What to do about the NBN :
There is a lot of talk about the NBN and how it affects owners of telephone systems and this article will help to shed some light on how you should handle this issue.
Right now it is not so clear cut as to what the NBN will really look like in the future. The original plan was to bring Fibre to the premises for all consumers except some remote areas. There has been questioning now about the cost of this and current thinking seems to be that we will end up with a composite NBN in densely populated areas where we will have Fibre to the premises, Fibre to the Node, and an upgrade of the existing cable TV network currently used to provide Cable TV and some fast broadband. However it ends up, it appears that Telephone Services will be provided over an assymetric broadband connection with Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) trunks.
First let’s have a quick look at what is happening with VoIP services currently. There are a number of Internet Telephone Service Providers (ITSP’s) currently in the market place, examples are Engin, MyNetFone, iiNet and so on, providing primarily VoIP trunks.
We also have some providers, Telstra, Optus etc. pushing the hosted line where they are the (cloud) PABX and the customer gets IP phones which are the rough equivalent of a standard telephone from the analogue days. Despite what some people are telling customers the NBN is not going to suddenly walk into a premises one day and say you’re now on the NBN and your copper will be cut off tomorrow. As you can imagine that would not be allowed and it would be political suicide for any government that did allow it to happen. In domestic premises the NBN has a device that turns Broadband into a plug for an standard phone and that is being provided at no extra cost. Similarly there are already devices in use by carriers that will turn Broadband into normal POTS trunks or ISDN. Common sense tells us that: in the case of existing services, they will have to provide these also at no cost to the consumer so in effect customers with existing lines don’t actually have to do anything if they don’t want to. It is however a possibility that they may try and compromise with customers with older equipment to share the cost of upgrading.
From the point of view of customers with old equipment this really is the time when they should think about moving to new technology, particularly as the cost savings of VoIP trunks alone would be worth the effort. While we are saying that it is not necessary to do anything yet it makes sense to talk to your dealer now about moving to VoIP trunks and saving money straight away. If you do that you are then prepared for the NBN in whatever form it takes since all you need is a broadband connection to run the VoIP that you will already have in place.
One point to remember is that number portability is provided to VoIP trunks so a customer can move to VoIP and still keep all their numbers including Indial if needed.
The next and possibly most important point to be careful of is that some carriers are basically telling customers to throw away their existing system and move to a hosted system which the carrier then controls. The customer no longer has a telephone system at their premises, just IP handsets on a broadband connection. This solution is not ideal for customers who have a telephone system with feature phones and is in effect a backward step to a PABX from the existing key system and its features. Do not let a carrier tell you that your system is not able to be used on the NBN.
ANY telephone system can be made to work with the NBN either with internal or external equipment and if the carrier wants to keep your business then it is up to them to provide that service.
If you have any doubts at all talk to your existing dealer or call Auto Telecom direct and we will advise you based on your circumstances.