NBN and Businesses

We have tip toed around this problem as consumers neglecting that businesses are also forced consumers of the NBN.

Last night we tried to make a booking with a healthcare provider but when dialing (Telstra net, Optus net, NBN VOIP) we were met with silence followed by a beep and disconnect, that being over hours not minutes. I surmised it was an NBN failure at the healthcare provider and that was confirmed this morning.

Since everyone is being forced onto NBN phone services and those services are admitted to be unreliable so that we each need to keep a fully charged mobile for emergencies (and hope we have a good signal), why has there not been a program to get businesses to publish mobile numbers for when their NBN service is out?

I presume at some point even emergency services numbers will be NBN-dependent as well as everyday businesses. Without them having and publishing mobile numbers what is that future looking like?

The questions are obviously figurative but the point is real.


One of our standby Medical Centres publishes both a fixed and mobile contact number for the very reason of unreliability of the fixed line service.


My workplace loses customers sometimes due to internet drop outs/poor speed. It can really hamper the processing of sales and we’re always in the awkward position of whether to crack out the manual systems or just wait and see if it comes back on.


Get the manual systems up quickly. If you don’t the outage will be l.o.n.g but if you do, as soon as your manual systems are up and being used the internet service will be restored moments later. :laughing:


Murphy’s Law works every time.



Another circumstance all about NBN and how it cares for business, not!

Up the road from us are two roadside business. One sells local F&V, other food products and nursery plants. The products include certified organic and others sourced direct from local producers. Almost farm gate.

On the same piece of dirt is a second business that functions as a bakery come coffee shop. Great pies, coffee, fresh bread from their own brand bakery etc.

On the same lot is also a separate residence.

Three customers, but for the NBN, just one service. Tough! “One out of three ain’t bad“ is unlikely to make it to the top 100 hits any time soon?

We pay cash and find amusement when one of the staff from behind the counter races outside with the mobile enabled POS reader held high in hand. Wild waving to the Telstra god and minutes later a repeat performance due to a time out! There is an NBN wireless tower in range too, but!


The solution is called “LocID”. NBN works by location identifiers. It’s quite common to have more than one ID for a piece of dirt. Multiple residences on a rural block; multiple apartments in a building. Your three occupants need to arrange individual LocIDs. BIRRR might be able to help:

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Thanks, for the info. Logic and the NBN are usually mutually exclusive.

I read recently that the NBNCo may be heading towards being $5B over budget. Possibly due to revenue cash flows being less and later than planned. You might expect the NBNCo would be busting to enable RSPs to sign on as many new customers, especially business to help reduce the losses in OPEX.

Perhaps when they finally release the FY 2019 Annual Report (Oct or Nov) it will be clearer. At least two more months to wait.

P.S. (edit added content)
Although the NBN CEO is saying otherwise already.


Since being on the NBN (about 6 months) I have received a fairly steady stream of notices about interruptions because of NBN maintenance in my area.

Most are overnight but there seems more ‘up to 30 minutes’ down times during business hours. I could not imagine running a business dependent on a phone provided through NBN VOIP. My dentist was offline for a few hours because of an NBN service fault and it was not a good experience for them. Now that business and individual consumers are being faced with known periods of unreliability during day as well as overnight, it almost begs whether the government and its NBNCo are tacitly encouraging a phone migration to 100% mobile service.


Absolutely…private enterprise, as it always seems to be the answer, is the golden haired child in the current administrations eyes. No not a mistake with using administrations, as any party who has held the wheel in the last few decades seems enamoured with private business controlling what should be national assets.


I posed the question about reliability for businesses and emergency services to NBNCo who disowned the question and pawned it to ‘my RSP’ as being service related.

I then asked a curiosity based question to my Aussie Broadband support team who were, as always, on top of their game and answered it well enough for my purpose.

There is a Level 1 service that is ‘guaranteed’ to be 99.9% reliable. If it is not the fee, in the $1,000’s per month, is refunded. I am not sure how that helps someone needing an emergency ambulance or firey when the 000 number is out of service. How many GP offices, hospitals, dentists, etc are going to pay those prices for a phone almost as reliable as their PSTN?

There is also a ‘very pricey’ level 2 similarly ‘guaranteeing’ 90% uptime. Different RSPs will have differing plans, but that is an into to our new world order.


Let’s see… 90% uptime means it could be down for over 87 hours (3 1/2 days) a year and still meet the ‘guarantee’.


Correct me if I am wrong re the following and I’ll correct or delete.

Downtime for these type contracts is probably over any 30 day moving window, or at least monthly not annually, but at the end of the day can be counted on to be commercial in confidence.

For 90% uptime, 10% downtime
30 days * 24 hours_per_day = 720 hours_per_window
90% up time is 648 hours (27 days)
10% down time is 72 hours (3 days!) per 30 day window (~36 days pa!)

For 99.9% uptime, 0.1% downtime
30 days * 24 hours_per_day = 720 hours_per_window
99.9% uptime is 719.28 hours (29.97 days)
0.1% down time is approx 0.72 hours (43 minutes) per 30 day window (~9 days pa!)

Now for the rest of us without any ‘guarantee’?

I reiterate this is indicative of how it goes, RSP dependent, not a particular plan.


… and you can guarantee their guarantee is one of hope with a penalty if it dies, rather than building it to be available in the first place :wink:


I have seen more than one bid where they factored in the worst case penalties as being less costly than delivering the contracted service. Having penalties to make that a futile exercise while vendors would still seek the contract is a required skill. None of my projects were susceptible :slight_smile:


You are correct, I was silly enough to go with 99% uptime. My numbers for a year of 90% uptime should be 36.5 days (without including leap years).