Your NBN Check List is Here
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 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.
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.
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.