Back in the late 1990s and early ’00s when I discussed my vision on how broadband would develop, I mentioned that organisations would start offering free broadband access, linked to the core services of their organisation. The reason is that it would either be more cost-effective for those organisations if customers use the digital service.
Another reason would be that by incorporating the broadband costs, companies would create a competitive advantage for the products and services they are offering on the market.
I also compared that with the sale of magazines and newspapers. When you go into a newsagent and you buy a newspaper or a magazine, they don’t ask you to pay an extra amount for the paper these publications are printed on, or for the print work involved in producing the magazine.
With digital services becoming more and more standard, I envisaged that it would make sense to treat the digital infrastructure similar to the paper-based infrastructure as mentioned above.
In other words, the digital costs would simply be included in the end product of whatever service an organisation offers to its markets, be it a bank or other retail outlets. They could link that loyalty, life-long customer relationships or simply marketing-based strategies.
I also envisaged the government organisation would start doing this in order to make its services more accessible to all users.
It was therefore interesting to see the Commonwealth Bank packaging access to the NBN into its product offerings.
The Commonwealth Bank has been one of the pioneers of the digital economy. Back in the 1980s, I assisted them to set up Telebank, which became the world’s first nationwide online banking service, based on videotex technology, basically a predecessor of the internet. In the 1990s, the Telebank service was transferred to the internet properly.
It is good to see that the company is maintaining its leadership position in these new digital developments. The preamble to this new initiative was the bank taking a 25 per cent stake in the NBN Retail Service Provider More.
The new Commonwealth Bank services comprise of two sets of offerings:
- eligible conditionally pre-approved home loans can receive access to a free NBN plan for three years. According to the bank, homeowners can save up to $2,700 if they are illegible for this offer; and
- a 30 per cent discount on NBN plans for 12 months for customers who complete the sign-up using their CommBank credit or debit card.
The latter applies to the following plans from More:
- standard plan from $66 at $46.20 per month;
- XL Speedboost plan from $77 at $53.90 per month;
- XXL Speedboost plan from $99 at $69.30 per month;
- XXXL Speedboost plan from $119 at $83.30 per month; and
- there is also a discount available for the Fixed Wireless plus NBN plan.
- Premises serviced by the NBN Sky Muster satellite fall outside the offer.
As usual, conditions apply and those people interested should have a good look at them.