NEXTEP Broadband, a division of NEC Australia, has announced the winners of the company’s prestigious Channel Partner Awards, presented at the first NEXTEP Channel Partner Forum for 2005. The winners were Pacific Internet, Integrated Vision and Oak Telecom and Finance.

The last forum concluded in Melbourne last night, following events in Brisbane and Sydney, with a flurry of awards being presented at the closing event. Winners in all three categories; Channel Partner of the Year, Most Innovative Broadband Solution of the Year and Most Improved Channel Partner of the Year went to Melbourne-based companies.

Aimed to reward those channel partners that have been critical to the growth of the NEXTEP business in 2004, the awards also provided a forum to communicate NEXTEP’s latest system and product developments, channel incentives and bold move to deploy value added services.

Currently going through an exciting stage in its evolution, NEXTEP is entering the value added arena of operations to include technologies in addition to the core competency of providing access and data services.

NEXTEP is implementing Voice over DSL and Voice over IP services, as well as key security products including innovative biometric applications which leverage the global strength of NEC.

Leading Australian ISP, Pacific Internet took the Channel Partner of the Year Award at last night’s forum, in recognition of the company’s impressive track record in delivering Nextep services to Australian businesses over the past year.

Videoconferencing company, Integrated Vision was stand out winner of the Most Innovative Broadband Solution of the Year Award. The ease of implementing the company’s IP videoconferencing network solution, Visionnet, as well as the solutions’ reliability, flexibility and cost effectiveness motivated NEXTEP to reward the valued channel partner.

Providing telecommunications and financial services to businesses and residential customers throughout Australia, Oak Telecom and Finance was recognised by NEXTEP as the Most Improved Channel Partner of the Year. The Award reflects the company’s growth and enthusiasm to embrace NEXTEP technologies – a move that has paid dividends and seen the transformation of the company’s sales function.

John Norton, Managing Director of NEXTEP Broadband comments that “through the deployment of value added services, NEXTEP’s valued channel partners have proven their commitment to our strategy and vision that sees the provision of value added services as pivotal to the future development of broadband technology for Australian businesses.”

NEXTEP Broadband hosts the Channel Partner Forum and Awards twice a year.

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For media enquiries, please contact: Lynn Hepple Public & Media Relations Manager NEC Australia Pty Ltd (03) 9264 3746 0411 563 907 lynn.hepple@nec.com.au

About NEC Australia NEC Australia is a provider of superior, affordable products, services and solutions to carriers, business, government and consumers. As a leader in the development of broadband and mobile communications technologies, NEC Australia’s strong sales and service focus has propelled the company to the forefront of a new era in communications. Through the provision of new technologies such as plasma displays, data projectors and high-speed broadband connections, NEC Australia also drives innovation into the home. Boasting the largest Research and Development facility in Australia, NEC’s commitment to innovation and continued expansion into export markets remains unrivalled. As well as undertaking leading R & D in DSL technologies and third-generation (3G) mobile terminals, NEC Australia's broadband business, NEXTEP Broadband, delivers business grade DSL services for SMEs, corporates and government. For additional information, please visit the NEC Australia or NEXTEP websites at www.nec.com.au and www.nextep.com.au.