If you’re running your own business, you’ll already know that you can’t compromise on one of the most important components of it – the internet. Having an active presence online – and more importantly, a place where customers can find your business and get in touch with you – is critical in an era where everyone’s doing their shopping on their smartphones, tablets and computers.
Finding the right business internet plan can be confusing, though – especially these days, when the rollout of Australia’s new national broadband network has opened up access to a huge range of business NBN plans and services.
So, what are the best options for your small business? Let’s look at some of the top providers on the market right now.
What Should You Look for in Business NBN Plans?
The key to any successful business is to be as accessible as possible to your potential clients and/or customers. With so many options out there, and with so many ways for people to find what they’re looking for, you can’t afford to have any downtime on your small business internet service.
The internet being what it is, there are no iron-clad guarantees of 100% service uptime – well, not at small business prices, anyway! But one way you can ensure that you’re never thrown offline is to go for a service that comes with some kind of backup option. In some cases, that can mean an automatic fallback to a 4G mobile connection, while another alternative is simply to go for entirely wireless broadband (which has advantages and disadvantages in itself).
You’ll also want business-focused support from whichever provider you choose. There’s nothing worse, when you’ve got a small business to run, than finding yourself in an hour-long queue on hold to get an internet problem fixed. Companies that provide dedicated business services should also provide you with access to a special business support line, where you’ll be spending far less time on hold and be speaking to support staff that understand the importance of your service being up and running as soon as possible.
And finally, think about bundling in your business’s phone line as well. Even though a huge amount of business is done online these days, many customers still prefer to call up and talk to an actual person, so you’ll want to have a phone service you can rely on without having to go overboard on cost. A good business plan will include that phone line.
The Best Small Business Internet Plans
With more and more people making the leap into starting a small business, the NBN has come along at just the right time for many – because it offers real choice and flexibility when it comes to the huge range of plans and providers offering business NBN.
Let’s take a look at a few of the best-quality and best value NBN business plans that are around at the moment; this is by no means a comprehensive list, but all of these providers have extensive experience in providing business internet services. Put these on your short list.
Telstra Business NBN
There’s simply no getting around it – Australia’s largest communications provider is also the country’s largest provider of broadband for business, with decades of experience in connecting all kinds of enterprises. From the small start-up business run from home to a fully fitted out and staffed office and beyond, Telstra has been at the forefront of keeping businesses and their customers in contact.
The Telstra NBN business plan, then – yes, there’s only one plan – is absolutely perfect for anyone who’s getting set up and running. This NBN-based plan gives you a NBN 50 broadband connection – with a stated 50 Mbps typical minimum download speed during business hours – with unlimited data. You’re connected with the Telstra Business Smart Modem, which has built-in 4G backup; if there’s any interruption to your NBN service for whatever reason, the Smart Modem seamlessly switches over to the Telstra 4G mobile network (at no extra cost to you) to keep you up and running.
You also get a phone line with unlimited calls to anywhere in Australia – and if you’ll be needing to call mobile phones a lot (as many small businesses will), you can add unlimited calls to those as well with the Business Calling Pack. This pack also includes international calls to selected destinations. Moreover, you can optionally add up to nine phone lines to your phone service, too. A static IP address is included, a must for any business wanting to access its computers remotely.
Support is available 24/7 from specialised business support staff, and Telstra says their goal is to make sure you only need to deal with one person about your support query, which is welcome when time is precious.
The total cost of this nicely comprehensive NBN business plan is only $100 per month for the base plan with the $99 connection fee waived when you sign up online, and there’s no contract involved; if you decide to cancel and change providers, you just have to pay the cost of the modem. All up, this is a terrific, flexible solution for your small business. For a limited time, new business customers also get $20 off the plan cost every month for 12 months, and for those bringing their business to Telstra from another provider, you’ll get a dedicated NBN connection manager.
Telstra Internet Plans + Bundles
Internet NBN Plans starting from $75p/m with 3 months BINGE. Or, bundle in Entertainment with unlimited NBN 50 and choose a Telstra TV, Xbox or Foxtel from $99p/m. Join Telstra Plus and get loads of FREE entertainment offers.
Aussie Broadband Business
One of the most well-liked broadband providers in the country, Aussie Broadband handles businesses of all sizes as well as their core consumer base. If you’re a huge enterprise they’re ready to go with custom NBN fibre solutions, but for small business they’re got a set of plans that really deliver the goods as well.
We’ll ignore the basic plan, which has unlimited data configured on 25/5Mbps (though a basic $69/month plan with unlimited data is great for those with moderate internet usage speed-wise) and focus on the two speedier plans also with unlimited data – one of which is at the NBN 50 speed, and the other at NBN 100 (which is great if you upload a lot of data to cloud storage). Whether you can access the faster speed will depend on the type of NBN connection at your place of business, but for most, the 50 Mbps “Intermediate” plan is the sweet spot. You get dedicated business phone support 7 days a week with priority ticket handling, and a static IP address is included at no extra cost – important for those who might want to be able to connect back to their business’s HQ when travelling, for example. That “Essential” plan costs $109/month, with a phone line provided free; we’d recommend paying the extra $10/month for unlimited local and national calls, or $20/month to add calls to mobiles as well.
If you have a need for much faster upload speeds, Aussie now offers business plans with 250/100, 500/200 and 1000/400 Mbps down and up respectively. Available only on fibre connections, they don’t come cheap, but are hard to beat for raw speed.
The only thing missing from Aussie’s plans is some kind of backup – but the company has been putting a lot of effort into making sure any downtime is minimal, and they’re considered one of the most reliable NBN providers out there. All plans, by the way, are contract-free.
Optus Wireless Broadband for Business
It goes without saying that there are some well-priced Optus business NBN plans available if you want them (and they come with Fetch TV, too!) But here’s a different option, for those either unable to connect to the NBN, or wanting the flexibility that comes with a more portable business broadband connection.
Optus is one of the few providers that actively markets a business broadband service that runs on the mobile network, and it’s going to be an attractive and very viable option for some. All you need to do is sign up and have your 4G wi-fi modem delivered (which Optus will do for free via express courier) and you’re good to go. And the cost is surprisingly affordable for what you get.
There are two plans available – one with 200GB of data a month and one with 500GB. That’ll be plenty for many – if your business broadband usage is mainly email and web activity, and doesn’t involve huge files, then you’ll find these plans may suit perfectly. 200GB costs $65/month while 500GB costs $75/month, and you get the modem free – on a 24-month contract, of course. Fast-tracked support is on offer with 24/7 live chat and dedicated business specialists.
You can also opt to buy the modem up-front (for $216) and connect via a month-to-month, contract-free plan instead, so that flexibility is there if you aren’t sure you want to commit to a contract (though the only penalty for breaking the contract is paying for the modem anyway!)
The sort of connection speed you get will, of course, vary widely depending on where you’re located – and keep in mind that Optus’s 4G coverage is strongest in the big capital cities, especially in the inner, more densely-packed suburbs.
It might not be the ideal solution for many more conventional small businesses, but 4G wireless business broadband is very much a thing and for some, it’ll be perfect.
Last audited 18 November 2020
Which Business Broadband Plan is Right for You?
Exactly what you need from your business internet plan is going to depend heavily on the type of small business you’re running. But the good news is, thanks to the arrival of the NBN and the competition it’s brought with it, there’s never been a better-value time to be shopping for business broadband.
A pretty clear frontrunner at the moment, though, has to be Telstra small business NBN, which takes an extremely easy to understand approach to what can be a very complicated thing to shop for. You get a rock-solid base service at a nice fast speed with 4G backup, a phone line with unlimited calls and priority support. You can then further tailor the service precisely to your needs, and yet you’re never tied down to a lock-in contract.
If you’re going to get your small business connected to the NBN, it still pays to shop around – the Aussie Broadband plan above is just one of many alternative options. But if you’re after a reliable, trusted and well-priced business broadband solution, you should definitely put Telstra’s latest offering on your list.