Tech Pac and Telstra connect for ADSL deal

Broad-based distributor Tech Pacific has been awarded sole distribution rights to Telstra’s new ADSL Self Install kits.

The alliance sees Australia’s largest telecommunications provider and IT product distributor combine to promote broadband communications to resellers and consumers.

The distributor has begun releasing to its channel partners, albeit in low quantities, bundled Self Install kits consisting of an ADSL modem and related connectivity software. The kits will retail for $129 based on an 18 month contract. Customers wishing to purchase the kit on a 12 month contract will be charged an additional $60 fee, which will appear on their first usage bill.

According to Mark Franklin, sales and marketing manager for Tech Pacific’s Consumer Product Equipment Division, the bundle of products essentially allows a consumer to sign up to Telstra’s ADSL service at their local reseller in around 15 minutes.

“Everything is right there in the box,” he said. “It’s the first time broadband has been plug-and-play for the consumer -- it throws landline users straight onto broadband.”

Franklin said Tech Pacific will only be moving small quantities of the kits this month but will ramp up sales over Christmas and into January. The distributor is hesitant to advertise the product on its TechLink reseller Web site or engage in any further marketing until it has sufficient supply to meet the expected demand for the product. “It’s very early days yet,” Franklin said. “But our retailer customers have been making a lot of enquiries and it is clear they want to take ownership of it.”

Franklin said resellers make a margin on the box sale of the installation kit.

Resellers of the ADSL bundle will also need to check on Telstra’s Web site whether customers in their area are located near an exchange that is ADSL-enabled. If not, the product will be of no use to them.

In the short term, Franklin said sales of the product will look miniscule when held up to the massive revenues Tech Pacific pulls in for all of its products. But he measures the agreement as one of more ‘strategic’ importance than just another revenue stream. “Its importance to Tech Pacific is that we have the leading edge product; and a partnership with the biggest and most trusted brand on the market.”

Telstra’s retail ADSL offering is not the first however, to go mass market. ISPs iPrimus and Flow Communications have both released ADSL broadband in a box bundles via retailers Australia-wide. Several other ISPs, including OzEmail, also offer ADSL self-installation kits as well as professional installation services.

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