Loving unlimited NBN

For the past week Hunter Website Services has been running on an unlimited NBN plan. It has been absolutely fantastic and an incredible breath of fresh air. Particularly when it comes to working with large files like backups, artwork files and virtual machines. It’s significantly faster and more reliable.

The NBN has been rolled out to Maitland and is currently being rolled out to the rest of Newcastle and the Hunter. It is worth noting that not everyone has had a painless transition to the NBN though. Be cautious if you’re investigating the switch for yourself or the office. It may be worth holding off until a neighbouring business or household has gone through the process and can give you some feedback specific to your area.

Hunter Website Services is operating on a fibre to the premises connection, which means the optic fibres run right to the office. Not all NBN connections are like this. There is a lot of debate and criticism regarding the cheaper fibre to the node NBN rollout. Which is only fibre to the exchange with existing copper running the rest of the way to the premises. Reports exist that during peak hours congestion causes internet speeds and reliability to drop on these connections.

Additionally, with the switch to fibre the old copper network for landlines becomes obsolete. Meaning you will need to transition your phone number(s) over to a VOIP line. Most ISPs and Telcos will handle this for you, but as with any transition there’s an opportunity for things to go wrong. Unfortunately for some businesses they have temporarily lost their main business line after making the switch.

Perhaps the most bizarre and easily avoided issue is that major ISPs are providing sub-par hardware for customers to connect with. Here at Hunter Website Services the issue was the supplied Netcomm N300 router from TPG. Now it’s in the bin with “old reliable” hooked back in it’s place. Cheaper devices can cause issues with reception and reliability with the blame falsely placed on the NBN.

Eventually all premises will have to upgrade. After the NBN has been available in an area for 18 months the old copper network gets switched off. So it won’t be possible to ignore the NBN forever.

Before opting to make the switch early cover three main points.

  1. What has it been like for your neighbours? Decide whether to jump in or hold off.
  2. What assurances are there your phone will not go down, and what contingency do you have if it does?
  3. If there are problems after connecting, ensure it’s not the supplied router. You may need someone good with computers to check but the pay off for a reliable NBN connection is worth it.

It may be worth your while switching. It certainly was here at the office in East Maitland. Just don’t take all the advertising of speed and reliability at face value. Not all NBN connections go smoothly.