National Broadband Network

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1 Topic The basics Tutorial 7B National Broadband Network This tutorial explains what the National Broadband Network is and how it will benefit your business. Reading time: 10 minutes Prerequisite: None

2 1. What is the National Broadband Network (NBN)? The NBN will be a very fast nationwide broadband link to business and home premises, which will make Internet use much faster. It is a public infrastructure just like electricity. For 93% of premises the link will be a cable that is laid in the ground. This cable will house a very thin line of optical- grade glass called a fibre- optic cable. However, for some rural and remote areas, a very fast fixed wireless or satellite technology will be used instead. a) How does my business connect with the NBN? A fully federal government owned company called the NBNCo will make the connection to businesses and properties in the first instance. Businesses will still need to deal with their Internet Service Provider (ISP) to purchase Internet access. Examples of ISPs are: Telstra, Optus, iinet, TPG, Internode, Primus and others. Once the infrastructure is in place it is up to the ISP to establish connection. Businesses will be exposed to advertising from ISPs when the NBN is almost ready. Businesses who wish to swap service providers will need to refer to their current Internet contract to avoid excess termination fees. b) What will they install at my premises? Fibre- optic cables will be laid in the same place as existing phone lines are (underground or overhead). Externally a Premises Connection Device that houses the cables will be installed, internally business will be provided with an NBN box allowing for Internet and phone connection. To see pictures of the entire installation process visit nbn- fibre- installation.html. Businesses located in rural or regional areas will be connected either using high- speed satellite or wireless. Refer to this map to find out what type of connection will be available in which area: network/coverage- maps.html. When the switchover happens businesses will need to unplug their phone and Internet cables and plug them into their NBN box. It will be important to seek further explanation from the ISP suppliers about this process. Some ISPs may not be involved in the early stages of the NBN rollout in all areas. Therefore it is best for businesses to check with their current ISP on the NBN rollout timings and cutover process. If something goes wrong with the installation the first point of contact will be the ISP. The next step is to contact the telecommunication Ombudsman, for contact details see here: c) What will happen to my old infrastructure? There is no need to re- cable businesses internally as all existing cables plug into the NBN box Tutorial 7B, Page 1

3 There is no need to rewire premises. If new premises are being built or refurbishing there may be an option to have newer faster cables installed If businesses have a security system that relies on phone lines they will need to check with their service provider to assess if it will be affected by the NBN Phones, computers, wireless networks and all hardware will still work with the NBN. If businesses require to purchase a new ADSL modem before the NBN is rolled out they should check with their ISP for compatibility with the NBN first. d) What happens if there are multiple businesses within our premises? There are four data ports on the NBN box so four businesses within the same premises could each sign up with a different provider and be billed separately. e) When will it be in my area? Refer to centre/news/nbn- co- release- 12- month- rollout- schedule to see when it will be rolled out in different areas. The NBN will be completed by Image source: NBN.gov.au f) Is it compulsory? For a period of time businesses will still be able to connect to the Internet as they have done previously. At some stage in the future if it will however become harder to use the Internet using ADSL as consumers and competitors expect and use rich content such as high- definition video. Remember how dial- up became so slow and businesses had to move to ADSL to service their market needs? In the future the current copper- wire telephone network will be disconnected in areas that already have the NBN. Businesses will then have no choice but to connect however, depending Tutorial 7B, Page 2

4 on the NBNCo s workload premises may have to be on a waiting list. This is similar to when the switch over from analogue to digital television took place they were given a couple of years to update their technology, however some people needed to rush out and get a set- top- box at the last minute in order to still watch television when the old analogue signal was turned off. g) What will it cost? There is no cost to connect to the NBN if businesses agree to have it installed when the NBN is being rolled- out in their area. A monthly Internet usage fee will still be payable to a chosen ISP. The amount will depend on the plan required. Businesses are encouraged to use this opportunity to select a plan suited to their requirements. Whirlpool is a good resource to look at the different plans. h) How much faster is the NBN? The NBN will provide speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second which would mean an average movie would load in just over a minute. Imagine the difference between driving down a narrow single lane road compared with driving on a 4- lane highway. Old ADSL technology (over the phone lines) slows down within the first kilometre from the exchange and the signal can disappear after about 4 kilometres. However fibre- optic cable strength stays consistent for more than 40 kilometres. CURRENTLY DOWNLOAD SPEEDS ARE MUCH FASTER THAN OUR UPLOAD SPEEDS, SO FOR EXAMPLE TO SEND SOME PHOTOS TAKES A LOT LONGER THAN IT WOULD HAVE TO DOWNLOAD THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. WITH HIGH SPEED BROADBAND BOTH DOWNLOADING AND UPLOADING CAN BE EQUALLY FAST WHICH WILL BE REALLY IMPORTANT FOR VIDEO CONFERENCING. The fibres themselves can handle super fast speeds and are the most durable option available. Over time better equipment will be available that will make things like videoconferencing much faster. i) Will it change the day to day running of my tourism business? Booking transactions will be will be even faster and technology where customers can peruse options and change their itineraries in real time will become commonplace Training staff will be more cost effective as high- speed videoconferencing in education will mean less travel to institutions Security monitoring will become more sophisticated and online banking will become quicker Ordering supplies will become streamlined. Appliances such as fridges may be connected, detect when supplies are low and automatically generate orders for you when supplies are low Language translating will be done in real time with a real or computer generated translator could help you communicate with your clients, making your business more accessible to new markets Tutorial 7B, Page 3

5 You will be able to have different ISPs on the one cable. For example you could use one provider for your accommodation rooms and another for your personal connection. The competition for your Internet dollar will become more competitive and which may reduce your business overheads. 2. How will it affect the marketing of my tourism business? Consumers will be exposed to new technology that we haven t even imagined as yet. High definition video advertising on the sides of buildings or direct into consumers lounge room walls, for example, will mean that video becomes a very important marketing activity. A consumer may be able to put on a special headset and experience a taste of your product in advance, walk around a virtual tour desk and make their bookings after sampling the products. This concept is known as virtual reality. As technology evolves businesses will have the opportunity to integrate the NBN s high speed broadband into your customers experiences on their premises by having technology- lead interpretation for example. IN TRUTH IT IS HARD TO PREDICT ALL THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT WILL BE AVAILABLE TO TOURISM OPERATORS AND THEIR CUSTOMERS. JUST AS A FEW YEARS AGO WE DIDN T KNOW THERE WOULD BE NEED FOR A TABLET DEVICE SUCH AS AN IPAD - TECHNOLOGY IS MOVING FAST. a) How could I communicate with a potential customer in the future? Consumers will expect to be able to chat to businesses in high- definition real time video calls. The caller may appear on their kitchen wall telling them about what a great time they will be having when they visit next. With customers having online profiles that represent their demographic and consumer preferences, businesses will be connecting with consumers who are already qualified, sitting in their target markets and ready to receive your message. Businesses may also be able to tailor make experiences that fill their needs and sell them what they need before they even know they need it. THESE STEPS WILL HAPPEN INCREMENTALLY. JUST AS WE HAVE ADAPTED TO TECHNOLOGY THUS FAR, WE WILL LEARN HOW TO USE THIS NEW TECHNOLOGY, IN A LOT OF CASES IT WILL MAKE BUSINESS MUCH EASIER. 3. Key Learning outcomes The NBN will be a very fast nationwide broadband link to business and home premises, Tutorial 7B, Page 4

6 which will make Internet use much faster A fully federal government owned company called the NBNCo will make the connection to businesses and properties in the first instance. Businesses will still need to deal with their Internet Service Provider (ISP) to purchase Internet access The NBN will be much faster than the existing Internet network, thus allowing businesses to transact more efficiently and utilise innovative and faster technology to service the customers and business needs. Tutorial 7B, Page 5

7 RELATED MATERIAL a) Related tutorials The Internet, Web 2.0 And The Tourism Industry b) Related websites National Broadband Network: asked- questions NBNco: Australian Communication Consumer Action Network Guide for consumers: 9 Tutorial 7B, Page 6

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