Exetel and Telstra Wholesale: 15 years of growing together
James Linton, Exetel Director of Corporate Sales, and Glenn Osborne, Executive Director, Sales at Telstra Wholesale, reflect on the foundations of a business relationship spanning decade and a half.
Fifteen years ago Australia’s relationship with the internet was unrecognisable from today. In 2004, Facebook hadn’t reached our shores and YouTube did not exist (it was founded in the US a year later). Dial-up internet subscribers accounted for 70 per cent of total internet subscribers. They had little need for data, downloading on average a little over 1.5 gigabytes - or one HD movie worth of data - that year. Today, Australian consumers collectively download almost four million terabytes of data every three months.
There were signs of how things would change. The number of broadband subscribers increased 108 per cent between 2004 and 2005 to account for 87 per cent of total data downloads.
The changing B2B landscape
For businesses today, high capacity internet links are more than just desirable. They are absolutely critical to commercial and operational success, as James Linton of Exetel explains.
"These days the internet is an essential utility. It’s just as essential as electricity to our customers in running their business,” James says. “Organisations are putting more and more of their data, services and workloads into the cloud. And more businesses are using VoIP for calls, instant messaging and video conferencing every day. Without a good internet link, businesses simply can’t operate in the way they need to meet the demands of their customers and staff.”
Exetel has seen first-hand how their business customers’ connectivity requirements have changed.
“We see a lot of growth from small businesses with typically around 30 to 35 seats. These businesses understand that residential quality connections are no longer enough. Education and care organisations are also demanding more. Schools for example are using 10 times the bandwidth they were five years ago.”
Reaching new customers
When it comes to serving their customers’ fibre needs, James says reach remains as vital as ever, one of the reasons Exetel has chosen to continue its use of the Telstra Wholesale fibre network.
“The demand for fibre doesn’t stop at the edge of the major cities’ CBDs. Most of our SMB customers are in suburban or regional Australia, and schools, care homes and hospitals are spread across the country.
“The fibre footprint and broad product suite Telstra Wholesale offers enables us to provide what our end users need, where they need it.
“Other providers may have similar fibre services and claim millions of addressable properties. However, with more buildings already connected, in more parts of the country, Telstra Wholesale offers us unrivalled scale.
“It’s one reason why we are happy to continue partnering with Telstra Wholesale for fibre services, even with much more competition in the market than there was when we started working together.”
Looking forward to another 15 years
For Glenn Osborne, Executive Director, Sales at Telstra Wholesale, the fact Exetel is still a growing customer after such a long time is a source of great satisfaction and personal pride.
“We cherish our relationship with James and the Exetel team. I’m delighted that we have a relationship with such an innovative and diverse customer for a decade and a half and still be going strong.
“The telco market is almost unrecognisable from 15 years ago. Like our customers, we are adapting to the industry change and evolving for our customers in order to succeed.
“Our success is due, in large part, to working as true partners with customers like James and his team over the long-term. It’s these types of relationships that drive us to do better and differently every day.”
James agrees. “The relationship we have with Telstra Wholesale is all about working towards mutually beneficial outcomes.
“We look forward to working together on how we grow together over the next few years. Who knows, in another 15 years again we can celebrate our pearl anniversary!”