• Small Business Connectivity Hub

    The Regional Tech Hub assists small businesses across rural, regional and remote Australia with personalised internet and phone advice and support.

  • Small business
  • Here to assist small business

    The Regional Tech Hub provides essential support to small businesses, helping them address their phone and connectivity needs. Offering free and independent advice and tailored solutions ensures that businesses in regional and remote areas have reliable and efficient communication systems, enabling them to stay connected and operate smoothly regardless of their location.

    • Providing tailored advice: a bespoke service to regional small businesses, helping you identify the connectivity services available based on your location, needs, and budget.
    • Demystifying technology: make informed decisions about the technology solutions that best meet your needs.
    • Building connectivity literacy: a range of online resources designed to help inform you how to solve business connectivity problems.
    • Request a Connectivity Report

      We can help you understand all your phone and internet options, tailored to your business needs. Our service is completely free and independent. Request a connectivity report to get started.

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    • Submit an Escalation Report

      We can also assist you with any existing connectivity issues. While your first point of contact should be your Retail Service Provider, if your issue remains unresolved, we can help escalate it for you.

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    • Book a One-on-One Appointment

      We are happy to speak with you at a time that suits you. Simply book an appointment with one of our team members, and we’ll ensure you get the assistance you need.

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    • Check Network Outages

      We understand how frustrating network outages can be and are here to assist you. Check our outage information page to stay updated on current connectivity issues in your area.

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  • Business Connectivity Types

    • 1 How can my business achieve connectivity

       

      In Australia, businesses have several options for connecting to the internet, each suited to different needs and locations. The National Broadband Network (nbn) is a major provider, offering a range of technologies including fibre to the premises (FTTP), fibre to the node (FTTN), delivering high-speed internet across higher population areas of the country.

      In rural or remote areas where fibre may not be available, fixed wireless and satellite services offer viable alternatives. Additionally, many businesses use mobile broadband through 4G and rapidly expanding 5G networks, providing flexibility and on-the-go access, particularly useful for mobile or field operations.

      Fibre To Premise (FTTP)

      Fibre-optic cables run directly from the internet service provider to a business or home, offering the highest possible speeds and reliability.

      Fibre to Node (FFTN)

      Fibre-optic cables run to a central node or cabinet in the neighbourhood, and existing copper cables then connect from the node to individual homes or businesses, providing high-speed internet with some distance-based speed limitations.

      Fixed Wireless (FW)

      Data is transmitted wirelessly from a ground-based station to a fixed receiver on a business or home, offering high-speed internet without the need for physical cables, especially useful in rural or remote areas.

      Satellite

      Data is transmitted between a satellite in orbit and a satellite dish on the ground, providing internet access to remote or rural areas where other connection types are unavailable, though higher latency can be an issue for some applications (Although Low Earth Orbit Satellites have lowered the impact).

      Mobile Internet (4G or 5G)

      Uses cellular networks, such as 4G and 5G, to provide wireless internet access to mobile devices, offering flexibility and on-the-go connectivity, though speed and reliability can vary based on location and network coverage

    • 2 Common differences between Residential and Business connectivity plans

      In the Australian market, there are several key differences between residential and business connectivity plans. Below we explore each of these areas to help you decide the best option for your small business.

      Speed and Bandwidth

      Residential Plans:

      • Generally, offer a range of speed tiers with limited upload speeds.
      • Advertised speeds often reflect evening peak times (7pm-11pm).

      Business Plans:

      • Can offer higher speed tiers
      • Often include higher upload speeds, which are crucial for activities like video conferencing and file sharing.
      • Speeds are typically guaranteed during business hours (9am-5pm).

       

      Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

      Residential Plans:

      • Usually do not include SLAs, meaning there are no guaranteed uptime or performance metrics.

      Business Plans:

      • Include SLAs that provide guarantees on uptime and performance.
      • These agreements ensure priority support and faster resolution times for service issues.

       

      Support and Customer Service

      Residential Plans:

      • Standard customer support.
      • Support may not be available 24/7.

      Business Plans:

      • Priority customer support with dedicated teams.
      • 24/7 support is often available to handle critical business needs.

       

      Static IP Addresses

      Residential Plans:

      • Typically use dynamic IP addresses.
      • Static IPs, if available, come at an additional cost.

      Business Plans:

      • Usually come with static IP addresses, which are essential for hosting servers and setting up VPNs.

       

      Cost

      Residential Plans:

      • Generally more affordable
      • Tend to be cheaper due to shared resources and fewer features.

      Business Plans:

      • More expensive due to premium features, higher speeds, and additional services.
      • Costs reflect the enhanced service levels and support.

       

      These differences are designed to cater to the specific needs of residential users and businesses. Residential plans prioritise affordability and general internet usage, while business plans focus on reliability, speed, and additional services necessary for running a business effectively.

    • 3 Fibre (nbn & non nbn providers)

      Fibre connectivity provides ultra-fast, reliable internet with symmetrical upload and download speeds, essential for modern digital activities and business operations.

      In regional Australia, the fibre rollout has been expanding in recent years, but it is not as extensive as in urban areas. Most commonly fibre to the premise connectivity is found in major regional centres such as Ballarat, Bendigo, Launceston, Toowoomba, Tamworth, Bunbury, Cairns and Townsville.

      Business Fibre Zones are a key part of the nbn®’s strategy to improve digital connectivity and support economic growth in regional Australia. These 240 zones are specifically designed to provide high-speed fibre optic connections to businesses located outside major metropolitan areas.

      nbn® offers specific business fibre products called nbn® Ethernet and nbn® Enterprise Ethernet. These products have been designed to enable businesses to receive improved support, uptime and performance.

      nbn® Ethernet is a type of broadband service delivered over Ethernet technology by nbn®. It provides high-speed internet connectivity suitable for businesses, offering reliability and scalability for various networking needs.

      business nbn® Enterprise Ethernet is a premium fibre access network and is available to an estimated 1.5 million Australian business locations.

      It offers symmetrical speeds from 10Mbps to close to 10Gbps^ and was built to support data-intensive businesses. There are no nbn® up-front build costs for an estimated 90% of business locations within the nbn® network footprint.

      nbn® Smart Places provide flexible connectivity solutions for government, businesses and communities looking to experience the benefits of Smart City and Internet of Things (solutions) by connecting critical infrastructure, smart devices, applications and solutions across a range of outdoor locations.

      nbn® Smart Places enables the extension of the nbn® fibre network to a variety of eligible non-premises locations such as traffic lights, CCTV, smart poles, digital billboards, and public Wi-Fi.

      Visiting the nbn® website will allow you to search your business address to view service type & availability.

       

      In regional Australia, several non-nbn fibre providers offer high-speed internet services specifically tailored for businesses. These providers often operate their own infrastructure or partner with private networks to deliver reliable and fast connectivity.

      Here are some notable non-nbn fibre providers:

      OptiComm

      • Predominantly found in new developments and specific regional areas where OptiComm has established its infrastructure.

      Spirit Telecom

      • While heavily focused on Melbourne, Sydney, and the Gold Coast, they also serve various regional centres.

      Lightning Broadband

      • Operates in selected regional areas across Australia, often in places where traditional services are limited or unavailable.

      RedTrain Networks

      • Available in selected new developments and specific regional centres in NSW and Victoria.
    • 4 Fixed Wireless

      nbn® Fixed Wireless is available in many regional locations and can suit businesses, providing reliable broadband with decent speeds and relatively low latency compared to some satellite internet options; however, it might not be ideal for high-bandwidth applications or large enterprises due to potential limitations in speed and network congestion during peak times.

      Currently nbn® does not offer a Fixed Wireless business specific product.

      Numerous non-nbn fixed wireless operators provide high-speed internet services suitable for businesses, particularly in regional areas where fibre connections may not be available. To find out more about these operators please visit https://wispau.au/search-wisps/

      More information on non-nbn fixed wireless can be found here

    • 5 Satellite (nbn Sky Muster & Starlink)

      In regional Australia, businesses can choose from several satellite internet providers that offer robust and reliable connectivity solutions. These services are particularly valuable in remote areas where other forms of high-speed internet, such as fibre or fixed wireless, are not available. Here are the two main satellite products available for businesses:

      Sky Muster™ by nbn Co

      • Overview: Sky Muster™ ,Sky Muster™ Plus and Sky Muster™ Plus Premium are satellite services provided by nbn® Co, designed to deliver high-speed internet to remote and rural areas of Australia. This includes areas across mainland Australia, Tasmania, and remote islands like Norfolk Island, Christmas Island, Lord Howe Island, and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.To set up a satellite connection, you’ll need a rooftop satellite dish and an nbn®-provided modem installed where the cable from the dish enters your business. This modem requires power and must be installed by an nbn®-approved technician
      • Business Product: In addition, nbn® offers a Business Satellite Service which provides up to 100Mbps download speed and more business grade features.

      To find out more about nbn® Business Satellite Service visit here.

       

      Starlink by SpaceX

      • Overview: Starlink is a satellite internet constellation being constructed by SpaceX, providing high-speed, low-latency internet across the globe, including remote regions of Australia. Typical download speeds range from 50 Mbps to 250 Mbps with unlimited data.Starlink satellite solutions are available for a variety of different modes including fixed (i.e placed on a rooftop), roam (used while travelling but must be stationary) and mobility (fixed to a vehicle, plane or ship). Numerous companies provide custom mounting equipment depending on your requirements.
      • Business Product: Starlink and its partners (Telstra, Optus, Vocus & Skymesh) offer business and enterprise plans/ solutions depending on your requirements.
    • 6 Mobile Broadband

      In Australia, three mobile network carriers (Telstra, Optus and Vodafone) provide the ability to connect to 4G and 5G internet connectivity.

      4G Coverage is available extensively available across Australia, including regional and rural areas, ensuring businesses can maintain connectivity in many locations. However 5G is much more limited to urban areas or large country towns.

       

      There are two main benefits to businesses using mobile connectivity:

      • Flexibility and Mobility: Ideal for businesses that require internet access on the move or in locations without fixed-line infrastructure.
      • Backup Solution: Provides a reliable backup connection for businesses that primarily rely on fixed-line broadband.

       

      However, several limitations can affect Mobile connectivity:

      • Network Congestion: Can experience slower speeds and higher latency during peak usage times, which may impact performance. Even more noticeable during larges events or gatherings.
      • Data Limits: Many mobile plans have data caps, which can be restrictive for businesses with high data usage.
      • Latency: Higher latency compared to fixed-line connections, which can affect real-time applications like VoIP and video conferencing.

       

      Conclusion

      Both 4G and 5G networks can be suitable for business internet use, especially when required for flexible and mobile situations. However, it is also recommended to be aware of the limitations (network congestion, data limits). Many times a fixed-line (Fibre, Fixed Wireless or Satellite) connectivity solution will provide a much more reliable result.

  • Small Business Connectivity Guide

    Internet options for small business can be confusing, and there is a lot of misinformation about what is available. The following table has been designed to help you work out what options might suit your needs, based on budget, speed, latency, equipment, and contract length.

  • Business Help Guides

    • Connectivity Resilience

      Having an internet backup is essential to ensure payment systems and smart devices remain operational during outages, preventing disruptions and revenue loss. Read our guide on connectivity resilience for your business.

      Download the guide

    • Getting the right payment system

      Not all payment systems are created equal. There are lots of options now available to suit almost every business need. We can help you navigate what is right for your business.

      Download the guide

    • Stallholder Connectivity

      For stallholders, reliable connectivity is crucial to ensure payment systems and smart devices work seamlessly, preventing transaction disruptions and keeping business operations smooth.

      Download the guide

    • Power back up

      Having power backup options is vital to ensure the continuous operation of payment systems and smart devices during outages, preventing disruptions and maintaining smooth business activities. Read our guide on your power back up options.

      Download the guide

  • Small Business Upcoming Events

    Developing Connectivity Resilience with Commerce Ballarat

    Agquip Field Days

     

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