As the nbn™ continues to roll out many businesses are already enjoying the improved efficiencies and boost to productivity that can come with fast downloads and uploads, it’s no secret other businesses are eagerly waiting to experience the differences Australia’s biggest infrastructure project could bring. (We hear you!)
Do you know what to expect? With just a little planning and know-how, switching to the nbn™ is a smooth process for businesses. Test your nbn™ knowledge and learn more about the upgrade with the Smarter Business nbn™-ready True or False Quiz.
All Australian businesses will be connected to nbn™.
Ultimately all Australian businesses will be connected to the nbn™ network – from remote desert locations and regional centres to the cities’ urban sprawls – offering unprecedented possibilities for doing business in an increasingly interconnected world. The nbn™ rollout is well underway. Check if your business already has access.
If the network is not available in your area yet, you can register your business to receive an email when the nbn™ is available at your address.
nbn™ won’t make much difference to my business.
For starters, the fast download and uploads made possible by the nbn™ can help make the basics of running a business more efficient, from transferring files – including large videos and presentations – to accessing your business data and backing it up in the cloud.
Fast broadband also offers scope for new business models – for example, moving to e-commerce when you’ve always been a bricks-and-mortar store or delivering your services remotely. You may impress prospective customers with new digital content, or organise digital meet-ups with team members or customers from different locations in Australia or the world.
Once everyone can readily connect and collaborate, you may decide you need less commercial space. Discuss the possibilities with your internet provider ahead of time.
My business doesn’t need to do anything to switch to nbn™
You won’t be connected to the nbn™ network automatically. You need to contact your preferred phone or internet service provider to discuss your requirements.
It’s important to make sure any new product or service you buy from now on is ‘nbn™-ready’. This may save you spending more when connection time comes. You can also minimise the chance of any disruption to your business by being prepared for your switchover to nbn™.
There’s not much to plan with my business because I’ll just be switching my connection/s over to the nbn™.
If your business has multiple sites, bear in mind nbn™co. will connect each site individually, according to its geographic roll-out plan – for instance, a Victorian office may be connected before a NSW one and vice versa.
Planning should begin long before work starts on your business sites if you want to help with a smooth transition and to help you take advantage of the opportunities of fast broadband.
Step 1: Consider your current needs and business challenges: what changes will be required to your existing services? Take advantage of the insights of experts who have been working on NBN migration solutions to help you configure your network design. An ICT audit and a “roadmap” to show you the way forward may also assist.
Step 2 : You may also wish to seize the opportunity to learn more about the possible future capabilities for your business that come with fast broadband and making plans for those as well.
Once access to the nbn™ is available in my area, my business will become a customer of nbn™co.
nbn™co. is a wholesaler and does not provide services directly to end-users. When you are ready to connect, your first point of contact will be with a phone or internet service provider. They should offer a range of different plans and take you through the step-by-step instructions on how to set up your business for the nbn™ network. If you’re connecting to the nbn™ via Fibre to the Basement or Fibre to the Node technology, you won’t need to arrange an nbn™co. appointment. Learn more about the different types of connections in the Smarter nbn™ Pocket Guide.
I will have to shut down my business while the connection is installed.
Business continuity is important. No business will need to shut down. Most installations for smaller sites take between two to four hours. Multiple sites require expertise in network integration and security to ensure minimal disruption.
Your main phone number should be diverted to a mobile while the installation takes place. More often than not, you can continue to use your existing internet services until your new nbn™ equipment has been installed and your upgraded service has been activated. Much depends on the type of nbn™ service being connected. When your service provider organises your appointment with an nbn™ installer, ask for an estimate of how much time it’s likely to take and exactly what’s involved for your business.
Technology is a great enabler, but it can’t make business smarter.
Technology alone won’t make your business smarter. You need the lowdown on the exciting capabilities possible with fast broadband. The switch to nbn™ presents an opportunity to share your strategies or even pipe dreams with an experienced technology provider and discuss the possibilities for your business.
nbn™ isn’t just a change of access network, it’s a chance to find ways to work smarter and transform your business. This is the time to share your strategies and aspirations for your business with industry-specific technology experts who can help you devise network solutions to allow you tap the potential of fast broadband – access to many applications and storage in the cloud, and more effective ways to manage suppliers are just a few examples. The Internet of Things is also making almost every business asset a source of data. This information is particularly powerful if used in near-real-time to help you and your employees make decisions to help your business becomes more responsive.
Remember the nbn™ upgrade isn’t a one-off opportunity. Technology is developing fast, so regular conversations with experts to learn about new ways to help you enhance productivity, collaboration and growth for your business are recommended.
My business will need to make space for the new nbn™ equipment.
To get you connected, your service provider will arrange an nbn™co. appointment on your behalf and, if necessary, the installation of a utility box at each location. Not all connections will need them. You’ll learn more about this closer to the time, but it’s good to consider in advance some likely locations for the nbn™ Utility Box and the Connection Box.
Larger sites may require more than one utility box and additional cabling.
The nbn™ Utility Box and Connection Box is a permanent fixture so you need to find a spot that will suit the design and construction of your business premises, the equipment you want to connect to it and, importantly, the need for a power point. The nbn™ enclosure and, in some cases, a battery back-up power supply will need to be screwed to a wall.
Yes, we said battery! Just in case the power fails, the battery will keep your connection up and running for about five hours.
On installation day, your installer will drill a small hole through your wall and feed the fibre-optic cable from the outside into the nbn™ connection box.
New fast broadband through the nbn™ costs more for businesses.
There’s no charge for a standard installation by nbn™co., but keep in mind that additional cabling or equipment to extend the reach and capabilities within the premises may incur additional charges.
You may opt to boost the speed of the already-fast, entry-level 12 Mbps that will be delivered by nbn™. Broadband speeds up to 100 Mbps are available. Your service provider can offer competitively-priced plans, which cover speed boosts.
A standard installation by nbn™co. currently comes at no charge to the user.
When the nbn™ is available at your premises, you’ll need to move to an nbn™ plan to stay connected (unless you’re serviced by Fixed Wireless or Satellite). Your preferred provider can help you determine the best plans for your business.
Before making a decision on a plan, bear in mind the potential for business that comes with fast broadband. It’s a chance to optimise your network design and introduce new time and money-saving tools, such as HD videoconferencing instead of travelling to meetings or to connect with far-away customers. You can take full advantage of cloud-based servers for applications and storage.
We’ll need to update all our business’s tech equipment for the new fast nbn™.
Computers, tablets and many other devices will need no change, but you must contact your service provider to find out if your existing communications equipment is nbn™-compatible. You may need to order a specific type of phone service on the nbn™ network. Not all phone services use the dedicated UNI-V ports on the back of the nbn™ connection boxes.
Other equipment that operates via a landline also may need to change. If you have EFTPOS machines, fax machines, alarm systems, health claim machines or fire indicator panels, you may also be required to switch these. Before you move across to the nbn™ network, please check with your equipment manufacturer or supplier about compatibility with nbn™. A full ICT audit and migration plan can help you to co-ordinate disconnection and reconnection dates for specialised services.
My phones and internet will be automatically disconnected once construction for nbn™ begins in my area.
The disconnection of the existing network will not happen immediately after construction begins in your area, but will take place gradually, and you will be given ample notice ahead of time to make the switch. You will be notified that the nbn™ network is available in your area 18 months before the scheduled disconnection date. It’s a good idea to switch to the nbn™ network well beforehand to allow time for your order to be processed, and for installation, if applicable this is particularly important for businesses with more than one site.
You need to know that moving to nbn™ broadband will not necessarily cancel your previous broadband and phone services. Once you've upgraded, call your existing provider to ensure your old services are cancelled.
My business is based in a regional area, so I will need to have a satellite dish installed at my business.
A satellite nbn™ connection means internet is transmitted via a nbn™co. satellite to a satellite dish fitted on the roof of your business. This is intended for users in remote locations and should affect only about 3% of the population, with Fixed Wireless servicing another 5%. Nbn™co. will determine the type of connection required at each premise.
Find out more about the different types of nbn™ connections in our Smarter nbn™ Pocket Guide.
nbn™ involves a new generation of equipment that my employees will need to be trained to operate.
Not so. In terms of connection to the nbn™ there’s no new technology to learn. However, the capacity to bring on the new – new customers, new ways of collaborating and operating your business as well as new ways of working – may call for new technology to help speed you to greater efficiencies and productivity. Cloud services, virtual private networks and advanced collaboration through HD video are already helping Australian businesses compete locally and globally. The choice of new equipment is yours entirely, but do let your broadband service provider run through some of the exciting options.
I’ve heard once nbn™ is installed Australia-wide, my business won’t need to have an office.
Much depends on the size and nature of your business, but it is true that even medium-sized businesses with many field workers – tradies and mobile healthcare consultancies, for example – may be able to operate without an HQ due to the collaborative and greater connectivity of fast broadband. Others may be able to reduce the commercial space they need as the nbn™’s speeds will allow much faster downloads and uploads, so business owners and their employees can work effectively from home – or even a café.
One of Australia’s leading demographers, Bernard Salt, has already spotted this trend: “Widespread access to fast broadband means the office is no longer the anchor; it is simply a touch-down point as new technology liberates businesses from the confines of set working hours or spaces.”
nbn™ will make doing business easier.
Sure will. When the nbn™ rollout is complete, businesses can be confident that Australian customers, suppliers and employees have access to broadband speeds of at least 12 Mbps (megabits per second).
For businesses this means access to a great range of voice services, smart call management, fast downloads and rapid uploads, remote working, state-of-the-art security systems, media streaming and cloud computing, all helping to improve productivity and efficiency – reducing travel costs is just one of those ways. It will also be easier for your business to reach customers in an increasingly connected global marketplace, and vice versa.
Learn how to choose the right nbn plan for your business.Find Out MoreLearn how to choose the right nbn plan for your business.
Things you need to know
Telstra services on the nbn™ network are not available to all areas or customers. In areas serviced by nbn co Telstra may be required to connect services onto the nbn™ network. Once you are connected to the nbn™ network, you won’t be able to move to our copper network. nbn™, nbn co and other nbn™ logos and brands are trademarks of nbn co limited and used under licence. Speed: Actual speeds will be slower and will vary for a number of reasons including your equipment/software, data source and content type, the number of users and the performance of interconnecting infrastructure not operated by Telstra. Speeds may be slower when your devices are connected by Wi-Fi rather than Ethernet cable or if you’re a Telstra Air member and you’re using your home broadband services at the same time. The spectrum device, ™ and ® are trademarks and are registered trademarks of Telstra Corporation Limited, ABN 33 051 775 556.