The introduction of M2’s nbn wholesale offering could spark increased competition in Layer 2 and 3 wholesale broadband market
This week, the M2 Group announced the launch of their new “NBN Connect” offering for Layer 2 and Layer 3 providers. “NBN Connect” will provide three core products to resellers and layer 2 service providers, helping them connect to all 121 NBN Points of Interconnect: “Brand Connect” which is essentially a whitelabel service, “Reseller Connect” an end-to-end Layer 3 network offering and “Network Connect” — a Layer 2 aggregation offering. This comes as nbn appears to be developing an AVC trunking product to help smaller service providers reach more points of interconnects.
M2’s offering competes directly with AAPT’s National Wholesale Broadband product, who also provides Layer 2 or Layer 3 services to retailers over the NBN. After the closure of Nextgen Network’s NBN “Virtual Connect” offering around twelve months ago, AAPT became appeared to become the Layer 3 provider of choice with many virtual service providers.
M2 could also have a competitive edge with its wholesale offering with its “Brand Connect” product — a bespoke solution which could help manage billing, provisioning and customer service for to end-user customers. This could be a dealbreaker for customers like major supermarket chains who may not necessarily want to run their own support staff.
One thing’s for sure — increased competition in this space is a welcome sight for virtual ISPs who presumably run on razor thin margins anyway. The planned M2 and Vocus merger, which recently received ACCC approval, could translate to better performance in the currently debatable quality of the M2 network. Hopefully this translates to greater savings for consumers in the long run.