ADSL2+ broadband can provide your business with fast speeds combined with a fixed phone service for your customers.
- ADSL2+ plans can deliver up to 24Mbps/ 3Mbps speeds.
- Fixed landline services provide customers with a convenient contact option and improve the experience with your business.
- ADSL can suit your business needs until the NBN reaches your area.
How does ADSL work?
ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) internet services offer broadband connectivity through a standard telephone line. ADSL operates on the same copper wires/ infrastructure that telephone lines use. The download speed of ADSL is typically much faster than upload speeds, which in business terms means you'll be able to receive files or emails faster than you send them out. If your area has not received the NBN yet, ADSL could be the ideal connection for your business.
Why should I choose an ADSL plan for business?
Depending on the size of your business and the activities that your business operates, ADSL broadband could be ideal for your business needs. ADSL provides fast internet speeds and a fixed phone line, which allows you to make phone calls whilst using the internet.
How fast is ADSL?
ADSL speeds can vary depending on the following factors:
Factors outside of your control:
- How far your home/ office is from the local telephone exchange.
- Level of network congestion. The number of other services being used in the same copper cable by other customers
- The quality of your copper phone line.
Factors within your control:
- Whether you are directly connected to the modem via an ethernet cable or using a Wi-Fi connection.
- The quality of equipment:
- Wiring and wall sockets. Check that the wiring and wall sockets in your home isn't corroded or otherwise damaged.
- Modem. If your modem is old or experiences regular faults it may be a good idea to source a new one. Many ADSL contract plans will include a supplied modem, and while these are rarely the fastest models, they do have the advantage of being fully supported by your ISP.
- ADSL central filter. ADSL connectivity relies on filtering the ADSL signal (as distinct from the voice phone signal) out to your modem. If your filter is faulty in some way it can seriously impact your ADSL braodband speed, and it's a very easy fix for simple ADSL woes.
ADSL vs ADSL2+ speeds
How to choose the right ADSL and ADSL2+ plan for your business
Each provider offers a wide variety of ADSL internet plans at varying prices depending on such factors as monthly data limits, support, contract duration and included hardware. This can become overwhelming when initially researching which internet plan is best for your business. The following section will break down the essential things you will need to know and compare when choosing which provider and plan is right for your business.
Monthly data allowance
When researching which internet provider or plan you should sign up to, an extremely important element that should be considered is the monthly data allowance. A monthly data allowance is how much data you have access to on a monthly basis.
If your business rarely uses the internet during day-to-day operations, you could save by signing up to a plan with a lower monthly data limit. Conversely if your business heavily relies on the internet to operate, you should sign up to a plan that has a higher monthly data allowance, or preferably an unlimited allowance so you can avoid issues of extra data costs or being "shaped" down to a lower speed if you exceed your usage quota. Data allowances for ADSL can also vary depending on your provider.
When signing up for an ADSL broadband plan you have the option of month-to-month, 12 month, 18 month and 24 month plans. The flexibility of month-to-month plans can benefit start-up and small-to-medium businesses, allowing them to switch providers and plans to adjust to the growing needs of the business. They could also be a good option if you know that your office is in an area due to switch to the NBN relatively soon, because a smaller commitment window gives you more flexibility when the time comes to choose an NBN business plan.
Minimum monthly cost
Competition between providers is very strong, and this is reflected in much each provider charges per month. Monthly costs vary depending on the included monthly data inclusions, fixed line phone allowances, and service type. In order to remain competitive, some providers include line rental or offer unlimited monthly data allowances.
Call allowance for fixed line phones
Most providers offer fixed line phone plans that can be easily bundled with your ADSL. Call inclusions can vary widely between providers, with some providers offering just line rental while others will bundle in unlimited standard national calls and in some cases even international calls or low cost global calling rates.
Download / upload speeds
An extremely important thing to consider when researching ADSL plans is their download/upload speeds. This is important as it will determine how quick your internet will be. ADSL download/upload speeds max out at 8Mbps download and 384 Kbps upload, but if you are stuck with only ADSL you'll most likely get lower than those figures. ADSL2+ services can provide users with up to 24Mbps download and 3Mbps upload, but again real world figures will be lower than that on a day to day basis.
These speeds are approximations and can vary depending on how far away your business is from the exchange, with network congestion and end points also affecting speeds.
- Excess usage and 'speed shaping'
If you exceed your plan allowance your ISP may shape and slow down your download / upload speeds to a fraction of your normal ADSL speed. The shaped speed varies between providers but generally ranges around 256K/256K (download / upload). Unless your internet usage is very light indeed, you will notice the difference in speed downshift if you're shaped. Typically shaping lasts from whenever you exceed your usage quota until the end of the billing month, at which point you should resume normal speed usage.
Set up fees: Activation fees and installation charges.
When you are first setting up your internet, there are generally two main fees that you will need to pay. The first is known as the set-up fee. Starting at $50 and upwards, this fee varies depending on the provider and the type of connection you are signing up to. The set up fee will also increase if you do not have an existing or active phone line at your businesses location.
Some providers offer to waive the setup fee if you sign up to a 24-month contract. When researching which provider to choose or plan to sign up to, always be aware of how much you will be charged for the initial setup.
Early termination charges
If you sign up to either a 12-month or 24-month contract, you are locked into those contracts for that period of time. Though, if you need to cancel your contract or service agreement with your provider, you can.
What follows is an ETC (Early Termination Charge) that you will receive on your final bill. The amount that you will be charged varies depending on the contract terms and the provider, with some being based on the amount of time you have left when you cancelled your contract.
All information about ETC’s will be present within the Critical Information Summary of the plans.
A static IP address can benefit businesses who need a fixed IP address. Static IP addresses are ideal for businesses who require employees to log in to the company's server using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or other remote access solutions that trust certain IP addresses for security reasons. Static IP addresses are standard features of business broadband plans and are offered by most providers.
Receiving support when your internet connection is experiencing difficulties is vital towards the profitability and life of your business. To ensure that your business has the right support, the following services are available with broadband plans:
- Technician support. Provide in-person visits with your installation to help you connect your devices and computers.
- Designated support. Business customers can look forward to 24/7 support online and through the phone. Business support now features live chat and video chat with technical experts to resolve your problems immediately. Video troubleshooting allows you to see and communicate with the technician to solve the problem faster, helping you save valuable time.
- Service history and tracking. ISP's are differentiating business support from consumer services by allowing business customers to stay informed with active support tickets.
Additional benefits with ADSL plans
Broadband bundles often provide additional benefits, although these are typically more consumer-focused fare, coming in the form of entertainment and gaming bonuses. ISP’s can offer streaming for sports including NRL/AFL and memberships to streaming services such as Netflix and Stan.
Steps to apply for ADSL
- Check that your address is eligible for ADSL with the ISP you are interested in applying with.
- If your address is connected to the ISP's network you can apply for a 'on-net' plan which uses network wires that are owned by the ISP. If there are no network ports available or your address is not connected to the ISP's network, then you may be able to purchase an 'off-net' ADSL plans with the ISP, typically using Telstra's ADSL network capabilities.
- Choose the plan size and contract term with your ISP and apply.
- Wait for the ISP technicians to connect your telephone line to the network exchange. This process typically takes 3-5 business days. If you also need a new telephone line installed this will take an additional 5-7 business days.
The most popular questions about Business ADSL Broadband
Do I need a landline phone service or just an active line to receive ADSL?
To receive ADSL broadband, you must have an active line. However that doesn't mean that you need an active phone service if all you need is phone service. ADSL services that eschew the phone line capabilities of the copper are often called "Naked" ADSL plans, because they strip out the phone line frequencies entirely.
However it is well worth considering a plan that includes landline phone service in order to receive customer calls. A landline gives your customers with an easy point of contact and can improve the overall interaction with your business.
What is ‘off-net’ ADSL?
Off-net broadband services are broadband plans which are offered off another ISP’s wholesale services. This means that your internet provider has purchased wholesale access from another ISP’s existing ADSL network and resold it to you. Off-net branding is used to distinguish purchased wholesale plans from other ISP plans which utilise its own network.
Naked DSL or ADSL?
Naked DSL allows you to enjoy the speeds and affordability of ADSL without added cost of a landline phone service. Naked DSL requires an existing active phone line on the premises. Once Naked DSL is installed, the ISP will discontinue both the frequencies used by a standard landline phone as well as your existing phone number for that service, although it can be feasible to retain the number and use it on VOIP services in some situations.
If you would still like to make voice calls with Naked DSL, VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) services will be a handy addition to your internet plan. In 2017, the price of ADSL bundles is much more competitive compared to Naked DSL in previous years, so applying for an ADSL bundle and not plugging in the home phone is an equally viable option to applying for Naked ADSL.
Naked DSL vs. ADSL2+ Pros and Cons
- Avoid paying the standard cost for monthly line rental.
- You don't need to manage a home phone service.
- You can make voice calls via VOIP which can be considerably cheaper than home phone rates.
- Naked DSL is only available in specific areas supported by the ISP.
- Naked DSL requires an existing active phone line.
- You will be unable to use any services requiring a dial tone including fax, back to base alarm and PABX.
- You will be unable to receive or make calls if your internet connection drops out.
- Depending on your calling needs, ADSL bundles could be a cheaper option.
- If your business requires more interactions with customers and bookings, a home phone service can provide substantial value.
- You have to pay line rental costs with your internet plan.
What happens if the NBN arrives after I install ADSL?
Once the NBN is declared as ready for service to your premises, you will typically have 18 months to switch over to an NBN broadband plan. After that point, the existing ability to service ADSL to your premises will be cut off, so it pays to plan ahead and have an idea of both when you're likely to face that scenario as well as what you're going to do when the cutoff time hits.
Your existing ISP should make your life easier by providing you with the new plan options and sending a technician out to switch your service over to the NBN. To connect your computers and other devices to the NBN, you can opt for self-install or request a professional install from your ISP at an additional cost.
There should be no specific cost associated with switching to the NBN in hardware terms if you're sticking with your existing provider, although it can pay to check around for more competitive rates as the NBN rolls into your area. To bring your existing phone number over you will have to request a ‘number port’ from your ISP, at which point it will be serviced as a VOIP line.
Whatever you do, don't leave it until the last minute because you cannot opt to "stay" on ADSL services once that 18 month window expires, and the changeover does take some coordination and time. The last thing you want is for your business communications to be offline for any period of time.