving popular with customers.

On the technology front, this week we’ve welcomed Cisco more as a partner in the Telstra Business System program.

Cisco is one of the world’s leading and most innovative suppliers of business communications technology and its products are used widely by our enterprise customers. We expect they’ll be equally popular with small and medium businesses – the ‘backbone’ of Australia’s economy.

We welcome your suggestions and we’ll have more exciting announcements in coming months.