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Preparing for the NBN roll out

Could your business still operate if you found yourself without access to landline telephone or the internet? Unexpected telecommunications outages can cause major disruptions to small businesses, especially if you communicate with your clients via email or sell goods and services online

As the National Broadband Network (NBN) is rolled out, having a ‘plan b’ to help you prepare for any potential disruptions to your internet or telephone at your business premises is essential.

Tip: Read the Everything you need to know about Australia’s broadband network article on the NBN Co website if you’re unsure of what the NBN is and how it will work.

How will I know when the NBN is coming to my business?

You will be contacted by NBN Co when the service is available in your area. They will also let you know what the deadline is for you to move from your existing phone and internet to the NBN. At this stage, you’ll need to contact your preferred telecommunications service provider to move to the NBN.

If you don’t take the necessary steps to move to the NBN, then your existing phone line and internet services will eventually be disconnected permanently.

Tip: You can check your business address to see progress of the NBN roll out in your area.

What can I do to prepare for the NBN?

Moving to the NBN is a good opportunity for you to evaluate your phone and internet services to see if they are meeting your business needs and ensure you are getting the best deal available.

To make sure your business transitions to the NBN as smoothly as possible you can:

  • Sign up for roll-out updates on the NBN Co website.
  • Use the Business Readiness Checklist on the NBN website to help you identify the services you have that may be impacted by the rollout and what you can do to prepare.
  • Look at the different NBN plans being offered by telephone and internet providers to find the best price and plan inclusions for your business. Also take the time to ask the providers about any fees, equipment, back-up batteries or special services related to the installation of the NBN or on-going services.
  • Consider how a phone or internet outage would disrupt your business. If you don’t have a plan to deal with unexpected events, creating a risk management plan will help minimise the disruption to your business should you be faced with any network outages. This could include having plans around:
    • A back-up internet source (such as a pre-paid internet dongle/pocket wi-fi USB device or using your smart phone as an internet ‘hotspot’ which uses the data provided in your phone contract).
    • Including a mobile phone number on your business collateral (eg. business cards, flyers, website and social media) so customers are given more than one number to call you.
    • What to do if your premises experiences a blackout, as this may affect your phone line once you move to the NBN.
    • Working from a different location (such as a co-working space) if your business isn’t location dependent.

If you would like help from an information and communications technology (ICT) professional for the initial NBN set-up and to answer any questions relating to speed, performance, voice services and whether you should increase your data plan, you may be interested in the NBN’s ICT Channel Program. This matches businesses with the appropriate professionals or service providers that can help guide you.

What can I do if I have issues with my connection once moving to the NBN?

If you’re experiencing issues with your NBN connection that you’re unable to solve directly with your service provider (such as faults, drop outs or poor coverage) contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman for help.

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