The good news is that there are a few simple things you can do to prepare your business for the new broadband infrastructure before it becomes available, so that there are fewer complications and fewer reasons to delay when the time comes.
Connected devices and services
Services like EFTPOS or fax machines, back-to-base security alarms or fire alarms were originally designed to run on copper-based telephone networks, not data networks. If you’ve used these services for a while, you might be using a version that requires an old-fashioned phone connection. As the nbn network will replace those connections, you may not be able to keep the faxes flowing and the burglars at bay if your equipment is incompatible. It can be a highly stressful setback to discover your business-critical services are incompatible halfway through the nbn migration process and can seriously delay, or even prevent, your ability to benefit from the new network.
Therefore, check the compatibility of your equipment with the relevant providers. Then, if you need to upgrade your phone systems or fax, EFTPOS or back-to-base alarms, you’ll have the time to do so. That way, you’ll be confident your equipment will be nbn-ready when the time comes.
After all, when it’s time to arrange your nbn switch-over with your chosen provider, you only want to worry about completing the migration process rather than suddenly scrambling to upgrade or replace several essential pieces of equipment.
Checking for weak links
Your internet connection is just one part of the technology ecosystem within your business. It’s likely that each task you want to perform relies on a combination of devices, apps and network technologies. That’s why it's also worth thinking about your other technology now, to ensure none of the potential benefits of the nbn network are lost due to weak links in the chain or outdated equipment.
Maybe your business hopes to embrace video conferencing, for example. Even if you do sign up for a higher speed tier on the nbn network (always remembering that actual speeds experienced on the network will vary), there are a number of factors that might impact the reliability of video streaming beyond the upload/download speed. If your PCs are a bit long in the tooth, you may need newer models with good cameras and increased processing power.
Consider your networking equipment too. Is your Wi-Fi network equipment capable of handling the necessary data transfer speeds for a stable video conferencing session, even when there may be a number of people in the office accessing your Wi-Fi network at the same time? Or maybe there are potential sources of interference with your Wi-Fi signal. The last thing you want half way through an important video conference is for the stream to start dropping out because someone switched on the microwave in the office kitchen.
Don’t automatically assume these things will need to be replaced. You may just need to reconfigure a few settings or adjust the way you set up the various technologies. For example, you might investigate whether you could set up an Ethernet cable connection between your network router and some high-traffic devices like desktop computers.
You may find your current setup is perfectly capable of extracting the best possible performance from your nbn network connection without any issues. But if you’re unsure, check the technical specifications with your equipment provider who may also have advice on how best to reconfigure or optimise their use. That way, you’ll be confident everything is good to go with less risk of frustration when you switch to the nbn network.
Of course, you don't need to do all of these checks and upgrades at once. Instead, check Telstra’s nbn rollout map to find out when the new network will be available in your area and then prioritise what's most important to your business, spreading the changes across the intervening period. Find out more about what to consider – as well as a checklist to help you prepare – with our guide to choosing the right nbn plan.
nbn, nbn co and other nbn logos and brands are trade marks of nbn co limited and used under license.
*Originally published November 14th, 2017. Updated February 12th, 2019.