Spotting the best value NBN plans: How to separate fluff from fact
Best value NBN plans are a dime a dozen—at least if we take what all internet service providers offer at face value. But more than marketing fluff, what does the ‘best value’ really mean? Should you be looking for the cheapest service plan? The fastest speed?
The definition of what is most valuable may vary from person to person but in business, the best NBN plans are those that provide the highest quality of service for what you can afford. To make choosing easier, here are some tips to get the most value from hundreds of plans offered by different NBN providers.
What you need vs. what is offered
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when choosing an internet service is browsing what’s available without knowing their needs. Your business shouldn’t be the one to adjust to available services. On the contrary, your solutions should suit your needs.
Even if you’re not particularly tech-savvy, you can gauge your data requirements by simply taking note of your usage patterns. Here are some quick ways to do so:
- Find an online data calculator
- List the components on the calculator and their measures (e.g. number of pages browsed, minutes of video streamed).
- For one week or (or month, depending on the calculator), record all your activity according to the list.
- After the end of the week, enter your usage into the calculator
Here are some rough benchmarks for how much bandwidth you’ll need. Simply add all the activities you use the internet for simultaneously:
|Video streaming (HD)||4.00 Mbps (5.5 Mbps)|
|Music streaming (HD)||2.00 Mbps|
|Voice calls||0.30 Mbps|
Compare NBN plans
ow that you have a better idea of what you need, you can start comparing available plans. Choose a service that meets your current needs but will give you ample room for growth. With more facets of work moving to the cloud, your data use could easily double in three to five years. Keep this in mind and prepare for a more connected future for your business.
Your plan’s data limit should meet your usage needs—though an unlimited data plan would be ideal. With no data caps to worry about, you can be at your most productive without fear of shaped speeds and excess charges. Choosing a business-grade internet service also means that not too many people are on your provider’s network, so a higher quality of service can be achieved.
The plan’s bandwidth, meanwhile, should account for all your simultaneous activities. Note that faster internet speeds allow transfers to complete quicker, which could mean less overlap in your tasks—thus freeing up more bandwidth.
Available business NBN plans are typically offered in three speeds:
- Light users who require a connection for emails and web surfing can do much with 25 Mbps plans.
- Businesses that share larger files, frequently update websites, and rely on video conference calls should go for a higher 50 Mbps plan.
- If you plan on switching to a hosted phone service, use cloud storage, and other data applications, 100 Mbps is the best way to go.
Never overlook customer support
These days, everyone’s got a telco horror story—what’s rare is when your telco actually offers decent support.
The switch to the new infrastructure is a great opportunity for you to consider alternatives to traditional telcos, alternatives with best value NBN plans as well as higher standards for customer service. Not only can a good provider help you get a plan that meets your bandwidth requirements, they should be able to give you a fair assessment of what your actual speeds will be.
There are other things that can affect your actual speeds, more than your selected plan. The number of devices connected to your network, the age of the hardware and software you’re using, internal wiring, interference from appliances and devices, the type of network delivery in your location, and the amount of content you work with—all of these factors can affect your actual speeds.
Making a smooth transition to NBN
At Alltel, our solutions specialists will help you find the best value NBN plan that’s the right balance between quality and cost. Our job is to make your switch as smooth and seamless as possible, with the help of our new NBN availability map and business readiness checklist.