Despite the fact that NBNCo is getting its funding (and there's a lot of it) from the government, it's important to remember that the company responsible for building our next-generation broadband network is still very much a startup. Which means that so far, we haven't really heard too much in the way of NBNCo selling itself to consumers. But it looks like that's starting to change.
Last week's activation of the NBN in Armidale was a huge step forward for not only the network, but also in the way that NBNCo promotes itself. Sure, it was a gala event with the Prime Minister, Stephen Conroy and Tony Windsor rubbing shoulders with NBNCo executives and the first Armidale NBN customers, but it was also a key turning point for the way that NBNCo shared its message.
Before last week's launch, NBNCo was focussed on what it did best - preparation for and the rolling out of a world-class fibre network across Australia. Because the company was doing what all successful startups do in the early stages - working their butts off to make sure everything works - critics of the NBN were able to get a foothold and start spreading misinformation and doubt about the network's viability.
That misinformation has been fodder for transforming the NBN from an exciting piece of infrastructure that will benefit the country for generations to come to a political football that both sides of the political fence are trying to kick the crap out of.
But the Armidale launch shows a real change in the approach from NBNCo to spread its message. The company has released high quality videos like the one above and the fibre bomb we saw last week. They've begun sharing photos and video with media using online cloud based services like DropBox. The NBNCo website is beginning to collate the online video and audio recordings that help share its message with the world. As the rollout of fibre grows across the country and more and more people are connected, we can expect even more communication from the broadband network.
Being a startup is exciting and hard work, but it's only once you break through that first stage and people start understanding the benefits of your service that you can really succeed as a company. And following the Armidale NBN launch, it looks like NBNCo is ready to take that next step.