Is your business NBN ready? What does that even mean?
Unless you have been operating under a rock for the last few years you would be aware of the roll out of the National Broadband Network. For better or for worse is is going to happen so it is best to be prepared for it when it becomes available in your area.
There are multiple different delivery methods but the five things to think about to become NBN Ready are:
- Your phone system
- Your alarm system
- Your EFTPOS and/or HiCAPS machines
- Your modem/router
- Your franking machine
It is more than likely you will have to change your lines. Regardless of what you may have been told (even by ‘trusted’ advisors) almost all phone systems are NBN compatible with some additional hardware or in the case of more modern systems some licenses. The VoIP lines will be a lot cheaper and more flexible. They will also allow portability should you move office.
If your alarm system depends on having an analogue line to connect with the monitoring centre then this will no longer be available in most cases and an alternative has to be used. That alternative is probably a GSM module which can give you a better level of security depending on how often it polls the monitoring centre.
If your EFTPOS or HiCAPS machines use an analogue line to dial then, like the alarm, in most cases this line won’t be available. Even in Fibre to the Premises sites where an analogue line can be supplied, HiCAPS machines are notoriously unreliable and this is also unsupported by HiCAPS. The best option is to get the machine updated for one with a network port on it so you can run it over the Internet. Transactions will go through a lot quicker that way.
If you have a plain ADSL modem/router then it is likely to need updating to support either VDSL or just Ethernet. If you are using a domestic grade router then it is probably worthwhile considering a proper device suited for commercial applications as that will provide the best experience.
Businesses that send a lot of letters can use a franking machine to stamp them and get a bulk discount over posting them at a Post Office. In some cases the franking machine will dial a 1900 number to perform a top up. Very few carriers will carry a 1900 call on their VoIP service because it is too hard to bill. This may present an issue of phone lines to VoIP.
A word about retailers: Bearing in mind that the wholesale cost of a port is around $60 a month then if a retailer is selling it for less are they running at a loss? Of course not! They will be sharing your port with another customer and limiting your speed potential. If you choose a decent retailer then again you are likely to have a better experience than choosing a $29.95 a month plan shared with several other people.
You may also have heard the word ‘co-existence’ used. This is used to describe when an area is in transition. NBN is available but there are still older ADSL and PSTN services that require NBN to turn down the power on their side to avoid interfering with the older circuits. When co-existence occurs then the guaranteed speed is only 12Mbps down and 1Mbps up or roughly the same as a typical ADSL connection. If you are only going to get the same speed as you have you may be wondering why you should change sooner rather than later? In our experience despite the threat of co-existence customers seem to be receiving pretty close to full speed so there is no issue with moving sooner rather than later and enjoying greater flexibility and lower ongoing costs.
The ‘copper cutoff’ for PSNT lines and ADSL is around 18 months after an area is declared NBN ready. There are certain legacy services such as ISDN and some data services that can remain on copper for a little longer but a timeline has been released for their eventual disconnection here. Do bear in mind that the carriers will want you to migrate earlier and will be regularly raising the price for the legacy services so it is worthwhile migrating before you are forced to.
A word about speeds: After years of slow ADSL speeds it is tempting to go for the top NBN speed but you may be disappointed when you don’t get anywhere near it. Particularly if you are going onto a contract it is worthwhile contracting at the 50/20 speed and you then have the option of going to the 100/40 speed but if the end result is a circuit that is not much faster then you can drop back to the contracted speed without penalty.
The NBN is a minefield and horror stories are common such as people being sold a $15,000 phone system when their existing system could have been upgraded with a $1000 card or people losing their numbers for months. We perform many NBN conversions with several retailers and guide customers through the minefield to successful outcomes with minimum downtime.
Please contact us to assist with your journey to become NBN Ready.