Does NBN Require an Upgraded Phone System? 

Will you need to upgrade your existing phone system for NBN?


This is a question many business owners with office phone systems are asking - "Do I need to upgrade my phone system for NBN". Unfortunately they are often getting very poor advice ending up with substantial costs for unnecessarily upgraded equipment. In major urban areas the connection to the NBN is well under way, and while there were some initial reliability concerns, the biggest problem on the minds of business owners has been:

Will your existing office phone systems work with the NBN? 

The simple answer is Yes. There are some modifications required, but just because you have an ISDN or even analogue phone system, doesn’t mean there aren’t cost effective options available to you. If your business is due to be connected to the NBN, then there is some important information you need to be aware of, before you make a rash decision. On this page you will find out what your best options are, so that you can make a fully educated decision.

What Is NBN?

The roll out of the Australian National Broadband Network (NBN) has been going on for several years now. With high speed broadband connections to all Australian premises, this will mean an end to old style phone lines and equipment. The aim is a large network of fibre optic cabling, wireless access and even satellite connections. As a result, all locations in Australia will have the ability to connect to high speed Internet and phone connections.

It is a fully digital solution that promises to bring high speed access to anywhere in the country. This is no small challenge, but it will significantly improve the communications infrastructure and the way people are able to stay connected. As areas are connected to the NBN there is going to be a time period where the old analogue and ISDN connections will still work. However, these will be discontinued and this is precisely what has so many business owners worried about.

Will Your Existing Phone System Work With NBN?

The simple answer is Yes. The majority of office phone configurations are set up using a traditional PABX system. This is a piece of hardware that resides in your premises that builds the connection of all phones to the external world. In most cases, your system will already be a digital setup, as there are not that many analogue boxes still in use. All digital and ISDN based systems can be connected to the NBN and will work perfectly fine.

This does require some software configuration and re-cabling, but you won’t need to throw out your old hardware and replace it with completely new and costly services. Even when it comes to older analogue boxes, in many cases they can be configured and upgraded without a full replacement. The reason so many telecoms service providers shy away from these reconfigurations is because they don’t have the expertise to do so. If you have been advised that you need to invest in a fully upgraded system, then contact our team at Fixtel today. We will be able to give you advice on all available options to help you keep your costs down.

Will You Have To Upgrade At Some Time?

Analogue and ISDN lines will eventually be turned off as premises and areas gain access to the NBN. There is no strict time period for each area, but once NBN connections are rolling out in your location it will likely not be long until the old network will be cut off. While there is a lot of talk of the latest NBN ready phone systems, there is no indication that only certain types of hardware will be compatible in the future. Such a decision is highly unlikely as it would render practically all existing hardware obsolete.

There are two reasons why many businesses are upgrading their phones now. Firstly, because they are receiving bad advice that they need to upgrade in order to maintain connectivity and reliability. Secondly, their existing systems are dated and because they are due an upgrade anyway, they are using this opportunity to bring their office equipment some new features. To summarise, you will need to have your existing systems connected to the NBN, but in the majority of cases there is no need to invest in completely new equipment.

Hosted Vs Traditional Phone System

One thing that the NBN is making more available is the ability to set up a fully hosted phone system. These cloud based services essentially mean that you no longer need a traditional PABX set up in your office requiring regular maintenance and servicing. Essentially your telecoms equipment will be hosted in the cloud and all your calls will be routed through to your phones through your NBN connection. Such systems were quite costly in the past as they required dedicated high speed Internet connections with practically 100% reliability.

For small businesses they simply weren’t an option, but with the NBN that will change. There are many advantages to such a cloud based solution that can bring you significant cost savings in the long run. However, you should take a close look at a cost benefit analysis and that is something your team at Fixtel is able to help you with.

How Can Fixtel Help Give You Peace Of Mind?

If your area is being set up for NBN connection and you have concerns about the connectivity and reliability of your data and small business phone systems, then talk to one of our advisers at Fixtel today. We will provide you with honest advice that aims to keep your costs down and avoid unnecessary hardware replacement. With over 25 years of experience servicing small and large businesses throughout Australia, we have a proven track record that you can trust and rely on. No matter what type of phone system or how old it is, we will be able to give you all the options based on our experience and expertise. We are only satisfied when you make a decision with the full understanding of all your options.

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