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 The Business Phone Blog

What will the NBN mean for my Business?

Friday, August 27, 2010 | by Tony Dunphy

We regularly get asked about what the NBN will mean for our customers. While the full details are not clear there are some aspects of the NBN, that if delivered as proposed by Fibre to the Door, will deliver capabilities not currently seen in this country.

While the NBN will mean enhanced learning and entertainment prospects for most residential customers, a much greater impact could be seen in the business community by lowered telecommunications costs and significantly enhanced functionality.

For example a current business with 15 staff and 10 phone lines. They are likely to have either an ISDN 10 service or possibly have opted for a IP Phone System. Currently due to the costs of Business Grade SHDSL in Australia using a IP system can in many cases be a situation of robbing Peter to pay Paul. That is ..... what the Business customer saves on call costs, they pay in added Business Grade SHDSL costs.

For example. the same customer above has a standard ISDN 10 service and would have a monthly bill of around $300 for their line rental and in addition would be paying $50-$100 per month for their Business ADSL Internet. Calls costs are flat rate for Local Calls and Timed for National, International and calls to Mobiles. With 15 staff it would not be unusual for the monthly call charges to be around $1000 meaning a monthly bill of approx $1400.

The same customer elected to go with an IP System which are currently available. So they pay around $10 per channel for Voice and have a 4Mb/4Mb SHDSL Business Grade Internet service with 50Gb of data a month to support their IP (Essentially VoIP calls and these need equal bandwidth upstream and downstream). The cost of this Business Grade SHDSL service would be typically $900-$1100 per month plus they still need to pay for calls however these would be at a much lower rate. Lets say call costs are 30% of the cost of the ISDN 10/20/30 calls. This means the customers monthly bill is still in the range of $1300 per month.

The same customer gets a NBN connection with fibre to the door with 50Gb per month of data allowance. This is mooted to be around $100 per month and this will deliver potentially 100Mb/100Mb Business Grade SHDSL which can support their calls and data requirements. The customer arranges 10 SIP/IP channels through a Hosted Voice
(a Virtual PABX system that runs over the internet) provider and these would typically be around or under $10 per channel per month.

Assuming there is no change to call costs (but we expect they will come down significantly)  .... the customers phone bill is $100 for access/line rental/internet, plus $100 for the Voice Channels and $300 for the calls...well below half of the current options.

In addition if the customer needs hardware there could be significant savings for them there also. A current PABX system configured for Primary ISDN 10 with 15 handsets would be approximately $10k. Pre configured SIP phones from a Hosted Voice provider are currently available for between $80 & $350. Assuming mid range handsets all round this Phone System would cost the customer in the order of $3-$4k.

Some very good reasons for Business to back the NBN ... Fibre ....if not to the door of all Australian Households least to the door of all Business Centres in every much chaeper would that option be?

The down side of the NBN (aside from the $43 Billion it is forecast to cost) is that some estimates indicate that up to 70% of PABX Phone systems in Australia are not IP compatible and therefore may not work on a fibre network, without significant upgrade or replacement.

Could be a good time to be in the Phone Hardware business!

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