The Risks Big Businesses Need To Consider In The NBN Rollout
How To Avoid Risk In Your Business With The NBN Rollout
Millions of Australian businesses will eventually need to make the switch to NBN. Switching to the NBN is not optional.
Today we are talking with David Colletta, Managing Director of Prosum, about the pitfalls to avoid to make sure your business has all the bases covered in terms of your phone and internet connection when NBN rolls out in your area.
Listen to the interview or read the interview below.
Caroline: Let’s start at the beginning. What is the NBN and why is it being rolled out?
David: Well, the NBN as we know stands for the National Broadband Network, and it’s been designed to provide fast and reliable broadband to homes and businesses right across the country. When it’s completed, it will provide the ability to stream, download, and work at much faster speeds than traditional ADSL technology.
Caroline: We all know that across the country, there are challenges with coverage in regards to the internet. I could go over to Asia and have better internet coverage than Australia. So, the basis for NBN is to bring us in line with other countries in terms of speed, right?
David: Correct, Caroline. We basically have for many years been suffering speeds that haven’t been so adequate, especially in regional country. I guess the government has created an initiative that we’re all on the level playing field, whether we’re in country Victoria or regional Queensland, or for that matter, that we’re actually having something that compares to metro cities, that we’re all on par. And at the same time, being able to compete globally with what other countries are actually delivering to their businesses and homes.
Caroline: It sounds like a great initiative by the government in terms of being able to facilitate that we have that capacity within Australia, whether you be in regional areas or not. But there has been some coverage lately relating to the NBN speeds and in particular, I was interested in the ACCC who has sent a warning to service providers about the speed performance and delivering on speed promises to consumers. Can you tell us about that?
David: Well that’s actually quite interesting what’s been developing lately in the media. We’re all expecting to get what we pay for, however, this really hasn’t been the case with NBN so far. The speeds that are advertised are often shrouded in T&Cs that we may miss, and what happens because of this results in much lower speeds than expected. Speeds are often at their worst during peak times, especially when everyone’s at home, or in businesses downloading and streaming. That does make a difference in what outcome and the final speed that we’re able to use.
What the ACCC wants to do is line up more closely the advertised download speeds that we often see on websites and what the expected download speed would be during those timeframes. That’s the end game, so that there’s better clarity around what we’re expected to get as opposed to what we’re thinking we’re going to get.
Caroline: So setting the right expectation upfront?
David: Exactly right.
Caroline: Okay. Tell me a little bit about how incorrect expectations, can affect businesses because my understanding is that once the NBN is being rolled out, you actually have no choice. You’ve got a set timeframe to convert to NBN, so how will that actually affect businesses?
David: What we’re seeing at the moment, and let’s face it, NBN is in its infancy, so there have been scenarios where businesses have had no choice and they’ve had to actually move away from the copper lines, which is primarily the reason why essentially what NBN has said that we’re actually rolling in the new technology. But rolling in the new technology means they’re taking away something, so taking away that particular technology from businesses and they’re forced to do so, has resulted in really these shortcomings on what the replacement has been.
Essentially, we’re finding that when businesses go to reuse the certain devices or internet or broadband, or even telephony for that matter, once they’ve moved over to NBN, it just hasn’t been the same as when they had the old technology. We’re seeing lots and lots of complaints out there in the media saying, “We can’t make calls, we can’t stream.” It’s just been a really bad experience and I guess the end objective and what carriers should be aiming to do over the next 2-3 years, when the NBN has matured, is basically have something that is far superior to what they’ve moved away from.
Caroline: I agree, there’s no point otherwise, is there?
Caroline: Now, let’s talk about the communication devices that will affect the NBN in busines s, so that businesses can prepare to look at how it will affect their businesses and what they need to do.
David: Sure. So, I guess the major one that we in this country have a lot of, we’re built on copper technology. That’s the cable that we’ve traditionally known to have for many, many years. Based on that technology, we tend to have certain devices that marry up quite well to that type of copper lines. Now, we know them as analogue handsets and devices of some sort, so we see them in homes quite often.
What we’re suggesting is there’s a lot of reliance on those devices right now, within businesses, so that’s one of the first things that businesses should start understanding is how many of those they have. Just to give you a bit of an insight of what analogues are commonly used for, they are used in lifts, there’s gate intercoms, taxi phones, private payphones. They’re the sort of things that there’s lots and lots and lots of those in businesses.
We’re saying that if you are relying on those devices, which we know that there are many large and small organisations that have plenty of those, proper planning is required to ensure that they continue to operate after NBN rolls in.
Caroline: What advice do you have for business owners in preparing for the NBN rollout? How do they ensure that their business is ready to adapt?
David: So, one of the first things that needs to be understood is, will, NBN delivers up to a certain bandwidth. So, in order to accommodate a like for like, if that’s the way the businesses are planning to go, they should start auditing the equipment that they have onsite. That will give them an indication of what is required to actually sustain either a direct model through the NBN or potentially a hybrid model which would allow them to contain a lot of the equipment purely onsite, as opposed to using NBN in its entirety from a communication path.
So, the first step would be ideally just to audit the absolute necessities within a business, and once they’ve established that, then engaging a partner would be a wise move, just to understand what is going to be available for them from a bandwidth perspective. And then making a decision based on should they totally rely on the NBN to service all their communications, or do they look at a hybrid model where they only use a portion of the NBN and then rely internally on their own network to maybe manage or function the services, gate phones, and taxis, and lift phones et cetera?
Caroline: Sure. I think that that’s really good advice, particularly in doing the audit to understand where this might impact you, so you can make an informed decision about how to move forward. But secondly, as we mentioned earlier on in the piece is that there are no consistencies currently in the delivery of the bandwidth et cetera, so it can have an impact on businesses. As you mentioned, as the NBN matures, we’ll see more of that consistency but in its infancies, it’s really important for organisations to be aware of how that can impact your business and plan for that.
David: Absolutely. I think I tend to agree with that. You will just find that at this stage, depending on the location of where the business is, it will make a difference in what availability they have. Once a business or residential location gets the notice that NBN is in the area, the first step would be to engage a reseller of some description to see what is available out there for their particular location.
Caroline: Yes. Particularly engaging an expert who is able to look at everything objectively, and give you the necessary advice.
David: Correct. A whole of business approach is what we absolutely recommend. Someone that can come in, make the recommendation from what they’ve got onsite to what type of connection they should have, and assisting with the onsite deployment, too. So, a complete end to end telecommunication company that has a complete end to end ability to do all those things.
Caroline: Yep, agree. Thank you so much for your time today, David.
David: Pleasure, Caroline.
Do not leave it to the last minute, ensure you know exactly what is required to make your business NBN ready and to avoid the costly mistakes many businesses are making by not being prepared.
At Prosum we can help you with these changes and provide a quick and reliable service for you and your business. Contact for advice today.
We provide communication and technology solutions to businesses of all sizes, across all industries, right around Australia. With 50 years of expertise, no one knows technology and communication like Prosum.
From Hosted PABX and VoIP solutions to cloud-based phone systems, NEC Phone System Support and SIP Lines, we provide expert advice on the communication products and services that will suit your organisations’ needs.
If you would like to discuss how your corporation can improve communications, or to discuss how the NBN may impact your organisation call us today for expert advice – call 1800 007 229 or visit www.prosum.com.au we’d love to hear from you.