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NBN Pitfalls for Business

Matt Enger |

As the NBN rollout accelerates over the next 12 months, many NBN businesses are unsure about the consequences and pitfalls of making the switch to NBN. In this article we answer several important questions about the NBN changeover – so that businesses can make informed decisions.

The first thing you need to note is that you have a 12-18 month window – once NBN is available – to switch over. It is important that you don’t wait until the end of the window to start the process as some of the tasks you will need to do, such as moving your phone lines can take weeks to complete. Make sure you allow enough time to avoid disruption.

You will also need to identify what services will be impacted. In short, all of your phone lines and the internet are potentially at risk of disconnection as a result of the change. So be sure to consider:

  • All phone lines, that might be: 
    • PSTN / standard lines used for fax machines, alarm systems or ADSL internet or just connected to your phone system
    • Digital lines such as ISDN PRI and BRI lines connected to phone systems
  • Internet services such as
    • ADSL
    • Copper services such as Ethernet over Copper
    • HFC services such as Telstra Cable or Optus Cable or neighbour cable
  • Fire Alarms / Lift lines – does your lift have a phone line connected to it?
  • Alarm system – does your alarm use a phone line to call out?

Ensure you make yourself a list of all of your lines and services and work through them to ensure nothing is missed.

Now that you know what you need to look at, lets consider the services you need to move.

Alarm systems

If your alarm system uses a PSTN / fixed line to call out to your mobile, you may be able to plug this into the ATA and order a SIP line off your modem or phone system. However, if you are having your alarm monitored you will need to talk to your alarm company and ask how they are handling the NBN cut-over. Often you will need to install either an IP module, so it connects over the internet or install a GSM dialler and connect it to the mobile phone network.

Fire Alarms / Lift lines

You will need to talk to the manufacturer of your lift and/or the monitoring company as to how to handle this. Be sure to register these lines at here and to read through the information NBN has on how to handle these lines.

Phone Lines

This can be one of the trickiest to understand as phone lines will no longer be delivered like they used to be. Generally, you have two pathways on how to proceed:

  1. If you are using a standard phone line connected to a standard phone or cordless phone (not a phone system), we can deliver you a phone service through our supplied modems which you plug into.
  2. If you have a phone system, you need to review your system
    • Consider the age of your system and if you plan to keep it. This may be an opportune time to upgrade to a cloud-based system such as our hosted PBX system.
    • If your phone system is capable of connecting via SIP, we recommend you move over to a SIP trunk so that calls are handled over your internet connection
    • If you can’t use SIP, then you need to look at some sort of converter to convert SIP to either PSTN or ISDN depending on what your system needs. We can assist with this however we have found especially with the PSTN conversion that call quality is not always as you would expect, and this should only be done as a last resort.

When you move your phone lines over, you need to port your numbers from the old network to the new network. This process can take anywhere from a week for simple numbers to 60 days for large number blocks. Be sure to allow enough time to make the process go smoothly. 

The other important consideration with voice is what will happen if your nbn service drops out or has a service fault. As your phone calls will be delivered over your NBN connection, you may find at times you cannot make or receive calls as internet services do on occasion go down. If this is an important consideration you need to look at redudancy. We recommend using a 4G backup as you will often find you can get a second mobile data sim added to your company mobile account for a small monthly fee. If you purchase a router capable of failover you can have it setup to go from day one. Also ensure that your mobile service is SIP capable (as we have noticed some aren’t).

Internet

Now that you have sorted all of your services, you are now ready to look at the internet. You need to consider how much bandwidth you need and what level of service. Most ISPs (Leaptel included) will deliver you what is called a TC4 service which is a NBN connection which shares the bandwidth with all the other customers on our network. For most businesses this is fine and comparable with the way ADSL works. However, if you decide that you need 100% speed all of the time, you should consider a TC2 or some of the other fibre internet services we offer. These are significantly more expensive than a standard NBN circuit ($100 vs $500+) but they are more reliable and faster fault response times. 

You also need to consider how much bandwidth you need or want. Bandwidth is like lanes on a freeway. The more lanes the faster your internet is. Most businesses will find that they will want a minimum of 50M download and 20M upload, especially with cloud services like Office 365, online accounting systems such as MYOB or Xero with. The more upload you have the faster you will find cloud servicesand the less time you and your staff will spend waiting for tasks to complete. 

With all these processes in place, your business will now be ready to make the switch. Make sure you call a quality provider. The internet is an important component of modern day businesses and when things go wrong you don’t want to be talking to someone who does understand the NBN and how crucial your internet service is to your business. Leaptel’s support team is Australian-based, we know NBN and we understand your business’s needs. Talk to the team at Leaptel for more advice on NBN for your business. You’ll find our team will make the transfer to NBN simple and straightforward, the way it should be.