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Your NBN Check List is Here

nbn check list

By: NexTel Australia

October 28, 2019

The NBN Check List for Small Business

NBN Check List Introduction

Telephone and internet connections are indispensable in the modern small business. Without it, communication with your clients, partners and suppliers would be virtually impossible. We’ve put together this handy NBN check list to help you with planning your move to twenty first century business.

A badly prepared migration has the potential to cost your business dearly. Items such as fax and internet services, along with EFTPOS terminals all need to be considered. We are passionate about ensuring our customers’ experiences are positive ones and want to make sure you are choosing the right service from the start. Of course, not everyone reading this guide will be a NexTel customer, but there’s always tomorrow!

Before you Start Your NBN Check List

You need to understand the type of connection you can get for your business. Data on the National Broadband Network is mostly carried over Fibre Optic Cable. The reason is that fibre is able to handle enormous amounts of data (unlike the old copper network that was very limited). The original proposal was to have all premises connected to it via fibre as well (known as FTTP or Fibre To The Premises), but the costs of this made it prohibitive. So a new standard connection was developed that allowed fibre to be laid to a network node close to your premises and then connected to your business with high capacity copper (FTTN or Fibre To The Node). There are still advantages to FTTP over FTTN but a copper connection can still achieve download speeds of over 100Mbps – way higher than ADSL services were able to offer.

FTTP is slightly more expensive that FTTN, but if you have a choice, FTTP should be chosen.

If you share your premises with other business in locations such as business parks or factory complexes, your owners corporation may well opt for Fibre To The Building (FTTB), where a high speed fibre is connected and services are delivered to your building via either fibre or copper from the main connection.

Lastly, whilst NBN is still the most affordable physical high speed connection, wireless connection over 4G regularly delivers 30-50Mbps download speeds and are becoming cheaper quickly. That said, 5G is here already and on some parts of the Telstra network, download speeds of up to 400Mbps are achievable.

The NBN Check List

So, most items that will be affected by planning to move to the NBN will broadly fall into one of the following categories

  • Phone Lines & Calling Plans
  • Office Phone Systems (PABX)
  • Fax Services
  • EFTPOS or HICAPS Terminals
  • Security Systems
  • Internet Connections

NBN will impact all of them

Phone Lines and Calling Plans

First on your NBN check list is to work out exactly what you are currently using. Most small businesses will either use a single or dual line phone service, or a multi-number service such as ISDN. If you have not had your plan changed for a few years, you are likely paying rental on each and every line. Depending on what call plan you are on, you may still be paying for calls on top of that.

So, first step is to list down all the lines you are currently using – and think about any that you don’t need any more – or some new ones that might be necessary.

Office Phone Systems (PABX)

If you already have a PABX or Key System installed, it may be that you can adapt them for use with VoIP. If you system was installed before around 2014, this is not likely to be available, or an expensive add-on. Work through some of the features you are using such as direct extension dialing, timed diversions, queing, and hunt groups etc. Are these still all necessary and are there some features you wanted that were simply too expensive before now?

Fax Services

Fax is a technology that is still very prevalent in some industries, and one of the things that has been a stumbling block for people wishing to move to the cloud. If you still rely on faxes in your business, the news is good – cloud fax services are available – and you don’t need a dedicated copper line any more. Faxes can now be sent from and delivered directly to your email inbox. Review your needs in this area. Do you need more than one fax service?

EFTPOS or HICAPS Terminals

If your business has one or more Point of Sale terminals, the chances are that they are connected via a copper phone service at the moment. If you do not want to replace them with a new, mobile based terminal, your cloud service provider will need to install an inexpensive device that converts a VoIP service back to analog – just for that terminal. Most new POS devices are supplied with a Data SIM card connected to the mobile network now – so it’s worth considering swithing to these in future.

Security Systems

If your premises are protected with a back to base alarm monitoring system, you will need to contact your security service provider about the alternative connections they support. When connecting to the NBN, some areas will be able to connect their monitoring service, but not all – it really depends on the type of NBN connection you have. Many security service providers are offering 4G connections now as an alternative.

Internet Connections

Of course, it’s obvious, but moving to the NBN means that your existing internet service will no longer be needed. One of the biggest impacts you will experience is that your connection will offer fast upload speeds as well as improved downloads. If you currently have remote access employees, their experience is just about to get a whole lot better. NBN also gives you scope to provide more office data access to more employees, customers and partners. Speak to your IT service provider about what’s possible.

For all your cloud migration needs, fill in your details on this form or:

CALL US 139 139

Is there a difference between VoIP and digital phone lines?

voip from isdn

By: NexTel Australia

October 21, 2019

Is there a difference between VoIP and digital phone lines?

Your current phone system uses digital connections, so it must be VoIP, right? If you are still connected via ISDN, then that’s probably not true. The world has truly moved on from ISDN and nowhere is that more evident than in our offices and places of business.

The advances in technology allow us to reach a much wider audience, more regularly. Email, messaging and conferencing services are chaning the way we communicate – but we still need to simply be able to call people up on occasion to nail down important details. It’s very important to understand what works best in your business before choosing a communications method. For instance, older team members (often senior management) may prefer using a ‘landline’. Younger or more tech savvy members are already familiar with the VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) options in place.

But isn’t a phone just a phone?

To the end user, simply picking up a handset and being able to dial someone else is the goal. What happens in between is up for discussion, How that message travels can be streamlined and the costs minimised. At the point your voice gets tranformed from sound (analog) to data (digital), the route it takes can now be entirely controlled and managed via computer over the internet – taking V voice O over I internet P protocol (VoIP). Because internet plans are so competitive, you can kiss those expensive dedicated phone lines goodbye and reap the benefits that Internet Telephony can achieve.

Say goodbye to expensive PABX systems

Because the calls are instantly converted to digital, they can travel anywhere to get routed. Your “phone system” doesn’t even need to be on premises, with many business taking advantage of cloud based PABX functionality without having to have an expensive phone system in house. Often, these cloud systems have many more features such as call routing, queing and hunting built in, not purchased as extras, but as standard.

Cabling is easier too

IP Phones run off the same cabling system as the computer in your office. Most have an in and an out port, meaning you only have to lay one cable to the desk…which goes into the phone and the PC is then plugged in to the out port of the phone. They also come in a wireless flavour, meaning less clutter on the desk.

Video phones are finally here!

Many IP phones come with a built in screen and camera, so you can optionally speak face to face with the person at the other end (if they are similarly equipped).

For all your cloud migration needs, fill in your details on this form or:

CALL US 139 139

How to Transfer a Phone System to VOIP from ISDN

By: NexTel Australia

October 14, 2019

Still on ISDN? How to Transfer Your Phone System to VOIP

The NBN is dramatically improving internet communications in Australia. There are great benefits at many levels. From a medium to large business perspective, faster and more reliable Internet services mean that staff are able to easily work remotely and from many different locations enabling cloud services for phone, email, file sharing and more.

The new NBN network is displacing old PSTN and ISDN services and they will soon be phased out. The old analog “copper line" has had its day. ISDN was a real watershed for communications but that technology was introduced back in 1986 – and in this very fast moving part of telecommunications – it’s very last century! One very valuable thing that ISDN allowed was the ability to have multiple lines coming into a business on a single cable. NBN also allows the same thing, but instead of just voice and slow internet, NBN allows very high speed internet and on-demand lines for voice and video – all on a single cable. And as more services are made available on the cloud, having bandwidth on demand is becoming crucial for businesses of all sizes.

Putting your phone system in the cloud

Cloud phone services simply use the internet to connect. There are simply no separate lines needed (so no additional costs). Instead of an expensive PABX system on site, all the processing power of the system is available in the cloud. All your staff need is an internet connection – whether shared on your office site or on their mobile phone or laptop/tablet.

Features such as hunt groups, queues, auto-attendant and the like can all be switched on or off as needed – by your service provider instead of having to call a technician in to make changes to your on-premises system.

Some features that can be available are:

  • Call recording, extension dialling, auto attendant and ring groups
  • Video meetings and web conferencing
  • A single communication system for all employees across multiple locations on any device
  • Significant savings on what you are paying now

A cloud-based phone system can also have a larger impact on your medium to large business. Your workforce becomes better connected and more productive – and when more of them engage with more of your customers in real-time, your service standards improve.

A cloud based phone system is also highly scalable. As your business needs change, more locations can be opened and adding  remote workers simply takes a phone call. Existing legacy PABX systems cannot compete either from a cost or flexibility point of view.

Your business gains agility and flexibility – along with connectivity at the click of a button. Integration with your company’s CRM system is also made very easy.

For all your cloud migration needs, fill in your details on this form or:

CALL US 139 139

Choosing the business internet connection that’s right for your business

choosing-the-business-internet-connection-thats-right-for-your-business

By: NexTel Australia

October 7, 2019

Not All Business Internet Plans Are the Same

A reliable Internet connection is very important to a business, whether large or small. Choosing an Internet Provider (ISP) can be confusing at the best of times – working out which one is just right your requirements. The right business Internet plan means that your staff can communicate quickly and easily with each other, your customers and suppliers. There are many ISP’s out there, so it’s important to make time to work out which one will provide the best fit for your particular situation. It’s not just about how fast it is – flexibility and scalability are also very important factors for business internet.

We’ve put together this handy checklist to help you along.

Checklist

1. The Need for Speed

Yes, it’s not just about speed – but speed is important. A slow connection can be frustrating and reduce productivity. It’s very important that you have the right bandwidth to deal with high data usage, multi-location and sensitive data. Remember, it’s not just web traffic you are catering for – your telephone system will probably also be carried on it – imagine if your connection were so slow that your phones stopped working!

Older technology such as ADSL would offer speeds such as 24Mbps/512Kbps (asymmetric) – meaning data came down to your location faster than it travelled out. A symmetrical service might offer 2Mbps/2Mbps (symmetric), meaning it was the same speed both ways (but notice that the download speed was way slower. These speeds were also offered as “best effort” meaning that there was no guarantee that you would consistently achieve them.

2. Good Upload Speed is Critical

As more and more services have moved to the cloud, the upload speed has become very important. When your team needs to share files in many different ways to many different people, fast upload speeds are essential.

3. Great Support

In theory, you should never have to bother talking further with your ISP unless you need to make changes to your service. However, inevitably things do go wrong – and when they do, you want to make sure your ISP is able to fix them quickly and efficiently. Most ISPs now operate under a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Simply put, if they do not perform to the level of support they promise, you are entitled to be compensated. Not all SLAs are the same, but they should include at a minimum:

  • Security and Uptime Guarantees
  • Guaranteed Resolution Timelines
  • Local 24/7 technical support
  • A track record of not making customers wait on hold for unreasonable lengths of time.

NexTel Offers it All

A high speed internet connection from NexTel offers all of the above – and all competitively priced and backed by a rock solid reputation for service.

For all your cloud migration needs, fill in your details on this form or:

CALL US 139 139

The fibre installers the professionals use

the-fibre-installers-the-professionals-use

By: NexTel Australia

September 29, 2019

Professional Fibre Installers

Are you an IT business or cabler that doesn’t really specialise in fibre? Do you use a fibre installer that is not completely up to date with the latest do’s and don’ts or what’s hot? We hear some horror stories about badly performing fibre cables or installation problems that could simply have been avoided by getting the right fibre installer in the first place.

Not all Fibre Installers are Equal

Until 2014, there were no specific endorsements or training that registered cable installers needed to have to be able to install fibre optic cabling. After that date, you needed the training to get registered. However, there was never  requirement for existing registered cables to get the training – so there are plenty of businesses out there that are not fully up to date with developments in this very complicated field.

It’s Hard to Know Who to Trust

Many fibre installers are providing this service as part of a larger company that may also provide services such as IT or networking support. The last thing you want as an IT company is to introduce a competitor into one of your customers’ sites. You need a fibre installer that will give great advice, a competitive price and give you support for just what your require. It also helps if that company can provide more support with connectivity between sites, or more detailed cabling service – such as structured cabling.

Get to Know NexTel

At NexTel, we know fibre. We’ve been installing it for decades and we stay ahead of our competition by ensuring our technical staff are completely up to date with the latest improvements in the field.

For all your cloud migration needs, fill in your details on this form or:

CALL US 139 139

A virtual office can give your business a competitive edge

By: NexTel Australia

September 21, 2019

Would a Virtual Office Suit your Business?

The pressure and demand to perform faster, smarter and more efficiently is affecting small and medium sized business more and more each day. With the proliferation of new office technology, staff are able to connect to anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world, on a number of different devices. Communication tools are making it easy to connect globally in multiple locations, and many businesses are dramatically changing the way they operate.

More and more employees are either working from home or remotely. Mobile and virtual offices are gaining popularity. There is one key factor that affects all of these areas and that’s your business’ internet speed. Without a good broadband connection, your office and staff’s productivity will be dramatically reduced.

Does Your Business Need a Virtual Office?

By giving your employees mobile access to the business solutions they would be using in a physical office environment, they have the tools they need wherever they happen to be. Being able to work from anywhere, anytime on any device, your staff’s productivity increases. Your physical office doesn’t need to disappear, but giving people the flexibility to work from anywhere can improve work/life balance and job satisfaction. Spending less time on the road to the office or being stuck in traffic actually improves productivity.

There are great benefits that you can realise with the right communications setup, to allow the level of collaboration needed. It’s important that your workforce is connected to networks that are fast both ways. Being able to share screens, video conference and access shared office documents, all rely on a reliable virtual office infrastructure, professionally implemented and supported.

Want to Know More?

If you would like an obligation free consultation about your particular situation, please let us know using the form below. NexTel can supply the connection and the know how to get your virtual office off and running with the minimum of fuss.

For all your cloud migration needs, fill in your details on this form or:

CALL US 139 139

Broadband Internet Pricing to be Cut

broadband-internet-pricing-to-be-cut

By: NexTel Australia

September 14, 2019

Broadband Internet Pricing Reduced

Entry level broadband internet prices are set to come down after NBN Co detailed plans to cut prices.

They have said they plan to take 16.80 off the price of entry-level services when a low usage threshold is hit.

In June, NBN Co commenced an industry consultation on its wholesale pricing, indicating it wanted to boost sales of higher speed services along with making NBN services more available to low-income households.

The company has launched another round of consultation, indicating it would rapidly move to reduce wholesale pricing of low-end broadband services.

NBN Co also said it is proposing three new high-speed products:

  • 100/20Mbps bundle that includes 3.75Mbps of CVC at an effective wholesale charge of $58 per month.
  • 250/25Mbps bundle with 4.75Mbps of CVC for $68 per month.
  • 1000/50Mbps bundle with 5.75Mbps of included CVC for $80 per month.

The three charges represent discounts on NBN Co’s current offerings. The $80 charge for 1000/50Mbps represents a $100 cut from the current effective charge.

For all your broadband internet needs, fill in your details on this form or:

CALL US 139 139

How Hard Could Migrating to the Cloud be?

migrating-to-the-cloud

By: NexTel Australia

September 7, 2019

Migrating to the Cloud Is Not as Hard as You Might Think

Every business wants fast, easy and effective access to their data and information. To install and maintain your own infrastructure to consistently achieve this can be very expensive and time consuming. This is the reason the cloud has become such an instant hit. Instead of buying your own, you access just part of a service provider’s much larger infrastructure, using just as much as you need. As your needs grow or shrink, you can adjust your cloud service to suit. There really isn’t much you can’t buy on the cloud. ERP systems, project management tools, word processing, spreadsheets, email and CRM are all available.

Very often, you will also pay way less than if you bought, installed and ran your own systems – especially when you consider that support for cloud systems is usually included in the monthly fee. All you need on your premises is a fast internet connection and a set of devices such as desktops, laptops, printers, tablets and phones. If you get the right cloud deal – you can get these devices included as well! Migrating to the cloud makes a lot of sense – both from a cost and management perspective.

There are other less obvious benefits of migrating to the cloud as well. Availability is higher as most of these services are being paid for a level of service that usually around 99.9%. If the service level drops below that, they get refund claims… and none of them want that. Disaster recovery is also improved. Some of the other benefits are:

Workplace Mobility

Because your services are all on the cloud, your team will be able to access your business’ systems and information almost anywhere.

Your IT Team Will be More Effective

Let’s face it – IT staff are an expensive necessity. Do you really want them bogged down with fixing broken Microsoft Office installations – or would you rather them focus on business improvement projects (where they often carry the most knowledge).

Your Next Steps

Nobody would pretend that migrating to the cloud will be a walk in the park. You need to take many factors into account such as how much of your IT function you want to migrate and over what period of time. NexTel’s expert cloud migration team can assist you with all aspects of the project.

For all your cloud migration needs, fill in your details on this form or:

CALL US 139 139

What Next for the Verizon NBN Deal?

verizon nbn deal

By: NexTel Australia

August 27, 2019

What does the Verizon NBN deal mean for Australia?

The newly inked Verizon NBN deal means that NBN will have a direct route to Verizon’s existing large business and government clients for their Enterprise Ethernet service.

Whilst Verizon is a major US telco, in Australia it is a relatively small participant and focuses solely on enterprise and government, despite being here for almost 20 years. Competitors have long been eying Verizon and it now looks like it is positioning itself to dramatically increase market share. Interestingly Verizon, that commenced its partner program in 2016, now appears in talks with it’s channel community regarding the resale of it’s high end, secure services to be delivered via the Verizon NBN deal.

What does this mean for NBN?

For NBN, the Verizon NBN deal is also set to boost NBN Co’s drive into enterprise communications, and continuing it’s business and government plans first launched almost two years ago. With this agreement, NBN Co add Verizon to an existing list of resellers that include Telstra, TPG and Vocus. If this is also considered with the existing NBN Co and Cisco partnership, NBN Co now has and extremely solid approach to the enterprise communications market.

What does this mean for NexTel?

NexTel are already able to offer NBN’s Enterprise Ethernet Service to their existing or new customers. Enterprise Ethernet is a product designed for high end users who need high levels of speed, performance and reliability when moving their vital data.

All Enterprise Ethernet plans from NexTel include:

  • Dedicated NBN fibre to your sites*
  • Persistence – No slow down in busy periods
  • The Speed You Need – Speeds from 10Mbps – 1Gbps
  • Help is at Hand – Fast Australian support

Our NBN plans also include excellent call features.

  • Exchange Based Routing – automatically direct inbound calls to the nearest store of office based on the callers location.
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – A custom voice menu invites the caller to input a selection, allowing them to self-direct their call to specific departments within the company.
  • Post Code Prompting – The caller is greeted by a voice message inviting them to enter their postcode. Once entered our routing engine will transfer that call to the store or office that serves that area.
  • Call Evaluation – Improve the performance of your team with call evaluation. At the conclusion of every call an online form will prompt the user to input information which can be reviewed by the business or by a 3rd party.
  • Time Based Routing – Direct incoming calls automatically to any answer point during specific times or dates, programmable one year in advance.
  • Call Outcome – Discover the ROI each sales call with call outcome. At the end of each sales call the team member is prompted to input the result of the call.

* subject to availability

Are there WiFi Office Phones?

wifi office phones

By: NexTel Australia

August 24, 2019

Can You Get a Wifi Office Phones?

With technology absolutely everywhere now, cabling is becoming every more difficult to manage in the office. WiFi has been a great way to connect your computers and mobile devices, but what about WiFI office phones? Well, they’re here now, and many existing handsets can be fitted with WiFi dongles for as little as $50.

When you consider that running a cable to a point in the office can often cost three times as much, WiFi office phones make a lot of sense. If your current handsets cannot use a dongle, replacing them with WiFi office phones will still probably be more cost effective. And you get the added bonus of less wires on your desk!

How WiFi Works

A WiFi network makes use of radio waves to transmit and receive information across a network. A WiFi device includes an adapter that will translate data to a radio signal. This same signal will be transmitted to another device known as the router. Once received, that data will be sent to the Internet through a wired Ethernet connection.

As the wireless router works as a two-way traffic, the data received from the Internet will also pass through the router to be received by your WiFi device’s wireless adapter.

For Wifi Office Phones to Work, You Need a Good WiFi Infrastructure.

Depending on the size of your office, sometimes a single WiFi access point is not enough. So what happens when you need to add another one? It’s not as straightforward as it sounds – WiFi access points need to be installed and configured in such a way that they can share information between themselves and the rest of the network. NexTel are highly experienced when it comes to implementing structured WiFi. As more and more devices in the office become WiFi enabled, a professionally managed, secure installation is becoming ever more necessary.

Of course, all WiFi access points will be connected to the network via cabling, and NexTel have a long history of providing high quality data cabling installations for small, medium and large offices.

What’s Next?

If you would like to find out if you existing system can be adapted for WiFi office phones, or to get your office cabling up to scratch, please get in touch with NexTel.