The NBN broadband access network is rolling out throughout Australia. You may have received a notice of the upgrade already, or you’re anticipating one.
Whether you like it or not, you’re required to make the switch 18 months after your area is notified before the old connections are shut off.
Read on to learn what the NBN is, and how to choose the right plan for your business once the time comes in this quick guide!
What is the NBN?
NBN is an acronym that stands for National Broadband Network. The Federal Government is funding this Australia-wide project. It provides future-proof, supercharged Internet connections to homes and businesses.
NBN Plans & Costs
NBN plans are structured around five different tiers of connectivity, and their down/upload speeds are as follows:
- Tier 1 (Basic): 12Mbps Download, 1Mbps Upload
- Tier 2 (Standard): 25Mbps Download, 10Mbps Upload
- Tier 3 (Standard Plus): 50Mbps Download, 20Mbps Upload
- Tier 4 (Premium): 100Mbps Download, 40Mbps Upload
These are the maximum speeds you can achieve with these plans, but it will vary depending on the provider you choose and congestion during peak hours.
The fees associated with these plans contain the monthly fee, upfront costs, and the minimum contract period. Some providers also provide entertainment bundles, such as TV set-top boxes. Installation within your building is free of charge, however, you don’t get to choose the technology the installers use.
For Tier 1 Basic service, the cost ranges from A$29 to A$60, with a minimum contract period of 24 months. Tier 4 Premium, the highest level of service, tends to range from A$60 to A$100.
It’s recommended to compare plans by calculating the cost of a 24-month subscription. Once you purchase a plan but find yourself without Internet during the switch over for more than 3 days, your provider is required to provide free interim service, such as more mobile data.
Choosing Your NBN Plan
You need to know your business’s data requirements and budget in order to choose the best plan for you. Bandwidth, expressed in megabits per second (Mbps), describes how much of that data can be transferred through the network to your devices over a specific period of time.
For example, more bandwidth means quickly downloading email attachments, streaming music and movies, and uploading images on social media.
ISPs have an incentive to convince you to go with unlimited data plans or their highest level of service, but your requirements may be easily met with a cheaper plan that is just as reliable.
You also need to make sure to read the fine print–if a low-cost plan seems too good to be true, this is probably because there are higher set-up fees or bundles.
Things to Consider
When choosing your plan, there are a few things you should consider.
Data speeds: A good idea is to overestimate the amount of data you need. Take into account your typical day-to-day Internet usage, and the amount of networked equipment in your office.
Set-up costs: Make sure you take into account the initial set-up costs as well as the monthly costs, along with the level of service. For instance, some ISPs will charge no initial set-up cost, but with a steep monthly rate.
Early termination: You may not want to be stuck in a longterm contract, and month-to-month plans allow you to cancel anytime without extra costs. However, this means they’ll also be more expensive on a monthly basis.
Call allowance: Don’t forget to get an idea of your typical phone usage. Some plans include phone features like unlimited local calls and international call allowances.
Customer support: Research the ISP’s reputation online and whether people are happy with their level of service. It’s important that when an issue occurs, you’ll receive prompt, professional assistance.
Enhanced Service Level Agreement (eSLA): A business NBN typically comes with support arrangements that guarantee fast response times and better availability. Make sure you research if these claims are true for the ISP you’re considering.
Hardware and equipment: Some plans may include routers or other equipment. Research whether a provider charges extra to bundle a modem, and whether it would be more cost-effective to purchase them separately.
Benefits of the NBN
Faster Internet connectivity provides a host of benefits for your business that you may not have considered. Those benefits include:
- More engagement–You’ll have fewer people leaving your website because of slow loading times. You can add better features to your website since loading times won’t be affected, such as high-resolution images, interactive animations, and more videos.
- Increased productivity–If you have remote, overseas, or at-home workers, this bolsters their productivity by cutting out downtime. Of course, a reliable Internet connection will mean less downtime waiting on customer support.
- Cloud-based services–Your business will be able to access data within the cloud faster, no matter what device you’re using. Your business can also take advantage of cloud-based services that backup your data in the background.
- Versatility–A high-speed connection opens up more opportunities for your business. This includes video conferencing for meetings and engaging with customers worldwide.
Making the Upgrade
It may have seemed like a daunting process when you were first introduced to it. However, finding an NBN plan that suits your needs is an easy infrastructure upgrade for a fast, reliable Internet.
If the NBN is already available in your area, making the switch is as simple as contacting the Internet provider you’ve chosen.
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