Why Pay Extra For Business Grade Broadband?

November 1st, 2010 - Get new posts sent straight to your inbox, click here. Aaron O'Keeffe


Regardless of industry or size, most businesses today are heavily dependent on the internet. As everyday business activities – from accounting to point of sale systems – move to The Cloud, disruptions to internet services can be very costly to businesses.

Some good questions to ask yourself are:

  • If your internet went down, how would it impact your business?
  • Would it decrease your revenue?
  • Would it impact customer experience and lead to bad reviews?
  • Would it prevent your business from operating?

That’s why it’s recommended businesses invest in fast, reliable connectivity that can handle bandwidth-intensive applications. While there are some very fast residential nbn™ services on the market, they can’t compete with business-grade nbn™ services in terms of support and reliability. There is a belief in the business community that business-grade broadband is essentially the same as residential broadband, and that the higher price points on business services are just another way for telcos to boost their profits. This is simply not true.

There are a host of reasons to invest in business-grade broadband over a residential connection.

What’s the difference between business broadband and residential broadband?

1 – Business broadband is offered over a greater range of infrastructure options

Like residential nbn™, Business nbn™ is connected to premises via the multi technology mix, made up of fibre to the Premises (FTTP), Fibre to the Building (FTTB), Fibre to the Curb (FTTC), Fibre to the Node (FTTN), Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC), Fixed Wireless and SkyMuster™ satellite. However, if your business is seeking the fastest speeds and best-performing reliability on the network, you could invest in dedicated fibre internet with nbn™ Enterprise Ethernet. Dedicated fibre optic infrastructure is currently available as a $0 install to 90% of businesses across the country when they sign up to a 36-month Enterprise Ethernet plan. This is a great way to future-proof not only your operations, but also your premises. Find out if you’re eligible for a $0 fibre upgrade* with our free address checker here.

2 – You can access symmetrical plans with business broadband

An nbn™ plan is considered ‘symmetrical’ or ‘synchronous’ when both downstream and upstream speeds are capped at the same level. For example, nbn™ 100/100^. Residential broadband plans are rarely synchronous in this way. Symmetrical plans are ideal for businesses because they allow large files or documents to be uploaded or sent across the country (or across the world) very quickly. This can also make a huge difference in the performance of your connection, especially if you use VPNs, host your own website or use VOIP commercially.

3 – Business broadband generally comes with a static IP address

A static IP address is an IP address that never changes. Business nbn™ connections normally come with a static IP address that is in a different range to the ISP’s residential connections, which allows businesses to utilise VPN’s and hosting. Not only does this allow businesses to utilise VPNs and hosting, but it’s important in terms of service reliability. Here’s why: ISP’s usually have multiple paths and redundant connections, but quite often these redundant connections are not as big as the primary connections. This means that if the primary connection fails and the redundant connection is put into use, not all customers will have a connection. Generally in this situation, the business-grade nbn™ customers will not notice any difference because their IP address is automatically routed down the redundant link, thus keeping them connected. This is one of the main reasons business nbn™ sits at a higher price point when compared to residential services, and is essential to businesses that rely heavily on their internet connection.

4 – Business broadband comes with backing from an expert team

As previously discussed, disruption to your internet service can have catastrophic consequences for your business. In the event of any disruption, you want to know that you’ll actually be able to get in contact with your ISP and have the problem addressed as soon as possible. That’s why Business nbn™ with Aussie Broadband comes with a standard business support package, so you know you’ll have support if you need it. There are also options to expand your support package to include 99.95% uptime SAG, nbn™ 4hr eSLA 24/7 and 24/7 enterprise support.

How to select an ISP for your business

Selecting an ISP is an important and strategic business decision. If your business is heavily dependent on an internet connection, you want to know that your ISP manages its network well so you don’t experience congestion. Additionally, if you experience any issues, you want to know that you won’t be stuck on hold for hours while trying to get in contact with them. Here’s a few things to look for in an ISP:

  • Always choose an ISP that offers a service level guarantee on their business broadband services. This means that they are confident their service is robust and they most likely have redundancy built into their network. Select an ISP that is happy to give you some money back if your connection is down for a period of time longer than specified in the service level guarantee.
  • Look for an ISP that doesn’t oversubscribe it’s network. While no ISP is going to openly state they regularly oversubscribe their network, some good indicators of ethical network management are business customer reviews and industry awards. Another way to gauge an ISPs’ network management ethos is whether or not the ISP is transparent about how much capacity it purchases from NBN Co. Here at Aussie Broadband, we’re transparent about our network capacity so you know we’re not oversubscribing our network. We publish our CVC graphs on our website for each Point of Interconnect (POI), as well as information about our network, ping times, system outages and our upgrade schedule.
  • Look for an ISP with a 100% Australian-based team. That way, you know the ISP is supporting local jobs and building the Australian economy. Plus, you’ll be talking to someone you can relate to with an Australian context.

To learn more about business broadband and how it could benefit your business please visit the Aussie Broadband website – www.aussiebroadband.com.au/business.

*$0 fibre upgrade subject to a site qualification check and only available on a 36-month contract.
^Actual speeds on FTTN/B technology type to be confirmed upon connection. For more information on nbn™ speeds see here. Plans above nbn™100/40Mbps only available on FTTP.

About the author

Aaron O'Keeffe

Aaron works from an office in the tropical Northern Territory, inciting intense jealousy from his Victorian workmates during winter. He’s an expert in IT solutions from the ground up. Aaron is National Sales Manager of Aussie Broadband, which specialises in bespoke telco solutions for corporate and government customers.