The NBN is a nationwide project commissioned by the Federal Government of Australia to connect the country by providing all Australian homes and businesses with secure and dependable internet connections.
Since planning began in 2009, more than five million Australian homes and businesses have been connected to NBN, with a planned eight million homes and businesses to be connected by 2020.
A change in technology such as this will have a direct effect on how the approximately two million small businesses in Australia operate. More importantly, it will change how businesses communicate over the phone, which is crucial to many growing small businesses. To ensure that your business’ communications have a smooth transition to the NBN phone system, here are a few things you need to know.
Can I choose not to convert to the NBN phone system?
The Australian government plans to connect the entire country via NBN and to phase out other forms of communication technology. Therefore, while you can choose to hold onto your current telephone lines, you will not have too long before you are unable to use them anymore and will need to get set up on the NBN phone system.
What kind of phone changes will we need to make?
That depends on the type of phone your business uses currently. The NBN phone system uses a technology known as VOIP to transfer phone signals via the internet. For businesses that use digital phones, which are VOIP compatible, the switch will be easy and straightforward. However, businesses that still use traditional telephones that are dependent on copper wires will need to either change their entire systems or make certain changes to adapt to the new technology. This latter option, however, may be more trouble than it is worth for a small business.
Will this increase my expenses?
No, it will not. While the initial cost of setting up your NBN phone system may be similar to that of setting up a traditional business phone system, the costs of use and call rates on an NBN system are at least three times lower than a traditional phone system. Also, because the system is online, there is no chance of it becoming obsolete as most providers will offer free lifetime upgrades to their systems.
What do I need to prepare for, with this new phone system?
The major issues arising from the change to NBN phone systems are slower connections, which might mean poor call quality, and NBN downtime that affects the internet and telephones alike. While connection speed is something that will vary and is not something to be wholly concerned about, it is important to note that downtime is unavoidable, regardless of your provider. Businesses are advised to have back up mobile phones for the few times it will occur.
Small businesses can benefit significantly from the flexibility of having an internet connected NBN phone system. To avoid getting left behind, business owners are advised to migrate their small businesses onto the NBN system before the deadline when all other connection types will be cut off.