Fast broadband is coming – and you aren’t ready

The Coalition’s broadband proposal is very much an admission it could never dismantle the National Broadband Network.

Despite the threats and promises to tear apart the network once it won power, the new proposal is simply Diet NBN. And now, whether you liked it or not, Australia is getting broadband. It’ll cost us anywhere between $20-37 billion, it’ll be fully functional as soon as 2019 or 2021, and have a guaranteed speed of 25Mbps.

Leaving arguments about costing aside, the Coalition definitely has one thing right – a speed of 25Mbps will definitely be good enough for most people.

The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data show the vast majority of people have a connection with under that speed. Of course, there will always be those who need more. Large businesses, individuals who like to torrent – er, I mean, legally pay for and download – lots of content and stream entertainment.

But for most businesses? They’re not going to need anywhere near that speed.

At least for now. Which is an important point in and of itself – it might be an admission small businesses aren’t doing enough online.

This doesn’t even have anything to do with a product – when it comes to services or tools, businesses aren’t using their internet connections to their fullest potential.

Take Skype, for instance. There is absolutely no reason why a small business with about 10-20 employees shouldn’t be using Skype. It saves you money on phone calls, gives you cheap videoconferencing, and you can IM with your employees instead of emailing back and forth. Why not use it?

Or what about something like Google Docs to collaborate? Or Evernote to keep track of all your documents and ideas? Office 365 is an excellent version of Office and will save you a lot of money if all you’re using your hard drives for is office software.

Plenty of Australian businesses are using Salesforce already. And there’s plenty of accounting software options to use in the cloud as well, like MYOB or Xero.

Do you have a large team? Get a paid Dropbox account to keep everyone in check.

All of these may not take a lot bandwidth individual, but combine them all and you start to understand why a business would need a solid, fast connection. This isn’t to mention the fact that you’re only going to see more people connecting toy our business network – laptops, smartphones, and possibly wearable computing devices if the trend takes off.

The NBN may not be here yet, but plenty of online services are. The future of broadband in Australia will allow you to use as many of these services as possible – so why not get a head start?

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