The NBN Is Here – Don’t Get Screwed
Brace yourselves, the NBN is here! It’s new, it’s exciting, it’s kind of annoying and you could get screwed in the process.
The NBN has slowly rolled out to the Sunshine Coast, it has been quite long winded but for most of us that letter of availability has finally come in the mail box. The prospect of faster internet, thus improving productivity & reduced costs from your Telco are exciting and also annoying for businesses due to the costs and time to get it changed over. But here is what you need to watch out for;
Hardware – Many Telcos & Phone System suppliers are out there bluffing business owners into believing they must replace their current Phone Systems so they are NBN ready, when in fact a simple adaptor attached to their existing system may be all that is required. We have even witnessed Phone system providers selling phone systems worth thousands that are not NBN capable and knowing full well their client will have to upgrade when the copper lines are switched off.
Switching Networks – Moving to the NBN Network is not automatic, you will need to move your fixed phone and internet to the NBN before they switch off the old network and you will be advised of this date via a letter in the mail. If you are eager you can check your address here on the NBN Address Checker as it might be available for you and you have not yet received the notification letter.
Fax Failure – NBN providers have also flagged an issue with a loss of fax services for businesses connected to the NBN using Fibre to the Node (FTTN) technology. This includes photocopiers with fax capabilities along with standalone fax machines. Note that Fibre to the premises (FTTP) users will be okay. Several NBN providers claim to be working on a solution, however at this stage once conventional phone lines begin being disconnected, customers will probably have to switch to a “fax to email” service or similar. ABM are able to assist you in connecting this service if you require it.
Other Equipment Affected – Other devices you also need to think about when switching to the NBN is;
– Monitored security alarms
– EFTPOS terminal/ATM terminal
– HICAPS (helpful information here)
– Monitored Fire Alarms
– Lift Emergency Phones
– Professionally monitored medical alarms / autodialler or emergency call button
For all of the above you will need to make sure you order the right type of internet or phone service over the NBN to work with these devices. Ask that specific devices provider for advice before moving to the NBN.
Down Time – The transition to the NBN is not guaranteed to go smoothly and your internet and phone line could be out for an hour to over a week. For a small businesses to operate without these essential services is incomprehensible. But why!? Because when you have multiple hands and parties working together to get it changed over they may not all be on the same page and it may become a bit of a mess. “Too many cooks in the kitchen (spoil the broth)”
So what the heck are you to do? The main thing is to be prepared and informed. If you do everything you can from your side the likelihood of your services being down is decreased and you can start to enjoy the benefits that the NBN brings. We have created a FREE 10 Step NBN Transition Checklist to help you and we offer honest unbiased advice as we hold no allegiance to any Telco.
The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) have also produced a checklist complementing ours as below:
The ACCC Checklist for businesses moving to the NBN
1. Keep informed: read information about when the NBN is coming to your area and check your business address on the NBN Co website.
2. Prepare early: check with your phone service provider whether you need to move to the NBN. Find out your disconnection date.
3. Contact your landlord or register your building: if you are leasing your business space, obtain your landlord’s consent for NBN Co equipment to be installed. If you are the owner, register your building with NBN Co.
4. Consider your equipment: is your existing equipment compatible with the NBN? What is the cost of making it compatible compared with buying a new system?
5. Compare business offers: compare different providers and plans to find the best option to suit your needs.
6. Ask the right questions: find out about fees (such as early termination fees, disconnection or connection fees), equipment, back-up batteries and any special services.
7. Call for help: contact your phone service provider with any questions or concerns about the migration process.