Already many homes, schools and businesses are connected to the National Broadband Network. Over the next 3 years the NBN rollout will accelerate making high speed broadband internet access available to most Australian citizens. If you currently own a small business you will be affected and presumably have some questions about the implications for you and your business.

What Is The National Broadband Network?

The NBN is a government initiative that will improve Australia’s broadband network. To do this optic fibre, fixed wireless and next-generation satellites will be installed throughout Australia making the new service available to 93% of Australians. One of the main reasons it has been put in place is to encourage online activity and help small business to grow within Australia. Through this scheme the goal is to make Australia one of the most active users in terms of businesses and not-for-profit organisations using online opportunities to drive productivity improvements, expand their customer base and enable job growth.

What This Means For You?

For small business owners this presents itself as an exciting opportunity. Today, more than ever, business connections and transactions are being made over the internet. Whether you are an online store, purchase supplies online or merely send business-related material over the internet your business will have the ability to benefit from faster and more reliable broadband connection.

Part of the reason for this government initiative is to improve the efficiency of small businesses within Australia. To date, Australian businesses have not embraced the online marketplace as have many other countries. This new Broadband Network will help businesses within Australia expand nationally as well as internationally, with the issue of distance between customers and suppliers becoming almost irrelevant.  The OECD estimated savings could range from 50-90% in terms of distribution costs for some types of businesses.

Here are some of the ways your business might benefit

  • Videoconferencing will become cheaper and easier
  • Download speeds will increase, helping to share files more quickly
  • Through an increased online presence companies can stay open 24 hours a day
  • Websites can be more interactive as high quality videos and images can be uploaded
  • Data can be stored efficiently
  • Competition will level between Australian businesses and overseas businesses with faster connection speeds
  • Rural and regional areas that often had difficulties with broadband connection will now enjoy the same level of connection than anywhere else

As well as these points a major part of any business is its customers. Less time spent on time once time consuming tasks on a slower connection speed can now be focused towards customer attention and satisfaction.

The NBN Rollout On The Gold Coast

The National Broadband Network is already active in Toowoomba and over the next 3 years will spread to many other places in Queensland. To find out when you will be effected follow this link http://www.nbnco.com.au/rollout/rollout-map.html

Starting up and running any small business has its difficulties, especially in a time of economic uncertainty. You may be worried that that this new system will just be another problem to deal with on top of an already busy schedule. In fact it seems quite the contrary. The government has promised to be heavily involved with the initiative throughout its implementation.

Because of this the roll out promises to be quite pain free for you and your business through the following ways

  • When the NBN is available in your area you will receive free installation if you connect immediately. Doing so will not obligate you to anything so you have little to lose
  •  Because it is government controlled the NBN will act as a wholesaler. This means you can stay with your current network provider and still receive fast broadband connection at fair and reasonable prices.
  • It is your choice on how fast your service will be depending on how much you wish to download and how quickly you need things done

What You Can Do Now To Make Sure You’re Ready?

There are a few small steps you can undertake now to make sure you are ready for the NBN rollout. Many areas along the Gold Coast will be affected within the next 3 years so get prepared now! Here a few things you may want to do

  • The Australian government is eager for Australian businesses to get the most out of the new network. Therefore they are holding a program called ‘the Digital Enterprise initiative’ which will teach you how to take advantage of the new system and use it to best benefit your business. The government has funded $10 million towards the program and it’s free for you. Here is a contact information list if you are interested in the program.
Brisbane Business Success Group de@bsgroup.com.au
Goodna Ipswich City Council digitalenterprise@ipswich.qld.gov.au
Lockyer Valley J & B Personnel training@hb.net.au
Toowoomba Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE DigitalEconomy.SQIT@deta.qld.gov.au
Townsville Business Success Group de@bsgroup.com.au
  • If you are currently with a service provider you should check if they will become a NBN service provider. If they become one they may offer switch you to the NBN before you contract expires, otherwise you may have to cancel your contract if you wish to benefit from the NBN.
  • Find out when the rollout hits your area so you can take advantage of the free installation and connection to the network.
  • If you already have broadband internet you will not need to upgrade your equipment. However if your computer is not compatible you may need to upgrade.

My advice would be to embrace the NBN rollout as it carries large potential benefits for your company. Millions have been invested into the network which is designed to save you money and time. Prepare for it and be ready to make the shift to an online form of business activity that will be more efficient and more sustainable.

Written By:  Jesse Lovig