What you need to know before switching your office broadband to NBN

With the NBN rollout on its way and more and more broadband plans launching every year, it can be time-consuming trying to choose the right plan for your business.

Our friends at Small Business First have partnered with Whistleout to help you sort through your options when it’s time to make the switch to NBN.

Here are three points you need to consider:

1. NBN offers multiple speed tiers – this basically means you can pay more for faster speeds.

You can choose between four main speeds: NBN 12, 25, 50 and 100. Your final choice essentially depends on the upload speed you’re looking for. You’ll want an NBN 50 plan at the minimum, to ensure you have a decent upload speed (a maximum of 20Mbps on NBN 50). This is also a good starting point to ensure that you have a fast enough connection to support multiple employees using it at the same time.

If you need faster upload, NBN 100 provides 40Mbps upload speeds. These can be important if you’re working with and sharing large files.

If you don’t think you need the fastest speeds, NBN 50 plans are currently the best value around.

Still not sure what’s a good speed for you? Read this to get a better understanding of Internet speed options.

Hold on, as the comparison table below might take a few seconds to upload…

2. Watch out for these key points when you’re comparing Internet plans.

When you’re looking at an Internet plan for your business, make sure to check for business-specific inclusions. Some providers just call a plan “business ready” without really changing it from their consumer offering.

The inclusions you could get with a business plan are:

  • a dedicated small business support teams
  • unlimited uploads
  • account managers
  • a static IP address (which can be useful if you have internal servers)

Remember: If you’re a solo entrepreneur, working from home or if your business is just starting up, a consumer-grade NBN plan may be enough for you. But if you’re planning to grow your business, move into a bigger space and hire more people, you’ll need to think about getting the right modem and router. You’ll want to ensure it’s powerful enough to cover your entire office, and fast enough to serve all of your staff simultaneously.

It might be a good idea to start looking at business grade hardware, rather than the modems provided by telcos, or at least a business-grade Wifi router to share the connection with the office.

Get a better idea of the choices you have by comparing Internet plans and prices available for your location.

3. Flexibility to change

The other thing you’ll need to decide is whether or not you want to sign a 24-month contract. Not all NBN re-sellers are equal – if they haven’t purchased enough capacity from NBN, they may be more prone to congestion during peak hours.

While peak usage hours tend to be outside of business hours (7pm to 11pm), signing up for a contract-free plan can give you a safety net in the sense that you can swap providers without penalties if something goes wrong. You may however need to pay hardware or setup fees upfront if you don’t sign a 24-month contract.

It’s a good idea to read more about the pros and cons of contract-free Internet before you take a call.

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