4 Questions Every Business Owner Should Ask about the NBN
In today’s business environment, internet connectivity is often considered vital to a business’ success. Businesses rely much of their success on how well their business is connected to the rest of world through the Internet.
This is where the National Broadband Network (NBN) comes in. While Internet speeds in Australia were typically determined by how far away you were from a Telstra exchange and what suburb your business is based in, the NBN aimed to use fibre optics and other new technologies and gain a more consistent Internet speed for all Australia.
The National Broadband Network (NBN) has been somewhat of a political hot potato since it was announced in 2009. Problems with the NBN rollout have been exacerbated by rising customer complaints with claims from customers of low internet speeds. In some areas, the installation has been significantly delayed, causing more frustration to residents and businesses.
While it is a contentious topic, the rollout of the NBN was initially expected to be completed by 2020. For businesses who rely on their internet connection to garner new business, they need to be prepared for its inevitable arrival and make sure their switch is as smooth as possible.
1. Do I need to switch to the NBN?
Yes, you do when it is available in your area. Please note that changing to NBN is not automatic when it is available, and you will have to ask to change.
Once it is available in your area, the copper connection will be disconnected 18 months after NBN is installed so you have 18 months to switch.
Before the 18-month deadline is up, you will have to switch to an NBN service through a Retail Service Provider (RSP) like Telstra, iiNet, Optus and other telecommunications providers.
Consider all RSPs and talk to them about what plan would be the best for your business!
2. Is it available in my area?
It depends if it has been installed there. You can check to see if your address can switch to the NBN by going to the NBN website and typing your address:
If it isn’t available in your area just yet, sign up for email updates on the NBN website after checking your address’ availability to stay on top of the rollout in your area.
3. Will it affect my landline?
Yes, it will affect your landline. Even if you don’t use the Internet, the copper network is being replaced by the NBN and you will need to switch over to the NBN.
In most cases, RSPs can bring your existing phone number to the NBN so you don’t have to change your business' phone number.
Talk to your provider about what you must do switch your landline to the NBN when it's available.
4. How will this help my business?
In theory, the NBN has many benefits to small businesses including:
- Improved performance with faster broadband
- Offer easier access to flexible working arrangements through faster and more reliable broadband
- Opens potential new opportunities through faster internet
- For remote businesses who’ve experienced poor internet connections, they can be more responsive to digital channels like email, websites, and forums.
Depending on the size of your business and it’s needs, talk to providers about higher priority services with a business grade product to minimise downtime and ensure you get a better level of internet speed. If you own a larger organisation, you may need to acquire more phone lines, bandwidth, and data.
Keep in mind the NBN is a wholesaler and you will need to talk to a retail service provider about a plan or package that works best for you and your business.