Voice and data communications provider (CP), Entanet, will become the first to offer a portfolio of ADSL2+ products based on BT’s Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) to the UK channel when it launches its 2Plus range on Tuesday 15 July. The new services give resellers the ability to offer end user customers a variety of broadband package options, with the added flexibility of bandwidth top-ups and free unlimited access during off-peak hours.
Entanet’s 2Plus products provide broadband at ADSL2+ speeds in a range of eight bandwidth allowance options – from 3GB up to 250GB per month – giving channel resellers the opportunity to compete confidently and effectively in the UK’s broadband market, from entry level upwards.
In addition to the main 2Plus allowance offerings, customers can choose from seven 2Plus Top-up products that enable them to supplement their allowance with extra bandwidth, from 10GB right up to 1TB (1,000GB). These top-ups are only used once the monthly allowance is reached and, importantly, last until they are used up.
Significantly, Entanet is providing unlimited access during its 1am to 7am off-peak hours (as long as the EU’s monthly allowance or any top-up is in credit). Monthly allowances and any top-ups are only used during peak hours (7am to 1am) every day. Furthermore, the company is maintaining its minimum 30 day contract policy and is also continuing to allow migrations to its products free of charge (with the exception of migrations from LLU).
Commenting on the announcement, Entanet’s Head of Marketing, Darren Farnden, said: “This portfolio comes as a result of the wealth of experience we’ve gathered about end users’ existing broadband usage and also consultation with our channel partners. Our decision to take WBC means we’re able to deliver both resale and wholesale ADSL2+ services that put our partners in a very competitive position.”
Entanet’s strategy has required significant investment in both its 21CN-based infrastructure and its operations. In order to create products based on WBC it is building out its existing UK network to cover all of the 20 primary nodes on BT’s 21C network. “Initially we’re using gigabit multi-service interconnect links (MSILs) at each of the nodes to take delivery of individual connections onto our own network” said Farnden. “As capacity requirements increase these will be upgraded to 10Gbps connections.”
As well as the monthly allowance packages and bandwidth top-ups, Entanet is enabling resellers to provide additional options to end user customers and so increase revenue and margin opportunities. “For customers who want to ensure a higher minimum connection speed, resellers can offer an Elevated Best Efforts option, guaranteeing a minimum download speed of 3Mbps for 90 percent of the time over the busiest three hour period” (depending on the achievable speed of the line). This compares with 2Mbps on Standard Best Efforts. “They are also able to offer Enhanced Care, an option which provides customers the benefit of shorter fix times in the event that their broadband connection is lost. Whilst Standard Care provides a fix time of 40 hours, Enhanced Care ensures a fix time of just 20 hours, with Openreach engineers available 24/7.”
Since November 2007 the CP has been the only non-BT company involved in WBC service and customer trials. BT Wholesale’s Director of Product Management Angus Flett commented: “Testing and trialling is vital in the run up to the introduction of any new service and we have been delighted to work with Entanet right from the very start. Their support and enthusiasm during the WBC trials has helped BT Wholesale shape this new and exciting family of broadband services that marks the start of a new broadband era in the UK.” At launch, the service is available from 21CN-enabled exchanges served by 9 of the 20 nodes. By the end of September 2008 Entanet will be live at all 20 locations, enabling its partners to serve ADSL2+ services from over 200 exchanges. BT‘s rollout programme will see almost 900 key exchanges 21CN-enabled by May 2009.