Every week its another headline about the NBN and none of it is good news. Should Australian business adopt the NBN or bypass the technology altogether?
What's the problem with the NBN?
Complaints about the nbn service increased by 117% in the final half of last year!
According to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), nbn customers are 5x more likely to complain about their service than a non-nbn user; and nearly 70% say they have had unsatisfactory experiences with the nbn.
The main gripes centre around the installation process and the final performance speed of the service.
Most common complaints are:
- speeds not reaching advertised levels
- slow speeds at certain times of the day
- having to spend hours on the phone organising the migration
- nbn installers not turning up to onsite migration appointments without notice or explanation
Other serious issues which have arisen include:
Government steps in to stop nbn blame game
nbn Co. blames the internet service providers (ISP), and the ISPs go right back at nbn. It's gotten so bad the Government has had to step in.
Earlier this month, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced it will compel 21 nbn businesses to reveal data about how they resolve issues, in a bid to improve outcomes for consumers and business.
Is the NBN good for business?
Maybe - maybe not. Let's see...
Officially, the NBN website proclaims the benefits of super-fast broadband for Australian businesses (large, medium and small) in the following terms:
- upload and download files quickly and easily;
- increase access to national and international markets and opportunities to boost sales;
- take advantage of rich media, such as video and images without delays; and
- expand opportunities to attract and retain staff by reaching a larger, skilled workforce via teleworking.
The NBN website includes this video explaining the benefits in more detail:
While some businesses may be able to transition seamlessly to the nbn, many will not.
The most common issues are:
- telephone equipment and internet infrastructure equipment incompatible with the nbn technology;
- costly disruption to business during the migration process;
- unreliable or slower internet speeds than before migration;
- The NBN fibre access network is a "best efforts" network. It does not prioritise voice traffic and, is not able to give data service performance guarantees with absolute certainty.
This clip from Channel 9's A Current Affair, shows many Australians are not having a good time trying to get an nbn connection.
What are the alternatives to the NBN?
NBN will be a necessity in one way or another for the majority of us as it is becoming Australia’s primary network however, in some cases there may be alternatives.
These cases will depend on how data and voice services are used within a business, as well as how their current services are structured. e.g.
- A retail store who receives email and only transmits data on store transactions may only use minimal amounts of data. Therefore, they may only need a 1300 number redirecting to a basic Mobile Service to receive calls and a Mobile Data Connection may be sufficient, allowing you to avoid the complications of the NBN.
- In other cases where a business needs to rely heavily on a phone system to generate business and has ISDN or VOIP Lines and a unclear path to NBN Migration, SIP Lines would be a great option that offers the reliability of dedicated lines with minimum performance standards and high call inclusions.
Telstra has products to address customers with most service types to make their migration to NBN easier, such as Digital Office Technology (DOT) over NBN for PSTN Customers, and SIP for Complex Telephony Data customers, with additional products to come for ISDN customers.
Discuss your nbn options with VoicePlus
The first step is to understand whether your business' best option is to move to the nbn.
We will take a look at your existing telecommunications and internet infrastructure and let you know your options.
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