Preparing your Business for the NBN Changeover



As the NBN rollout comes to a close, Melbourne businesses need to prepare themselves for the changeover from landline to internet based phone lines. The changeover is not an automatic process so businesses will need to be proactive about switching their landline over. In this article, we take a look at the options available and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the changeover.

The disconnection of landline and internet services has always been part of the NBN rollout plan. The majority of Telstra’s existing copper and cable broadband networks will be disconnected and that means services supplied by Telstra through this network as well as services from other providers who use the copper network will also cease to operate.

 

What phone line options are avaliable?

There are three phone service options available once your business is connected to the NBN- UNI-D and UNI-V which are run through the NBN connection box and VoiP which runs over the internet.

VoIP

VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol and is a technology which converts audio signals into digital voice communication that travels over the internet. In essence, you are taking and receiving phone calls via the internet.

UNI-D VoIP

A phone service which is run through a compatible VoIP modem-router which is in turn connected to an NBN Connection Box.

UNI-V (Fibre Phone/NBN Phone)

A phone service which allows you to make calls directly from the NBN connection box.

 

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What are the pros and cons of each phone service option?

Phone service

Pros

Cons

VoiP

 

  • The only running costs associated with VoIP are the costs of using the internet, making it a great low cost option for small businesses
  • Combines web conferencing, phone calls, voicemail to email and fax
  • VoIP smartphone apps mean office extension can be picked up remotely
  • Reduced management costs with only one network to manage
  • Low cost internal and external long distance calls
  • Reduced relocation costs

 

  • Requires a reliable internet speed to function
  • In a blackout when the internet is down, D VoIP will be as well

 

UNI-D VoIP

 

  •  More affordable than UNI-V
  •  Battery backup is available
  • Choice of voice codec
  • Flexible in terms of IP telephony

 

 

 

  • Does not have a dedicated bandwidth for voice traffic so calls will compete with internet traffic
  • In a blackout when the internet is down, UNI-D VoIP will be as well
  • Requires a VoIP compatible modem-router
  • Requires a Fibre-to-the-Premises connection

UNI-V (Fibre Phone/NBN Phone)

 

  • Has a higher traffic class (TC-1) giving it priority over other traffic
  • Simplifies management as there are no specific codecs and is always prioritized over other traffic
  • If you use a backup battery unit, UNI-V will continue to work in a blackout
  • Can be directly plugged into the UNI-V port on the NBN Connection Box
  • Requires UNI-D to be activated so is more expensive than both UNI-D and VoIP.
  •  Requires a Fibre-to-the-Premises connection

 

Our recommendation

For businesses seeking flexibility, reliability, performance and simplicity, VoIP is the way to go. VoIP is not only incredibly affordable (as the cost of calls is bundled into the cost of your internet connection), it can be accessed from anywhere in the world (as long as you have a reliable internet connection you will be able to receive calls to your VoIP number), can be used for virtually any type of telephone (with a VoIP converter or a VoIP telephone adaptor), and can be used for videoconferencing. If you’re a small to medium sized business with employees often working remotely or reliant on videoconferencing as a way to communicate with clients and partners, then VoIP is best suited to your needs. AWD offers NBN and Telephony packages based on VoIP technology.

 

When will the changeover occur?

Once NBN Co notifies you that your area is ready to connect to the NBN, you have 18 months to make the switch before the copper network is disconnected. You can check whether NBN is available at your current address, as well as details such as when the rollout is scheduled for your area, the type of technology being used and the status of the rollout on the NBN Co website.

 

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What steps do I need to take?

 

Moving to the NBN is not an automatic process so once you are notified by NBN Co that your area is ready to be connected to the NBN, there are some steps you will need to take.

1. Register (if you own your building)

If you own the property your business operated from, you will need to register your building with NBN Co.

2. Obtain consent (if you lease)

Businesses operating under a lease will need to obtain consent from their landlord for NBN Co equipment to be installed both inside and outside the business premises.

3. Determine the right phone service for your business

Decide which phone service (VoIP, UNI-V or UNI-D) is right for your business in consultation with your preferred telecommunications provider

4. Order services and book an installation

5. Get your hardware tested

Contact hardware suppliers for devices such as fax machines, lift phones, Eftpos card machines etc. to determine whether they have been tested on the NBN. Testing early means there is no downtime during migration.

 

When is the best time to switch?

 

If your area is NBN ready, best to talk to experts early, otherwise there will be a rush when the cutover NBN date approaches. It’s important to give yourself plenty of time to consider and map out the telecommunications requirements of your business and ensure your migration is properly planned out to avoid downtime.

 

AWD offer cost effective VoIP packages for Melbourne based businesses. If you are interested in switching to a VoIP based phone line, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 1300 855 651.