The NBN will affect every Australian and the way that they access the Internet. It is a new broadband network that is being built in Australia and will dramatically improve the way we connect with the world.
With everyone needing to make a decision on a provider of NBN there are some simple things that you should consider when comparing plans.
1. What speed will I need?
The NBN has 5 Internet speeds. These are 12/1Mbps, 25/5Mbps, 25/10Mbps, 50/20Mbps and 100/40Mbps. The first number is the maximum download speed and the second number is the upload speed. Most providers don’t sell the 25/10Mbps speed as it adds another level of complexity to their plans. In order to work out what speed you need I would ask myself, how many Internet users are there in my household or business. If you are a low Internet user and only have 2 people who would ever use the Internet, I would recommend the 12/1Mbps speed. This is easily sufficient for watching Netflix, checking emails and browsing the Internet. If you have 2 or more people wishing to use the Internet at the same time I would consider the next speed up, 25/5Mbps. This would be sufficient for 2 or more people to watch different Internet streaming sites at the same time. You could also stream CCTV or any number of other Internet connected devices that are out there.
If you are a business and have a high number of users using the Internet. Perhaps you have a need for high speed uploading, then 50/20Mbps and 100/40mbps should be a consideration. Most providers allow you to change between speeds so you can always move up and down depending on your needs.
2. How much data will I need?
Again this questions comes down to the number of users you have using the Internet and the type of Internet usage you are doing. If you are downloading a lot of movies, or watching a lot of video content, you may well need in excess of 200Gb of usage per month. If you are simply using the KNBN for emails, and web browsing you may not need more than 50Gb of data per month. Some providers offer unlimited data plans. This can offer fantastic value for money if you are a heavy downloader however you may experience slower speeds during peak times as often unlimited plans are subject to congestion on the network. What this means is that in order for an unlimited plan to be provided, an NBN service provider may share the bandwidth with more users. This can lead to speed decreases if there are a lot of users using the network at the same time.
3. What will I do with my phone line on the NBN?
When the NBN comes to town, in most cases traditional telephone lines will be disconnected. Don’t worry though, because it’s possible to transfer your home or business telephone number to the NBN. And the good news is it is often significantly cheaper to have a phone line on the NBN as it uses VOIP instead of the Telstra copper cable that is in the street. Plans are available with unlimited calls and cheap line rental. Make sure though that you have transferred your landline telephone number(s) prior to copper disconnection. Otherwise you run the risk of losing your telephone number and it is very hard to get it back!
4. What NBN provider shall I go with?
At the time of writing there are more than 120 providers of NBN services. This makes it a mine field to decide which provider to sign up with. The good news is that all NBN retail service providers buy their service from the NBN. Some do however operate different networks which can lead to congestion on a network as mentioned previously in this post. Spend some time reading online reviews. It’s important that you choose a provider who is capable of connecting you and who has good customer service. There are a few stages to moving to the NBN so it’s important that you can get hold of your chosen provider. Horror stories of some providers are out there with 40+ minute hold times for their customer service. Some providers that rate highly in the reviews are Tangerine Telecom for residential connections and More Telecom for business NBN connections.
5. What happens to my ADSL modem?
In most cases your ADSL modem will become obsolete. NBN routers either require a WAN connection or VDSL connection. Your provider should include an NBN modem when they connect you. Some providers have specific connection settings so it’s recommended to go with the router recommended by your NBN provider. Check out this article for more information about NBN Modems/Routers
6. Don’t’ leave it too late!
Don’t leave it until the last minute to order your NBN service. At the time close to copper disconnection there is often a flood of orders. NBN then struggles to keep up and this can lead to some people being without a working Internet or phone service. Our tip is to order the NBN as soon as you can. You’ll see a lot of marketing activity in your area in the time leading up to NBN becoming available. This includes marketing material from the NBN providers and also from nbnTM themselves. It’s often a quick call to a chosen proider like the ones mentioned earlier and they can take care of the rest!