How to swap broadband plans for your small business
Thanks to the nbn™ and the rapid proliferation of ISPs in the Australian market, businesses are spoiled for choice in selecting a business broadband provider.
However, there’s a perception that once you’ve selected a provider, you’re stuck with them. Many business leaders and individuals believe that swapping broadband providers when they are not happy with their service is a disruptive experience.
The good news is that the truth is very different.
Switching from ADSL to nbn™
The first switch that you’ll probably be making, however, is to move from ADSL to nbn™. ADSL is the old technology, while nbn™ is the new technology that is being rolled out in stages to all parts of Australia.
You’ll get a notification when the nbn™ is coming to your area. From there you’ll have 18 months to swap providers. This is mandatory – if you don’t make the switch in time you will find yourself without internet or phone lines, because the nbn™ actually switches off the existing ADSL line to clear the way for nbn™ connections.
Your existing ADSL provider will probably offer nbn™ services as well. You can either negotiate with that provider, or wait for the contract to end on your existing service to sign up to the nbn™.
Your nbn™ provider will organise an installation date and time when you decide to make the switch. The good news is that you can have overlapping nbn™ and ADSL services while this process happens, so you should be able to make the process seamless. There may, however, be a blackout for a couple of days, and it would be worth discussing options with your provider through this process.
On FTTN, if you do not choose to pay $297 for a second line, then you will have no internet during the switch over and for weeks after if something goes wrong. It’s highly advised that small businesses have a backup second line for the day of the switch and in case the installation fails. Businesses who have not taken this precaution and experience a failed installation could be without internet for days or weeks – there have been some who have had no internet for over 6 weeks. We recommend that you safeguard the installation process and your business by ordering a second line on FTTN.
Getting the nbn™ installed is a free service provided by NBNCo. However, in many cases, the nbn™ provider will charge an account set-up fee of their own. If you’re shifting from ADSL to nbn™ on the same provider, this is something you may be able to negotiate.
Switching nbn™ providers
Because nbn™ is a standard service across all of Australia, there is a wide range of providers and competition will happen exclusively in terms of the standard of service – internet speeds provided, data allowance, and the cost of the service itself. You have a lot of options, and shopping around can yield some impressive differences.
Terms of service
The first thing to do if you’re looking to change nbn™ providers is check the terms of service with your existing provider. Many nbn™ services come in the form of a 12, 24, or even 48-month contract, and while you’ll be able to leave that contract early, there will be early cancellation fees. In most cases you’ll want to wait until you’re out of contract.
Aussie Broadband offers high-speed nbn™ services with no lock-in contract – check out our small business nbn™ page here.
If you’re in a fixed-term contract and it gets to the end of the end of the contract, you’ll be shifted to a month-to-month contract. Now could be a good time to leave, as there will be no early exit fees. This also applies to any “contract-free” service that you might sign up for.
If you decide to move to a new provider, you place an nbn™ order with your new provider (which can be done online or over the phone), and then kick back and relax: your new provider will handle the switch over for you. Just be aware that once your new nbn™ connection is live, you will need to contact your previous provider and cancel the plan.
Make the switch seamless
If you’re concerned about downtime, there are ways to protect you and your business. And while in most cases the switch will result in downtime of not more than an hour, it’s important to have a back-up in place in case things don’t go to plan.
Opt for a redundancy link to be put in place during the transition – this will ensure that your business services can continue uninterrupted.
Read more about the Aussie Broadband redundant link service and why it’s important here.
Consider your hardware requirements
There’s another thing to consider when making the switch: in a lot of cases a nbn™ plan will come with a modem or modem router. This will be configured to your provider’s service, so they’re plug-and-play. If you’ve already got a nbn™ service, then there’s every chance you’ve already got a modem – so if there are any modem costs involved in your new plan, this is an opportunity to negotiate down the cost.
However, there’s a small chance that your existing hardware isn’t compatible with your new service. If you’re technologically-savvy (or have an IT whizz on your team), then you can try and re-configure the modem yourself. If not, then it’s recommended that you use the new modem router provided with your plan.
Switching doesn’t have to be hard
Contrary to popular belief, switching broadband providers is both easy and, for the most part, disruption-free. And Aussie Broadband’s great prices, superb network and years of experience make us the ideal small business broadband provider. For further enquiries and to find out more about what Aussie Broadband has to offer, visit our nbn™ small business page here and find out if you’re eligible for a plan with us.