Delays. Disruptions. Unreliable service. NSW businesses are finding the NBN rollout far from seamless. Here’s how to smooth the transition.

Delays and disruptions in the rollout of the NBN are costing NSW businesses, on average, more than $9000, according to a survey by NSW Business Chamber. 
 
The survey, which asked more than 850 businesses for their experiences, found that 39% of businesses reported having to wait more than four weeks to have their NBN service up and running. Reliability also remains a key concern for businesses post connection, with 42% of businesses responding to the survey saying their NBN service was unreliable.
 
“It’s a sorry state of affairs when our members are spending their hard earned money to upgrade their internet connection only to be left high and dry without internet for weeks at a time,” says NSW Business Chamber CEO, Stephen Cartwright.
 
“Even where members have been able to connect to the NBN, slow speeds and poor levels of customer service by both wholesale and retail telecommunication providers have been consistently reported.  
 
“The Chamber’s NBN and telecommunications survey found that due to disruptions, investment in new equipment and lost business, on average connecting to the NBN was costing businesses up to $9000.”
 
Before switching to the NBN, it’s critical that all businesses do their due diligence. To help smooth the transition, NSW Business Chamber has developed a five point guide for businesses to consider before making the change.
 
1. Find the right retail service provider (RSP) for your business 
Research which RSP (for example, Telstra, Optus or TPG) can best accommodate your business and its operations. Take a stocktake of what services and equipment your business needs to run and how they will run and operate on the NBN. Discuss how to minimise the disruptions to your business and make the process of migrating to the NBN as easy as possible.
 
2. Take your time  
Once NBN Co has announced that your area is ready for service you will have 18 months to move your service to the NBN network (and your current service is permanently disconnected). Take this time to carefully consider your options and don't feel rushed to sign anything before you're ready. You can talk to your current service provider for more information regarding disconnection dates.
 
3. Seek permission from your landlord
If you are planning to migrate to the NBN and you are not the owner of your business premises you will need to get permission from the owner for the installation of NBN equipment. Make sure you do this before you decide to arrange to be connected.
 
4. Protect your business
When migrating to the NBN it’s a good idea to keep your current connection active. Once your current service is disconnected it cannot be reactivated. When migrating to the NBN, installation delays or service faults can happen and it’s a good idea to have a back-up. Without a contingency in place your business could be left without internet for extended periods of time and facing expensive mobile data charges. 
 
5. Check your equipment is NBN ready
Your existing equipment and devices such as fax machines, security alarms and Eftpos/Credit Card machines may not work on the NBN and will need to be tested by the provider of the equipment beforehand. Your equipment provider is responsible for testing and ensuring their services work on the NBN. If you have any questions regarding how your equipment will operate on the NBN get in touch with your equipment provider to ensure it’s NBN ready.
The Chamber’s NBN and telecommunications survey found that due to disruptions, investment in new equipment and lost business, on average connecting to the NBN was costing businesses up to $9000.