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Five ways your business can benefit from the NBN

In many ways, the NBN will be business as usual – only quicker. But there are several interesting technological leaps around the corner that could make your business smarter, more efficient and most importantly, more profitable.

National Broadband Network (NBN) speeds will be up to 100 megabits per second (mbps), rising to 1 gigabit per second (gbps) in 2012, with the capacity for further upgrades in the future. That’s ten to 100 times faster than an average ADSL2+ connection. NBN Co, the company building the network, expects the rollout to take nine years to complete.

1. Video conferencing

Video calling, predicted by sci-fi for decades, has finally come of age. There will always be a place for face-to-face contact but video conferencing offers an easy way to share files, meet with people in multiple locations and record the entire session for play back later.

High definition video conferencing is not just useful for meetings. Managers can troubleshoot on-site issues, see progress and offer training to employees without leaving the office. Instead of visiting clients in remote locations, businesses can save time and money by making a high quality video call.

2. IPTV

Television streamed through the internet is not just a way for consumers to watch more reality shows and sports. It’s also an interesting opportunity for organisations who may have dismissed TV advertising as too expensive or not a particularly efficient way of drumming up new business. For a start, adverts on IPTV can be targeted to a particular region or even neighbourhood, so local businesses can benefit from TV ads without running a nationwide campaign.

In addition, IPTV has the capability to identify the specific characteristics of the viewer (based on browsing and viewing habits) enabling businesses to understand how the audience is reacting to the ad and tailor the campaign based on the results.

3. Teleworking

A fast, reliable internet connection across Australia, not just in metropolitan locations, gives businesses more choice in location and in who they employ. Businesses that find it difficult to find the right candidate in their area will be able to open up their search to the whole of the country, with the employee working from home.

By relocating to cheaper areas and encouraging some employees to work from home, businesses can save on office costs. With fewer companies condensed into the CBD of cities, fewer people will need to commute and the morning rush hour will be a distant memory. Wouldn’t that be nice.

4. VoIP

At the end of June 2009, Sensis reported 20 percent of SMEs had used VoIP services. Yet VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls are cheaper than over traditional landline and the hardware involved to set up a system also costs less. With the faster upload speeds available on the NBN, VoIP will be a viable option for more organisations across the country.

5. Better website

Not only will you have access to better speeds, so will your customers. Once the whole of Australia has a super-fast broadband connection, your website can feature as many high-def graphics, video and animation as you like. Businesses will be able to make better use of their website for sales, marketing and customer communication.

– Sarah Routledge is the Content Manager for Compare Broadband, the independent broadband plan comparison service.