The Battle of the Networks: Private Vs Business NBN


Medium to corporate companies understands the new trend, The Battle of the Networks, which also means deciding between Private Vs Business NBN options from your isp network provider.

Until recently, the options for an internet connection for most businesses ranged from the traditional ADSL or private fibre connection. Many others were stuck with an expensive, data capped wireless connection, which not only prevented their ability to grow their businesses but became a large financial inhibitor. Enter the new generation networks.

The introduction of the NBN, and more specifically, Business NBN, has broadened the range of services that are available to businesses across the country. Most importantly, it has created some much-needed competition for primary office internet connections and inter-office links. It has also allowed an experienced network engineer (like us!) to offer multiple options for redundant connections that don't rely entirely on Wireless.

Private Connections

At present, there are a handful of private operators that service most Australian capital cities and regional areas. These include Vocus, AAPT, Telstra, Optus, and Superloop. These connections require you to be "On-Net", which means that their fibre network rollout passes by you (or your clients') office premises and your building has been (or can be) patched into that network. In most cases, these connections have fairly expensive upfront setup costs, long contract periods and retailer lock-in.

On the positive side, however, there is a lot of speed variety in these connections, ranging from 100Mbits (a standard NBN connection speed) up to 10Gbits (vastly more than most businesses would require). They are also generally pure fibre connections, although some are hybrids of ADSL and Ethernet. These hybrid connections tend to be slower for downloads but faster than standard residential connections for uploads.

An added bonus is that many of these products also include fairly significant SLA conditions, forcing providers to keep downtime to a minimum and allowing competition to flourish across this important metric. As a result, 24/7 NOCs and response, both on a wholesale and retail level, is much improved over business-grade products.

If you are in a capital city, many private connections can be very competitive, especially at higher speeds. We can assist you via our partners if you are looking to make comparisons on price and performance.

Business NBN

Business NBN has an equal number of positives and drawbacks. Since NBN connections are free or heavily subsidised by the Federal government, setup costs and ongoing monthly fees are lower. The NBN is also a wholesale network, which means vastly more providers are available to choose from in most areas. Regional towns and centers are usually better covered by the NBN than private fibre and as such may be the only competitor to Telstra.

Additionally, companies with multiple branch locations are more likely to be spread across cities, states, and territories. The expanded reach of the public network makes it more available in regional or remote areas, although in many cases this could be a less reliable technology, such as Satellite or Fixed wireless.

On the flip side, NBN connections are rarely straightforward. Unlike private connections, which are almost always fixed line and in the vast majority of cases, fibre, NBN connections are not. Depending on the "lottery", your business connection could be using less than optimal fibre to the node or Satellite technology. This could mean more equipment or extra redundant connections may be required.

Business NBN connections also include a minimum 12-hour service response SLA alongside a 24/7 dedicated NOC - which brings this service up to the expected standards of private providers and differentiates it entirely from residential grade products that require a less immediate and more convoluted path through RSPs.

Additionally, as of June 2019, the NBN is still currently in the middle of a large and complex rollout phase which means a lot of ongoing support will be poor or delayed. This is due to the vast bulk of available engineering resources being dedicated to meeting the 2020 deadline of new connections, rather than the quality of new or existing connections. Much of these issues will be held off until the rollout is completed and resources can be re-assigned.

Ask an expert!

In many cases, a qualified network engineer would be able to explain these differences and how they would impact your business, as well as the most optimal way to design and build a suitable network to draw the best possible performance out of the available internet connection.

In most cases, the hardware that is provided by both vendors will likely not be suitable for your arrangement. We have independent supplier arrangements with a vast amount of brands and are skilled in choosing the right model for the right situation.

io Networks does not have any connections/affiliations, paid or otherwise, to any companies or products listed in this post. All copy is purely for entertainment or research purposes and does not represent a recommendation by the company.


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