WebCentral welcomes broadband price

WebCentral welcomes broadband price drops 04 March 2004

Broadband adoption will be the single most important technology aiding small business growth and success in the next few years, according to WebCentral, Australia’s largest web hosting company.

WebCentral CEO Mr Lloyd Ernst said reliable and affordable broadband was a critical enabler for the increasing range of powerful online business tools available to small business.

Mr Ernst said these managed applications, such as WebCentral’s Managed Exchange and Managed SharePoint products, gave small businesses access to what had traditionally been big business tools at a very affordable price point.

“To get the most out of these types of practical business tools, broadband connectivity is essential. We welcome the current heightened competition in the broadband industry, because an increase in take-up at the consumer end of the market will help drive adoption of managed applications by the significant number of businesses which are run out of homes,” he said.

Mr Ernst said that commentators who were focussing on the data allocations of some of the recently released broadband products were missing the point.

“It’s not about movie and MP3 downloads. Some of these applications do not in fact generate huge amounts of traffic, but they do require broadband connections to make the application run smoothly,” he said.

Managed Exchange 2003 is a version of Microsoft’s popular email and collaboration system. The application is located and operates in a central data centre with customers connecting to it via broadband from their office or home. This service is charged at a simple per month, per mailbox fee.

WebCentral tried to launch these types of managed applications for the first time back in mid 2000, but the connectivity of the day being used by the great majority of small businesses was a mixture of ISDN and dial-up which simply could not deliver a good enough experience to businesses.

“WebCentral has been a long-time campaigner for affordable broadband, as we recognise its importance as an enabling technology. We congratulate the ISP community on their recent initiatives,” Mr Ernst said.

WebCentral is a leading supplier of internet solutions for business, including complex hosting, sophisticated email, electronic commerce, real time payment solutions, domain name registration and a wide variety of other value added services.

In addition to its own direct customer base, WebCentral provides wholesale web hosting and email services to the majority of Australia’s Tier 1 telecommunications companies and ISPs.

The company currently hosts more than 60,000 sites and domains for corporations, government organisations and small and medium businesses and delivers more than three million email messages per day.

Established in 1997, WebCentral is a private company 49.4% owned by FTR Holdings (ASX FTR).

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