Why you need to know about the NBN for your business

NBN will impact your business as faster internet speeds means more efficiency for online services.

The National Broadband Network (NBN) has been at the forefront of many political debates during recent years, but that doesn’t mean it is always at the forefront of our minds.

Despite the ongoing NBN rollout, and the potential implications that ensue (including possible disconnection), Australians maintain a rather blasé attitude towards this technological overhaul. In fact a recent finder.com.au survey revealed that a staggering 5.6 million Australians don’t actually care about the NBN, and of these citizens, 2.4 million are yet to check if their home is NBN-ready.

This NBN apathy stems largely from confusion about different technologies and partially knowing it’s a long road to 2020. That is the year, according to current plans that all of Australia’s premises should be connected to the NBN via a mix of technologies.
In saying this, SMEs need to be aware of the changes to Australia’s internet infrastructure and how it could potentially impact them and the success of their business.

Earlier this year, nbn co published a report showing that NBN-connected SMEs would contribute an additional $4 billion to our national GDP. Why? Faster internet speeds means more efficiency for online services used by your business, whether it be e-commerce, teleworking, accessing online services or a better user experience on your site.

So if your home or business is NBN-ready, what’s the rush to activate your service? Aside from the obvious benefits mentioned above, many Australians are unaware that if they neglect to switch to the NBN once their premises is NBN-ready both their phone line and internet may be disconnected. This can prove to be detrimental to businesses and potentially lead to a loss of revenue and delays in customer services. Getting ready now can save you headaches later, even if you only end up losing service for a single day. That’s a single day’s customers, and who knows how many more that view your business in a negative light due to lack of foresight and planning.

The other less obvious side effect has to do with the length of your broadband contract. There are plenty of tempting ADSL plan deals available right now, but signing up for a long-term contract might not be in your best interest.
Most internet providers usually offer two choices: month-to-month contracts at higher cost, or 24-month plans that are usually cheaper. The longer contract is often a no-brainer. Any business wants to keep costs down, and it’s not as though anyone will to want to stop being connected to the internet.

However if you’re not sure when your premise will be connected to the NBN, you could be signing onto an 18 month ADSL contract when you’ll have the NBN in six months.

Knowing when your place of business will be NBN-ready should definitely play part in signing on to a new contract plan. If you don’t know how to find out, check finder.com.au’s NBN tracker. Once you know when the NBN is available, you can work out what your plan strategy should be. You might consider going month-to-month for a quarter then switching to an NBN plan in order to take advantage of a wider pool of available ISPs.

So before you discard the NBN pamphlet you receive in the mail, or delete an email from your internet provider, take a second look. Paying that extra bit of attention to the NBN could save your business serious money.

Alex Kidman, Tech and Telco Editor, www.finder.com.au