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Many organisations, including some of our own customers, use retail ISP services at their smaller sites, mixed with more robust business grade connections at HQ and major branch offices. In the past, those retail connections would typically have been ADSL, but with the accelerating rollout of the NBN, ADSL technology is becoming outmoded at a growing list of locations.

At first sight, this should be a good thing. The NBN promises significantly faster speeds, using a more reliable and modern technology. The result should be better internet services. The truth is more complicated.

The first issue organisations may encounter is the inability order any fixed line internet service at a new office/site. Once ISPs become aware that an area has been scheduled for conversion to NBN, they can, and have, refused to offer any new ADSL services. It makes no financial sense for them to invest in new ADSL infrastructure once they know that it will “soon” be made redundant. This can result in a gap where no one will supply ADSL, but NBN is not yet available. You may need to use 4G technology during these gaps. Be prepared for the additional bandwidth costs and less stable connections associated with these wireless services.

The second major issue is one that you may have already experienced in your own home – the price, performance and quality of the NBN is not what most people were anticipating. As the rollout has accelerated NBN complaints have risen by 117.5 percent year-on-year, the ACCC has commenced a formal process to investigate whether the speeds being promoted are actually being delivered by any providers, and the federal parliament has formed a joint standing committee to investigate the problems with the rollout. Just in the last week a new “NBN tax” has been approved, which will increase the pricing of NBN services for some locations.

Many NBN users are reporting that the speed of the service is strongly dependent upon the time of day, or on usage by others in the same area. The performance can be so negatively affected that users want to return to their ADSL connections – unfortunately not an option in most circumstances. Issues are most commonly experienced during peak usage, in the evenings, but organisations need to be aware that even during day time usage an NBN conversion has the potential to reduce the speed and quality of internet services at some sites.

Unfortunately, this is likely to be a problem that is going to get worse before it gets better. If you have critical small sites it would be wise to develop some contingency plans before the NBN passes through the area. And if you know that you will soon need to establish new sites, be prepared to deal with a “gap” in the availability of new services.

If you need assistance with managing your network services across your organisation’s locations, please contact us or give us a call on 1300 443 573.

Article written by Damien Hogan