Everything small businesses need to know about the NBN

We get it - NBN is confusing.

Amidst the changing timeline about when it’s being introduced and the mixed messages of the advantages that it will bring, it can be hard to know what you need to do next as a small business owner.

We recognise that transitioning to the NBN can be a complicated process. That’s why we’ve broken down and answered the most common questions that small businesses have about the NBN.

When is the NBN coming?

About four months ago, NBN Co (the company who is building the NBN) announced that nearly three in four homes and businesses could now connect their services to the NBN. An additional 628,000 homes and businesses are expected to be connected by the end of this month. The total number of homes and businesses able to connect to the NBN is now up to 9.5 million as of the NBN’s latest report in May.

Source: https://www2.nbnco.com.au/corporate-information/about-nbn-co/updates/dashboard-may-2019

Despite this, there’s still some places that have found themselves left behind or unable to connect. You can use the NBN coverage checker to find out where the progress of the rollout is in your area. Once your area becomes eligible, you will have 18 months to move across before you get disconnected.

You’re free to move away from Telstra

A big upside to the NBN is that you’re not locked into a service with Telstra, as the NBN is offered across-the-board through your own phone and Internet provider. While it’s NBN Co who are in charge of building the NBN, your existing phone and Internet providers will be the one supplying it to you.

Which of my business services will the NBN affect?

A common misconception is that the NBN will only affect the Internet service your computer uses. The introduction of the NBN actually affects a whole range of communication and data services, from your phone lines and fax machines to your EFTPOS terminal.

It's not just phones - payment devices like EFTPOS machines are affected by the NBN too.

You’ll also need to figure out which business equipment needs to be connected to the network, which could include security systems and lift phones.

Your provider should be able to tell you about the process for migrating all these different services across to the NBN. If you’re renting a building or an office space, contact your landlord to figure out where the necessary equipment from NBN Co should be installed.

Get a step ahead of the competition

If you feel like you’ve just had another pile of tasks added to your plate after reading all that, we know the feeling. The rollout of the NBN gives SMBs a lot to think about for their communication needs.

Even if the NBN is a long way off from reaching your business, you can still get ahead of the competition through taking action today, which will help you avoid delays and downtime in the future.

What do I have to do next?

Moving to the NBN is not automatic – you have to let your provider know that you want to order an NBN service (once you get notified that it’s available). There is unlikely to be any interruption of your services while the switchover occurs, but it’s best to confirm this with your provider.

Once you're eligible for the NBN, you have to contact your provider to get your numbers transferred across.

While your physical business phone system will continue to work with the NBN, your phone numbers will not be automatically transferred across. Contact your provider to begin this process (called ‘number porting’) as the time it takes varies depending on a range of factors, including how many lines you have.

Make the move into the cloud

The introduction of the NBN is a great opportunity to reassess your telecom needs. If you don’t want the hassle or financial upkeep of maintaining an on-premise phone system, your phone and your fax services can be seamlessly moved into the cloud.

When this happens, you’re freed from bulky and outdated physical equipment for your communication. Being in the cloud means that all your phone and fax systems are now stored and operated online through software that acts just like a physical phone but lets you make calls over the Internet.

ADSL to NBN is an easy upgrade

You don’t need to wait for the NBN to start getting ready. If you choose an ADSL plan with an easy NBN upgrade, then the same modem will work for both NBN and ADSL, saving you money down the line.

There are no hidden costs when you switch over and your data inclusions will be the same. All that changes is you’ll get upgraded to the NBN when it’s available for your business.

Pre-register today so you know when the NBN is coming to you and we’ll monitor your area. We’ll let you know when the option to switchover becomes available and talk you through the next steps.