Rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is expected to be completed by 2020. If your business is scheduled to switch over the NBN shortly, there are things you should start doing now to prepare.


Who is responsible for the NBN?

The NBN is the government’s national rollout of infrastructure that promises to deliver faster and more reliable broadband. However, bringing the NBN to your business involves several parties who look after different sections of the process.

The connection and maintenance of the physical infrastructure is the responsibility of NBN Co. They work as a wholesaler to supply the technology to various providers.

So, while NBN Co lay the physical connection, you need to buy an internet service plan from a provider, like Telstra, to use the new fibre. Your provider is then responsible for connecting you to the NBN.

The quality of the service you receive will depend on your provider, the type of connection you have and internal hardware like your modem.


What type of connection will I get to my premises?

While it would be ideal to run fibre to every house and premises in Australia, the cost would be prohibitive and the rollout would take a much longer time. So NBN uses a mixed-technology approach which takes advantage of already existing infrastructure.

Depending on where your business is situated, you will be connected using one of the following technologies:

  • Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). This is the fastest connection type because you are connecting your internet directly to a fibre optic line.
  • Fibre to the Building (FTTB). The default for office blocks, fibre runs to a central spot in the building and then copper wires cover the distance between the fibre and your office.
  • Fibre to the Node (FTTN). Rather than connecting directly to your premises, fibre runs to a point between several buildings (known as a node) and then existing copper phone wire complete the connection to your building.
  • Fibre to the Curb (FTTC). This connection type runs to a pit on your street as close as possible to your premises and then copper covers the rest of the distance. This means less copper connection than FTTN (and thus a faster speed).
  • Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC). The HFC connection uses insulated wires similar to cable TV.
  • Fixed Wireless / SkyMuster satellite. These options are used in regional areas where laying fibre is too expensive.

While you don’t get to choose what type of connection you will have to your business, you will need to know what type you have when speaking to a provider.


More than your internet may need to change

Switching over to NBN will affect more than just your internet connection.

Once you make the switch, your existing copper-based phone and internet services will be disconnected. So, as well as considering a new internet plan, you’ll also need to switch to a new phone plan.

Other services operating on existing phone lines may not work after the migration. Think carefully about what other services in your business may use the phone line and talk to the providers of those to see if they are compatible.

Services which may be affected include:

  • EFTPOS machines
  • monitored fire alarms
  • security systems
  • lift phones

It is also worth noting that in the case of an NBN outage, services using the line will also be unavailable. You may need to consider backup options for vital equipment such as those mentioned above.


Want to know more?

The team at Telstra Business Technology Centre Melbourne City can talk you through all the steps to prepare for the NBN rollout. Give us a call or drop by to see us. Or click here to email us.