The National Broadband Network (NBN) is one of the most advanced and expensive technical projects in Australian history – but is it the best option for your business?
We’ve broken down the NBN facts to help you understand what is happening, why it’s happening and whether it will help you.
So, first things first, what is the NBN?
Simply put, the NBN is about providing all Australian homes and businesses with access to high-speed internet. It’s being run by the Australian Government and connection to all Australian households and businesses is free (but you pay for the plan you choose to access the NBN).
Why is it happening?
There are two reasons for this project, firstly – the existing Telstra copper network does not have the capacity to meet the future online needs of Australia in 15 years’ time. Secondly, the existing Telstra copper network will be switched off, so everyone will need to change their home phone and internet service to the NBN or an alternative like Telstra’s Internet Direct.
Why is the Australian Government spending so much money on this project?
To answer this question, it helps to look back in history… think back to your internet use 15 years ago – casual browsing through clunky and slow dial-up modems. At that time, no-one could have imagined what was coming in the way of smartphones, Facebook, YouTube and the emergence of online, high-definition video and online communication. Today, these online tools are part of our everyday lives, we simply couldn’t imagine life without them. And, just like we hadn’t even heard of Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder) 15 years ago, we can’t even begin to imagine how our online use will evolve in the next 15 years.
You may have heard the term ‘big data’ being bandied around – it refers to the fact that in the past 18 months to 2 years alone we have downloaded, recorded and saved more data than ever in history. We are seeing exponential data use growth which is doubling itself year on year. At a grassroots level, this means a household using 20G of data this year will probably be using 100G this time next year.
Online use will grow in ways that rely more heavily on fast upload and download speeds. The Cloud will become a major feature of our online home and business future, drawing heavily on super-quick upload, download, storage and processing capacity, all which rely on faster broadband speeds and Bandwidth Capacity.
How much will it cost me to connect to the NBN?
Every home and business will have an NBN connection for free. You can find out when the NBN is coming to your area by clicking the link here. But the cost will come when you choose the NBN package that best suits your needs. There is a range of packages available which relate to speed and pricing. The Government is currently controlling the wholesale pricing of NBN packages to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to connect to the network at a fair price.
What are the downsides to NBN?
There is discussion in the public arena about whether the NBN will be fast enough. The data speeds are looking slower than initially forecasted, with delays expected particularly in the immediate changeover period.
The NBN is a non-symmetrical service, which means the speed will be different for uploads compared to downloads. A symmetrical service is where the broadband operates at the same speed for both uploads and downloads – and for this reason is usually more desirable. A symmetrical service is typical for business grade delivery, so some businesses may need to decide whether a non-symmetrical service will suit their business needs.
It is also worth noting that the first point of contact for NBN service or supply issues will not necessarily be the people who can solve the problem straight away. In the event of a problem with your NBN connection or supply, you will likely contact your third party internet provider, who will, in-turn, speak to the wholesaler, who will then speak to the NBN people who can provide assistance.
If one-step service or support is essential to your home or business, then it might be worth considering all your options.
What are the alternatives to NBN?
Telstra Internet Direct is a secure, high-performance, business grade internet service which, like NBN, gives you the flexibility to choose from a range of carriage types, speeds, units and pricing. But, unlike the NBN, operates on a symmetrical bandwidth data service – allowing the same speeds for uploads and downloads.
With Telstra’s vast network coverage, customers can connect multiple business sites for improved reach and connectivity. And, you are only one call away from service or support from the people who will directly fix your problem.
For all your questions about NBN or Telstra Internet Direct, home and business connectivity and choosing the right plan for your needs, contact our friendly team at Wireless Communications on (08) 8274 0000.