It’s impossible to go a day without seeing articles and extensive discussion online about the National Broadband Network (NBN). Much attention is being paid to the NBN in Australia. Alongside being regarded as a vital piece of infrastructure for our nation in the 21st century - just as the Snowy River Dam, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the sealing of the Eyre Highway in WA was in the 20th century - the NBN has also begun its rollout with much political debate around it.
This has made knowing what exactly is happening, when - and what the rollout means in-depth - difficult to find out, and fully understand at times. Rather than have you go through 100s of articles, or read boring reports from Canberra, we at Qbit are here to save you with our quick and crisp NBN primer. Let’s look in-depth at the NBN now, and when you can expect it.
First, what went wrong?
There’s really no easy way to write this: reading how we got to this point will make you angry. The labour government decided to run fibre to every home. This meant replacing all the old and in most places aging copper cable. Sure this may have seemed like the gold plated solution, but I firmly believe in doing it once and doing it correctly, and this certainly to me, was the correct way to do it. They then ran in to all sorts of problems. Asbestos pits, negotiating with Telstra for access to the pits and finally a change of government.
In the campaigning, the Liberal party used this as a political football to get into power, much like Trump did with Obama Care. Once in power, unlike Trump, they changed to another system, and now we are left with a ½ baked NBN for most people. To make things worse, with Fibre to the Node, we are left using old copper cable for the last mile and the costs have blown out to about the same as the first solution.
I hear rumours that some have it
When they came to WA to pick a site to do the proof of concept they picked South Perth and VicPark. These are two areas that have good internet already and not many businesses were suffering from the lack of internet speed. They were simply after the highest density per km run of cable. Why not pick a business district where businesses struggle to get a decent internet connection, and it is costing them daily in lost productivity. Areas like Wangarra, Malaga and Belmont would have been a far smarter business choice.
How is the NBN installed exactly?
There are four big differences. As illustrated by the following,
Fibre to the Node (FttN), This is the Liberal goverment’s idea of gold plated NBN. When the gold plating rubs off, you are left with the old copper lines for the last mile. These copper lines are in some places over 100 years old and the nodes all need power and equipment. This leads to a more complicated network with a greater chance of breakdowns.
Fibre to the Premises (FttP - also known as Fibre to the Home).This NBN solution is a lot like your current broadband setup. A cable runs from the nearest fibre node to your premises, and will run once a power unit has been installed (done exclusively by an approved NBN installer).
Fibre to the Basement (FttB)This is a hybrid solution to provide the NBN. Existing copper that is in the building is maintained, while new fibre cables are installed running from the basement of the building outwards. The advantages of this setup is (theoretically) it should produce a quicker and easier installation of the NBN. Yet, many businesses wouldn’t know that, given how long the rollout has taken.
Hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) in the future.This is the ideal solution for a business that seeks to install the NBN, while also holding an existing pay TV or cable TV setup. Rather than being required to install a whole new line, the HFC solution allows for the integration of the NBN with existing infrastructure. All that is required to add-on is the NBN power box in your business premises.
How will my business benefit?
Currently, we connect many different services to a business to get them all the services that they need. Internet, Alarm monitoring, Faxes, Franking machines, Eftpos, ISDN Line, PSTN lines. Once we have NBN, we can change everything to go over the NBN connection. We have been doing this for years, using fibre from other suppliers like TPG or Vocus. We can setup hosted or onsite PABX systems, receive faxes via emails. Setup video conferencing, or screen sharing. Qbit can even invoice you for your phone calls. We have been preparing for the NBN for years and are ready to help your business take advantage of it.
When will the NBN come to Perth?
Well, the good news is that the NBN is now available in many locations and we are setting up new connections all the time. However, you cannot take it for granted that NBN will be there when you need it. If you are planning to move or start your business, then contact Qbit for our “Office Move check list” and make sure we check what services are available, before you sign any lease.
You can check your current business or residential address at the NBN website.
Qbit can do amazing things with fast internet.
NBN is only one type of broadband. We can do amazing things using other types of broadband! If NBN is not available do not despair - we may still be able to transform your business and increase the productivity of your staff and your professional image.