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Connecting your business to the NBN

Switching to the NBN is not automatic. You generally have 18 months from when your area is ‘ready for service’ to switch your business to the NBN, before your old internet and phone services are disconnected. 

Switching business services to the NBN can be more complex and require a different level of service compared to your home. Get in touch with your preferred phone or internet provider as soon as possible to make a plan to move your business services to the NBN.

Step 1: Check you’re ‘ready to connect’

If you’re unsure whether your area is ready for the NBN, go to the business portal of the NBN Co website and enter your business address in the check your address tool.

The tool will tell you which technology will connect your business to the NBN. Technology in fixed line areas include:

If you’re in a regional or remote area, you may have a fixed wireless or satellite connection.

Take action based on the result:

  • ‘Service available’: Move to step 2
    • You have 18 months to switch to the NBN or an alternative network (such as a mobile network) once your area is declared ‘ready for service’.
    • After 18 months, if you’re business is in a fixed line area, your old internet and phone network will be disconnected and your services will stop working.
    • If you’re in a fixed wireless or satellite area, Telstra’s copper network will remain, but you should follow the below steps to switch your business to an NBN service.
  • ‘Planned’ or ‘Build commenced’: register your business email address for updates in the check your address tool.

Step 2: Make an informed decision

Review the information on the business portal of the NBN Co website.

Complete the NBN CoBusiness Readiness Checklist. It will help you identify all the technologies, systems and services that apply to your business and the recommended actions to help switch your services to the NBN or an alternative network.

Research phone and internet service providers and consider:      

  • how much speed you need – read about available speeds on the NBN Co website
  • how much data you currently use, as this will help you decide how much you need on the NBN
  • which provider is best for you based on your business’ needs – review the list of providers on the NBN Co website
  • whether you have any Special Services
  • where your NBN Co supplied equipment can be installed at your premises – discuss your preferred location with your installer
  • whether you need additional wiring – ask your provider for a quote if needed.

Critical Information Summaries

Review the Critical Information Summary of your preferred providers – you can request this prior to entering a new contract, service or plan.

The Critical Information Summary sets out clear information about products, plans and services of the provider, so you can easily compare what is being offered.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority fact sheet ‘Critical Information Summaries for telco consumers’ provides more information about this product. 

Step 3: Contact your preferred provider

Contact your preferred phone or internet provider to discuss your requirements and order the most appropriate plan for your needs.

Make sure you understand the terms and conditions, and discuss any questions you have with the provider before signing up to a plan.

Some existing devices may not be compatible with the NBN. Make sure you talk to both your service and device providers about:

  • security alarm systems and cameras
  • EFTPOS or health claim terminals
  • On-site ATMs
  • fax machines and teletypewriter devices
  • PBX systems or multiple phone lines
  • lift phones
  • monitored fire alarms and lift phones.

You should also talk to your provider about keeping your existing business telephone number when you switch your service to the NBN.

Special Services

‘Special Services’ are business telecommunication products delivered on copper (other than your standard landline or internet services). They include:

  • Ethernet Lite DSL
  • Wholesale Business DSL (W-BDSL)
  • ATM
  • Wholesale ATM
  • CustomNet
  • Megalink
  • Wholesale Transmission (WTx)
  • DDS Fastway
  • Data Access Radial (DAR)
  • ISDN2
  • ISDN
  • Frame Relay

The disconnection of these Special Services differ. Review the table on the NBN Co website to find out when a service is being disconnected, and talk to your provider about switching your Special Services to the NBN. Read more about Special Services on the NBN Co website.

Resources

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to switch my business internet and phone service to the NBN?

Yes, if your business is in a fixed line technology area, and you want to continue to receive phone or internet, you will have to switch your services to the NBN.

You have 18 months from the time your area is ‘ready for service’ to switch to the NBN.

To check the status of the NBN in your area, enter your business address in the check address tool on the NBN Co website.

If you’re in a fixed wireless or satellite area, you’re not required to connect to the NBN as Telstra will continue to maintain its network in these areas.

If your current service is provided over the Optus HFC network, Optus will provide you with at least 90 days notice to switch your services to the NBN before your current service is disconnected.

For more information on the technologies used in the rollout, visit the NBN Co website.

How do I switch?

Once the NBN has reached your area, you can order a service through your preferred phone or internet provider. A list is available on the NBN Co website.

If you’re in a fixed line area, you will have 18 months to switch to the NBN from the time your area is declared ‘ready for service’. NBN Co will be in contact with more information as the network rolls out in your area, or you can register your email for updates once you’ve entered your business address in the check your address tool on the NBN Co website.

What happens if I don’t switch to the NBN?

If your business is in a fixed-line technology area, you have 18 months to switch your business to the NBN or an alternative telecommunications network (such as a mobile network) once your area is declared ‘ready for service’.

After the 18-month window, your old internet and phone network will be disconnected and your services will stop working.

If you choose not to switch to the NBN, you will need to consider using an alternative telecommunications network, such as a mobile network. You will need to arrange to move to the alternative network before the end of the 18 month period, when your old internet and phone services will be disconnected.

If you’re in a fixed wireless or satellite area, you’re not required to connect to the NBN as Telstra will continue to maintain its network in these areas.

What speeds can I expect over the NBN?

Under the Government’s Statement of Expectations, NBN Co must deliver a minimum peak wholesale download speed of 25 megabits per second (Mbps) to all premises and at least 50 Mbps to 90 per cent of all fixed-line services as soon as possible.

To provide a safeguard for consumers, NBN Co performs a service qualification check on each line when an order is placed and notifies the service provider of the speed the network is capable of delivering. Your service provider is responsible for making sure they can deliver the service they have sold you, and where necessary, adjusting your plan to a speed tier that your business is capable of achieving.

A number of factors beyond NBN Co’s control may affect broadband speeds over the network. These include:

  • how the provider designs its service to run over the infrastructure
  • how much capacity the retailer buys from NBN Co
  • your in-home set-up, including end user equipment and wiring
  • congestion on the internet site visited.

Video streaming services can also be impacted by the content management system that supports the stream and how it is compressed for viewing.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be monitoring internet speeds through the Broadband Performance Monitoring and Reporting program to measure real time speeds over the NBN.

How much will installation of the NBN cost?

Standard NBN installation is free of charge during the 18-month period after the NBN is declared ‘ready for service’ in your area.

Additional charges may apply if your home or business requires upgrades to wiring or cabling or if you want a non-standard installation.

You should ask your provider if there will be any additional fees or equipment needed to connect your premises to the NBN. Some providers offer professional installation of their equipment, which may incur charges.

If additional wiring or cabling is required, you may need to arrange for a registered cabler (a person who holds a current cabling registration) to undertake this work. The Registered Cablers website has details of registered cablers.

How much do NBN services cost?

The cost of NBN services will vary between service providers. You should shop around to find the plan that best suits your needs. A list of providers is available on the NBN Co website.

A number of websites are available to help you compare plans, including finder.com, WhistleOut and YouCompare.

I only need a phone service – do I need to switch to the NBN?

If you use a telephone service without internet (known as a 'voice only' service), you still need to move to the NBN if you live in a fixed line area. You can check what technology your area will receive through NBN Co’s check address tool.

Contact your preferred phone or internet provider to discuss how voice only services can be provided over the NBN.

Can I keep my business phone number?

In most cases, you should be able to keep your existing phone number when switching to the NBN. When ordering your NBN service, advise your provider that you would like to keep your number.

If you are changing service providers and would like to keep your phone number, you should check with your new provider that they will ‘port’ across your phone number before signing any contracts. Not all providers will accept a number porting request.

Your provider should be able to give you advice on porting your number to make sure your phone service is not disconnected.

What if I have special features or over-the-top services on my current phone connection?

When you order your NBN service you will need to tell your provider if you have any enhanced call features or other over-the-top services you want to migrate.

Enhanced call features may include:

  • privacy protection measures, such as silent numbers, calling number display and calling number display blocking
  • call waiting
  • call forwarding
  • call barring.

Over-the-top services may include:

  • medical alarms
  • lift emergency phones
  • monitored fire alarms
  • monitored security alarm systems
  • ATMs and EFTPOS machines
  • fax machines
  • teletypewriter (TTY) devices.

What if I have a medical alarm?

If you have a medical alarm (monitored and unmonitored), autodialler or emergency call button at your premises, you should register your details on NBN Co's Medical Alarm Register.

Registration is free and allows NBN Co to identify households where support may be needed before switching to the NBN.

What if I have a monitored fire alarm or lift phone?

If you have a monitored fire alarm and/or lift phone at your premises, you should register your details on NBN Co's Fire and Lift Register.

Read our frequently asked questions about monitored fire alarms and lift phones.

Detailed information for building owners/managers and industry can be found in the Migration of monitored fire alarm and lift phone services good practice guide. The Guide sets out what parties involved in the migration of monitored fire alarms and lift phones need to do, options for migration paths, and other relevant considerations.

How do I prepare for a power outage?

Equipment without an independent battery power supply connected solely over the NBN will not work during a power outage. Consider having access to another form of communication, such as a charged mobile phone.

The following would be affected during a power outage:

  • fixed-line telephone and internet services
  • medical alarms
  • security alarms.

You should consider maintaining a fully charged power bank which can be used to recharge your mobile device in the event of a power outage.

How a power outage affects the NBN and services at your business will depend on the technology used at your premises. More information about how technology is affected by power outage is available on the NBN Co website.

Who is responsible for what?

NBN Co limited (NBN Co) is a Government Business Enterprise. It is responsible for rolling out the NBN on a wholesale-only, open-access basis, which means it is a wholesaler and does not supply retail services directly to the public.

NBN Co’s role is to provide the underlying infrastructure and wholesale products that are the building blocks upon which telecommunications companies develop retail products to offer to consumers.

Once the network rollout has been completed and activated in an area, consumers are able to place an order for a service through a phone or internet provider.

Providers are responsible for:

  • offering retail products and services to the consumer
  • placing orders directly with NBN Co for a service over the network
  • reporting to NBN Co any network-related issues the consumer is experiencing with the installation process
  • informing the consumer of progress and/or delays relating to the installation
  • dealing with billing or account management inquiries from the consumer.

If you have any questions or concerns about your service, your best point of contact is your phone and internet provider who has a direct relationship with NBN Co and is best placed to resolve any issues.

The Migration Assurance Framework (MAF) was developed in close collaboration with industry. It sets out the principles for industry that guide the process for switching to the NBN and the agreed roles and responsibilities of all industry parties for a seamless service transition to an NBN service.

Industry parties have agreed to apply the framework and work together to safeguard continuity of service.

Where can I learn more about the NBN?

Visit the NBN Co website to learn more about the NBN.

Visit the business portal of the NBN Co website for detailed information about switching your business to an NBN service.