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Many business are not aware of what will happen if they don’t switch to the NBN. Despite the National Broadband Network (NBN) dominating national discussion since its inception in 2009, many Australian business’s are still unaware of the consequences if they don’t connect to the NBN Internet network.
Indeed a recent survey conducted by finder.com.au revealed that more than half of Australia’s population has no idea of the repercussions of being in an NBN-ready location and not activating their connection. I suspect that blasé attitude is due to techy terminology and the fact that the network has been redesigned several times and the dates for rollout often seem to shift — who can honestly keep up? Time-poor business owners are unlikely to make a change if their existing Internet connection seems to be working OK. But that’s not a sensible long-term attitude. Consumers and businesses alike need to be mindful of the changes to how they can access the internet, and be aware of the problems that could result from continued NBN apathy.
1) Faster internet speeds means greater efficiency Early last year an nbn co study estimated that NBN-connected small businesses would add a further $4 billion to Australia’s GDP. Faster internet offers the opportunity for greater productivity within the business. Whether that’s through ecommerce, the opportunity to work more effectively from home, or the ability to create better user experiences for your customers, the NBN will provide you and your business with multiple benefits.
2) You might have your phone and internet disconnected If you neglect to make the switch once your business premise is NBN-ready, you’ll eventually face both internet and phone disconnection. 18 months after the NBN becomes available at a given location, whether that’s a home or a business, the existing copper phone network is switched off. Granted, this would only occur after 18 months of being NBN ready, but it can be very problematic. In particular if the business phone system is not a NBN ready Phone System, the business could be without phone lines for some time.
Between December 2016 and June 2017, we estimate that over 300,000 premises will face possible disconnection. This can have devastating impacts on businesses, especially those that rely heavily on the internet. Now I’m not saying you need to switch the day the NBN is ready for service. But you need to be aware of when the NBN is coming to your business, be mindful of the 18-month window, and switch to the NBN before then. Even if you only lose connection for a day, that’s still profits lost and customers disappointed.
3) You could end up paying more With ADSL (the current broadband option for most businesses), internet providers regularly offer two basic choices in terms of plans: month-to-month, which are at a higher cost but allow for greater flexibility, or 24-month plans, which are typically cheaper but keep you locked to a single provider.
You may be thinking the longer contract is the way to go: as a business owner you want to cut costs where you can to increase your profits. However, if you’re one of the 2.4 million Aussies unaware of whether your premises is NBN ready, you might be signing a contract that overlaps with when your business can make the switch. End result? You’ll lose money and time in getting out of your contract. That’s doubly frustrating given that you should have a wider range of choices for NBN services compared to ADSL.
If you’re not sure how to find out whether your office is NBN-ready, check out finder.com.au’s NBN tracker. This gives you a rollout progress update and tells you which technology you can expect to be launched in your area, as well as showing you what plans are on offer.
These days the internet is crucial to running a successful business. So instead of zoning out when talks of the NBN arise, take a minute to listen in and make the switch to the NBN. It could save your business some money in the long run. Alex Kidman 24.01.2017