As the NBN is rolled out, VoIP will become the primary technology for Australian businesses to communicate over the phone. With traditional phone lines being cut off within 18 months of roll-out, VoIP will be required to continue to make and receive calls.
Whether or not your business internet is already connected to the NBN, or roll-out has commenced in your area – it’s important to know what this means for your business phone lines if you haven’t yet made the switch to VoIP.
If you haven’t changed your business phone system, you’ll need to do it before your NBN cut-off date. And if NBN is not yet in your area, you’ll need to be prepared for what this change will mean for your business.
There is still a great deal of confusion about the NBN rollout and what it means for businesses, so we’ve busted the most common myths we hear from our customers.
MYTH 1: The NBN is unreliable, so it’s best to wait until the last moment to move our business phone lines to the NBN and VoIP
The NBN rollout has not been without its problems, particularly when it comes to expectations of internet speed and reliability.
However, there are a multitude of ways for businesses to ensure a better phone connection than they had previously with the old landline technology. And the reality is that in most cases, the call quality over VoIP is superior.
Leaving the NBN until the last moment is NOT the best way to handle the impact of the rollout on your business.
Connection of your business phone system to the NBN is not instantaneous, and in some cases, the provisioning process can take many weeks – or longer. If you leave it until the end, your business is at risk of having no phone connection once cut-off occurs.
It is much better for your business to start the process of moving to the NBN as soon as possible. This will allow plenty of time to set up and optimise your phone system while the old PSTN network is still in place.
As an added benefit of making the switch sooner rather than later, small to medium businesses can save thousands each year with a Cloud Phone system, because there’s no more line rental to pay.
MYTH 2: If our ISP has an outage, our business won’t be able to make and receive calls
As the NBN rollout continues, 95% of Australian phones are expected to be on VoIP by 2024. This does mean that phones won’t be able to make and receive calls if there is a broadband outage, as was the case with the Telstra faults and outages of old.
However, the situation is not as bad as it seems. Unlike a physical fault with the Telstra phone network, there IS a solution for VoIP phones during an outage.
Businesses can use a 4G backup modem that kicks in automatically when the NBN stops working – ensuring that your phone system and office web browsing continue.
MYTH 3: Using the cloud rather than on-premise equipment puts you at risk of having no phone lines in a broadband outage
Following from the previous myth, business customers often tell us they have heard they should avoid a VoIP Cloud Phone system, and instead use on-premise equipment with their NBN. The thinking behind this is that they will still be able to make and receive calls during a broadband outage.
However, this is untrue. After the NBN cut-off date, the phone lines will be cut off, and all phone communication will need to be over broadband. It will make no difference what phone system is in place.
It is much more important to have the right system for your business needs, and factor in contingencies such as a 4G backup modem for any outages.
MYTH 4: It’s better for businesses to work with a large telco
Your business phone lines are a critical part of your operations, so it may seem to make the most sense to partner with a large provider, to ensure the best service.
However, many businesses find the reality to be very different, especially when it comes to Cloud Phone systems.
Most larger companies tend towards a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. It’s important to partner with a company that will actually ask how your business functions, and how you’d like the phones set up to meet your needs.
A smaller provider, serving only business customers, with support based in Australia, such as Comsource, can provide personalised set up, service and support that you won’t often find with the larger telcos. This means that you deal with the same technician throughout the resolution of your query / support issue.
As we’ve reported previously, if your provider puts you on hold for a long time before answering your call, has offshore support that results in language difficulties, or takes a long time to understand and resolve your issues – even if you have explained them before – this costs your business both time and money.
Price is also an important factor. Business customers who simply choose a provider because they’re the biggest or best known can pay much more than they need to.
MYTH 5: The cloud and internet cables can’t handle multiple usages in a business environment
People forget how congested their workplace’s Wi-Fi networks can become – printers, personal smartphones, Apple TV, Google Play and more all demand Wi-Fi space – and that’s even before your laptops or desktops power up.
Regardless of the speed of your system, having all of these resources on the same frequency can cause poor quality phone calls.
This is simply a matter of configuration. An IT expert should be able to segregate the Wi-Fi so that certain devices work on certain frequencies.
Many smaller businesses do not however, have their own in-house IT.
If you use a Comsource-supplied modem, we can access this remotely and set up the configuration to match your usage – without any additional cost of an IT technician.
MYTH 6: Your business phone lines are limited to your office location
Cloud Phone handsets can be used from anywhere in the world, and will always show the local number associated with your business when you make an outgoing call.
This is especially useful for businesses with staff who work from home or other locations.
It also means you could pack your deskphone (or softphone app) to make calls from Bali, and the assumption will be that you are at your desk in Australia. If there’s a decent broadband connection, then your Cloud Phone will work fine wherever you or your staff are.
MYTH 7: Businesses can simply set up their Cloud Phones themselves to save money
This is a common assumption we see with small to medium businesses, most often by not realising the difference between residential and business level VoIP requirements.
There may be a small cost saving for a business by taking a DIY-approach, but this can be a false economy, as their experience with VoIP on NBN can then become problematic.
Residential users can set up VoIP themselves, but small and medium sized businesses require more complex setups and ongoing support. This may include capabilities such as music on hold that could change seasonally, call routing that adapts as the company grows, or even automated menus that help get the caller straight to the intended desk.
Importantly, however, a residential-level NBN plan is often impacted by residential peak traffic after school or early evenings. Businesses need an NBN plan with a faster speed, managed by a business-oriented supplier that is not impacted by this residential traffic.
Obtain free expert advice
There’s no need to navigate through the complexities of business phone systems by yourself. Speak to the experts at Comsource to determine the best phone system for your business.
We’re a leader in phone systems and internet for small to medium businesses – it’s all we do!
When you speak with one of our expert advisers, we’ll assess your needs for:
- Business and staff locations, and whether they sometimes work from home.
- The right NBN plan available for your needs in your area.
- The features you’ll need with your phone handsets, and our recommendations of the right handsets for your business.
- Whether it suits your business to rent or buy your handsets outright.
- The future needs of your business, so your phone system can grow with you.