Flat-Rate Pricing

New Edge offers new option at NRF

NEW YORK -- New Edge Networks, a company that constructs and manages wide-area networks (WANs), will introduce a flat-rate pricing option today at the National Retail Federation (NRF) convention and exposition, which began yesterday in New York City, running through Wednesday.

The three-month trial of flat-rate pricing for WAN locations anywhere in the United States, New Edge officials said, is a first for the telecommunications industry. Retailers with remote sites may find the deal advantageous, helping to reduce average monthly communications costs [image-nocss] for those hard-to-connect locations.

Every business today needs a network, but many cannot justify the cost of high-speed access in areas where affordable broadband access is not yet available, said Dan Moffat, president and CEO of New Edge, Vancouver, Wash. Often these sites are left with dialup telephone access and stranded without access to real-time corporate data and new automated service applications. They are forced to operate at a disadvantage to other company locations, franchisees or local competitors.

Under the simplified flat-rate pricing, New Edge guarantees a $159 monthly rate for every remote site on a private WAN of any size if at least 85% of a company's locations qualify for digital subscriber line (DSL) service within New Edge' core and extended DSL network called BigFoot. Their pricing is for a private business-class WAN that does not touch the Internet.

Where DSL service is not available, New Edge will substitute 128k frame relay connections for the same price. Company officials say the frame relay option typically costs $300 to $800 per site, depending on location and carrier. This is what forces the average cost per location for most businesses to surge above the $159 a month rate, they say.

Complex pricing models can be a challenge for retailers even if a supplier is able to show value, said Jeff Roster, vice president of retail industry market strategies, Gartner Inc., Stamford, Conn. Retailers are always looking for ways to simplify complex processes and take better control of their budgets. When someone can offer simplicity and better pricing, decision-making becomes easier.

New Edgebuilds and manages broadband networks for businesses and communications carriers. Through its nationwide network of more than 850 switches and Internet routers, New Edgeuses various broadband accesstechnologies for building business networks.