Is your business nbn™ ready? Take the quiz

Smarter Staff
Smarter Writer

This article has been written by the Smarter Business™ Staff Writers

Smarter Staff
Smarter Writer

This article has been written by the Smarter Business™ Staff Writers

Gradually, all Australian businesses can be connected to the nbn™ network – from remote locations and regional centres to urban sprawls – offering unprecedented possibilities for doing business in an increasingly interconnected world.

woman working on laptop amongst clothes racks

Getting ready for nbn™ is simpler than you may think, and understanding the basics is the best place to start. Test your nbn™ know-how and learn more about what to expect with the Smarter Small Business nbn™-ready quiz.

With fast broadband, speedy downloads and uploads, and a wide range of voice services, the national broadband network (nbn™) is changing the way Australia does business.

Many are already enjoying the benefits of remote working, easier collaboration and access to new customers that the nbn™ network can deliver, while others are eager (some would say, champing at the bit) to discover the differences Australia’s biggest infrastructure project can bring.

  • All Australian businesses will be connected to nbn™.

    Answer: True

    Gradually, all Australian businesses can be connected to the nbn™ network – from remote locations and regional centres to urban sprawls – offering unprecedented possibilities for doing business in an increasingly interconnected world.

    The rollout of nbn™ rollout is well underway. Check if your business already has access.

    If the network is not available in your area yet, you can register your business to receive an email when nbn™ is available at your address.

  • My business doesn’t need to do anything to switch to nbn™.

    Answer: False

    You won’t be connected to the nbn™ network automatically. You need to contact your preferred phone or internet service provider to discuss your requirements and select the most appropriate plan for your business once the network is ready to go in your area.

    Make sure any new product or service you buy from now on is ‘nbn™-ready’. This may save you spending more on replacements when connection time arrives.

  • Once access to the nbn™ is available in my area, my business will become a customer of nbn™ co.

    Answer: False

    nbn™ is a wholesaler and does not provide services directly to end-users. When you are ready to connect, your first point of contact will be with a phone or internet service provider. They should offer a range of different plans and take you through step-by-step instructions on how to set up your business for the nbn™ network.

    If you’re connecting to the nbn™ via Fibre to the Basement or Fibre to the Node technology, you may not need a nbn™ co appointment.

  • My business will definitely need a new modem (or router) to connect to nbn™.

    Answer: False

    If you already own a router that’s able to support Ethernet WAN or wireless networking for your phone and internet, then you’re well on your way to receiving fast broadband. If the modem connects to the wall outlet using a telephone cable, it’s likely DSL. All the same, it’s wise to check on this with your internet service provider. Before you move across to nbn™ network, please also check with your equipment manufacturer or supplier about compatibility with nbn™.
  • My business will need to make space for the new nbn™ installation equipment.

    Answer: True

    To get you connected to nbn™ fibre-to-the-premises, your service provider will arrange an nbn™ co appointment on your behalf and, if necessary, the installation of a utility box. Remember, not all connections will need them. You’ll learn this information closer to the time, but it’s good to consider in advance some likely locations for the nbn™ Utility Box and the Connection Box.

    Keep in mind it’s a permanent fixture, so you need to find a spot that will suit the design and construction of your business premises, the equipment you want to connect to it and, importantly, the need for a power point. The nbn™ enclosure and, in some cases, a battery backup power supply, will need to be screwed to a wall. (If the power fails, the battery will keep your connection up and running for around five hours.)

    On installation day, your installer will drill a small hole through your wall and feed the fibre-optic cable from the outside into the nbn™ connection box.
  • New, fast broadband through nbn™ costs more for businesses.

    Answer: False

    In most cases, a standard installation by nbn™ currently comes at no charge to the user.

    It’s true that additional cabling or equipment to extend the reach within the premises may incur charges.

    When nbn™ is available at your premises, you’ll need to move to an nbn™ plan to stay connected (unless you’re serviced by Fixed Wireless or Satellite). Ask your preferred provider about the plans for business ­and if there are there any set-up or activation fees.

    Keep in mind the potential for business that comes with fast broadband – HD videoconferencing for instance, or the ability to store or access your documents through the cloud– then choose a plan to suit your business.

  • We’ll need to update all our business’s tech equipment for the nbn™.

    Answer: False

    Many types of devices can work over nbn™ but you must contact your service provider to figure out if your existing communications equipment—including your modem and phone—is nbn™-compatible.

    For example, you may need to order a specific type of phone service on the nbn™ network. Not all phone services use the dedicated UNI-V ports on the back of the nbn™ connection boxes.

    Other equipment that operates via a landline also may need to change. If you have EFTPOS machines, fax machines, health claim machines or fire indicator panels, you may also be required to switch these, so start planning ahead of time. Security alarms and other alarms that rely on a copper phone line are also an important consideration, so it’s important to flag these with the sales representative. For a wireless alarm monitoring solution, Telstra’s Business Protect is nbn™-ready, and works over the Telstra Mobile Network. Before you move across to the nbn™ network, please check with your equipment manufacturer or supplier about compatibility with nbn™.

  • My phone and internet will be automatically disconnected once construction for nbn™ begins in my area.

    Answer: False

    The disconnection of the existing network will not happen immediately after construction begins in your area, and you should be notified that the nbn™ network is available in your area 18 months before the scheduled disconnection date (and periodically after that). It’s a good idea to switch to the nbn™ network well before your disconnection date to allow time for your order to be processed, and for installation, if applicable.

    Also, moving to nbn™ will not necessarily cancel your previous broadband and phone services. Once you've switched, remember to call your existing provider’s billing/accounts department to ensure your old services are cancelled.

  • My business is based in a regional area, so I will need to have a satellite dish installed at my business.

    Answer: False

    A satellite nbn™ connection means internet is transmitted via an nbn™ co. satellite to a satellite dish fitted on the roof of your business. This is intended for users in remote locations and should affect only about 3% of the population, with Fixed Wireless servicing another 5%.

  • I will have to shut down my business while the connection is installed.

    Answer: False

    Typically your business can be upgraded to nbn™ with minimal downtime. Most installations take between two to four hours. Usually you can continue to use your existing services until your new nbn™ equipment has been installed and your new upgraded service has been activated. Much depends on the type of nbn™ service being connected. When your service provider organises your appointment with an nbn™ installer, ask for an estimate of how much time it’s likely to take.

  • nbn™ involves a new generation of equipment that my employees will need to be trained to operate.

    Answer: False

    In terms of the connection to nbn™ there’s no new technology to learn. However, the capacity to bring on the new – new customers, new ways of collaborating and operating your business as well as new ways of working – may call for new technology to help speed you to greater efficiencies and productivity, even into new markets. The choice of new equipment is yours entirely, but let your broadband service provider run through some of the exciting options.

  • Once nbn™ is installed Australia-wide, my business may not need to have an office.

    Answer: True

    If you run a micro-business, you’re a sole trader or consultant, this is quite possible. Even medium-sized businesses with many field workers – tradies and mobile healthcare consultancies, for example – may be able to operate without an HQ due to the collaborative and greater connectivity of fast broadband.

    Australian demographer Bernard Salt has already spotted this trend: “Widespread access to fast broadband means the office is no longer the anchor; it is simply a touchdown point as new technology liberates businesses from the confines of set working hours or spaces.”

  • Once nbn™ is installed Australia-wide, my business may not need to have an office.

    Answer: True

    If you run a micro-business, you’re a sole trader or consultant, this is quite possible. Even medium-sized businesses with many field workers – tradies and mobile healthcare consultancies, for example – may be able to operate without an HQ due to the collaborative and greater connectivity of fast broadband.

    Australian demographer Bernard Salt has already spotted this trend: “Widespread access to fast broadband means the office is no longer the anchor; it is simply a touchdown point as new technology liberates businesses from the confines of set working hours or spaces.”

  • nbn™ will make doing business easier.

    Answer: True

    Sure will. For businesses, this means access to a great range of voice services as well as HD videoconferencing, smart call management, fast downloads, rapid uploads, remote working, state-of-the-art security systems, media streaming and cloud computing—all helping to improve productivity and efficiency, including reduced travel costs. It will also be easier for your business to find customers in an increasingly connected global marketplace, and vice versa.

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