Published on:

9 November 2021


Rachael Adams

Internet Woes? Why cheap NBN Plans Aren’t the Best Answer for SMB

We get it, every dollar counts for smaller businesses. When you’re competing against enterprises with seemingly endless bank balances, any waste makes it that bit harder. Still, it is also important to sidestep false economies when it comes to your internet plan. Here are our top six reasons why cheap NBN plans aren’t usually the bargain you are hoping for.

1. Speed

One of the best weapons of the smaller business is its ability to respond fast and pivot rapidly, so it is important that you have access to fast internet to capitalise on the advantage. Cheaper plans tend not to offer the same guarantees that you need for a modern business, instead fluctuating between high speed at 3am, and rather more sedate at peak times between 3 and 10pm. Business plans avoid these fluctuations, so you avoid that productivity loss.

2. Uptime

The cheaper plans offer no guarantee of uptime, or fault rectification times. Even getting through on the phone line can take hours when there’s a fault, and then you go through the same triage system as a family deprived of Netflix. There’s no shortage of horror stories doing the rounds about waiting weeks for internet issues to be fixed. One business we know was without internet for more than two weeks, and their stress levels (not to mention their mobile phone bills) were sky high. Few businesses can operate long without internet, so slow response rates can cost you valuable sales and reputation.

3. Data Volumes

Businesses tend to transmit a lot of data, and for this an unlimited plan is a must. When you check the fine print, many plans shape traffic when you hit a certain level, or cannot handle your data volume in an appropriate timeframe. Large videos and other demanding apps can be especially problematic, with issues around bandwidth and data volumes especially challenging to organisations in industries such as media production marketing, and research.

4. Productivity

If you think a better plan is expensive, try factoring in the cost of poor productivity. People are almost always the biggest cost for any business, and poor connectivity is one of the biggest productivity drains in small businesses. Saving a couple of hundred dollars a month on internet is very quickly outweighed by the cost of people. Poor internet is a real morale buster too, especially when your team is trying to join Teams meetings or Zoom calls.

5. VoIP Stability

The NBN rollout means that old landlines are being removed, and organisations are switching to VoIP. When your phones are reliant on internet, it must perform well, and this can be a problem on a cheaper plan.  If speed is fluctuating your VoIP call will start breaking up, or it may even cut the call off. Online meetings can face similar congestion, causing stability issues. Adoption of these collaboration tools has been high through Covid, and more users create additional strain on your internet. The same goes for adding IoT devices, and those new security cameras or the TV in reception could be enough to tip over a connection that is only designed for the home.  

6. Support Frustration

When you have issues, the last thing you need is to find out the hard way about support limitations. Typically, a cheap plan will include minimal support for setup, with variable levels of skill. Figuring it out for yourself takes time, which costs money. Dealing with someone who knows technology and understands how your business operates can save additional support costs, and put you on the right track from the start.

Fortunately, there are many business-ready options available. Consider the service levels you need, the uptime that is acceptable for your business, and compare that to the business plans available. Or why not make it easy and talk to our internet experts about the smarter way to keep business connectivity costs manageable?