Switching to the nbn™: It might not be optional for your business

June 3rd, 2018 - Get new posts sent straight to your inbox, click here.

You’ve probably heard about the nbn™ rollout, but did you know switching to the nbn™ isn’t optional for the vast majority of Australians? As many as  one in three Australians incorrectly think the nbn™ is an optional choice.

Whether your business is ready to make the switch or you’re still deciding whether to switch now or later, it pays to be informed about your options with the nbn™ and find out as much as you can about the switch process.

Why you’ll probably need to switch

93% of Australian premises – business and households – will be affected by the nbn™ rollout. This means you’ll likely need to switch. The nbn™ rollout was half-complete by mid-2017, and by 2018 it’s scheduled to be three-quarters complete, with 2020 set to see completion. Since the switch-off time after nbn™ has been rolled out in an area is 18 months, at the very latest your business will need to switch no later than 18 months after 2020, if not earlier.

Why you’ll probably be disconnected

The nbn™ was designed to upgrade Australia’s old infrastructure, largely based on copper lines, by introducing a mostly fibre-based network. Given this, much of the old copper wiring will be replaced during the process. The nbn™ fibre cables will be introduced first, and local businesses and homes will be notified when they need to switch.

Everyone will be given plenty of time – around 18 months – to make the switch once their area has been upgraded. Once the time is up, the existing copper wire will be removed (or reutilised to work with the nbn™) and – if your business hasn’t made the switch – you’ll be left disconnected. This could result in missed sales, emails, phone calls, and disrupted operations for your business. Given the time it takes to activate a new connection, you’ll want to ensure your switch is organised weeks in advance to avoid downtime.

Possible alternatives

It’s worthwhile noting that you don’t necessarily have to switch the nbn™. You have other options, such as mobile internet which uses 3G or 4G – and possibly 5G in the future – without the need for cables. However, if you’re currently on a copper-based plan and you’re in the 93% of affected Australian premises, you’ll likely be disconnected from ADSL services at some stage when the nbn rolls out in your area.

Additionally, mobile might not be viable for your business if you have high-speed and bandwidth requirements. The nbn™ could offer greater reliability, along with faster speeds and more bandwidth allowances for a competitive price.

Check whether it’s available

As early as possible, find out whether you can switch the nbn™ by entering you address here. Register for the email updates if the nbn™ isn’t yet ready in your area. Don’t ignore any letters or emails notifying you of an impending switch to the nbn™ for your locale.

You can also check the nbn™ rollout map to get more information about where the fixed line technologies have been rolled out in and around your area.

What to do to make the switch

The switch won’t be an automatic process, and your current plan with your current service provider won’t be automatically switched to an nbn™ plan. You will need to oversee the switch yourself. Once the nbn™ has gone live in your area, start by finding a reputable service provider who’s offering an nbn™ plan in your area. Note the NBNCo isn’t a retailer, so it doesn’t deal directly with consumers and businesses. The NBNCo sells network plans to service providers who in turn offer plans to businesses.

If you use special devices or equipment, you should also ensure you’ve got a clear plan for a smooth transition over to the nbn™.

Once you’ve chosen a retailer, look for a suitable plan. If you’re not sure which plan is right for your small business’ needs, contact Aussie Broadband today to speak to our expert team for assistance.

Prepare for the switch today

A good percentage of Australians incorrectly believe the nbn is an opt-in network when for the vast majority of premises it’s compulsory if you want a wired network. Once the nbn has been rolled out in your area, you’ll have around 18 months before the local copper lines are disconnected or repurposed. For small businesses, paying attention to the nbn™ rollout in your area can save you from unplanned downtime and disruptions to your business. If you plan ahead, you’ll have time to find a plan by a reputable provider, and you’ll avoid unnecessary downtime.

Aussie Broadband is a 100% Aussie owned and operated carrier offering fast and stable internet to small businesses across the country. Check out our nbn plans here. Alternatively, to find out more about our great value internet, phone, and mobile services, contact us today.