What does the National Broadband Network mean for Australian businesses?
The NBN will be delivered in a number of phases. Phase 1 is high speed broadband and telephony; phase 2 is emerging entertainment technologies, notably television; phase 3 is business services.
The NBN Business Plan specifically notes that the network is designed for small and medium businesses. Services are designed for connecting multiple business locations so “they interact seamlessly and provide secure, high speed and reliable access to various business applications including video collaboration and conferencing”.
If you you grow to be really big, then you may want to use the Phase 4 functionality designed for Enterprise customers, with speeds 10 times faster at 1Gbps than the regular service.
How will it work?
You may know that the NBN will be a wholesale network. This means that the NBN Company will not provide the service to you directly. They will use retailers to do selling, billing, customer service etc.
It is clear that there will be new and different types of ‘telephone’ companies coming into the market. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that you would buy your NBN services from your bank, your electricity supplier or Google.
It is envisaged that your current supplier of telephony services will migrate you from their network onto the NBN network when it becomes available in your area. This means that there will be a ‘land grab’ to secure customers before the NBN comes into an area.
Telephone companies will offer you incentives and “bundles” to stay with them before and as the NBN gets rolled into your area. They are also likely to offer you incentives to stay after you have been migrated to the NBN cable. Competitive pressure will decide what is on offer, but it expected that generous incentives based on contracts will be commonplace.
The NBN has got potential to radically impact business and how it is conducted. A range of new business related technologies that are available will become very practical, such as conferencing, virtual meetings and business applications hosted in the Cloud.
It may also change the nature of work with teleworking or telecommuting becoming easier and practical. And don’t forget that phone calls will be virtually free!