Coronavirus (COVID-19) and nbn: latest updates, working from home tips and FAQs
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To provide updates on how the nbn™ broadband access network is handling changing connectivity demands as businesses transition their employees to work remotely, our Chief Customer Officer – Business, Paul Tyler, recently appeared on the Small Biz Matters podcast.
Chatting with host Alexi Boyd, Paul covers topics including:
- how nbn is ensuring its network stays ahead of demand
- differences between residential nbn™ plans and business nbn™ plans
- how users can get the most from their connection when working from home
At NBN Co, we are committed to supporting the needs of Australians in the time of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, no matter where they live or work. As part of this commitment, last week, we announced a capacity boost across the nbn™ access network for three months, to help Retail Service Providers (RSPs) support customers.
Today, we are unveiling new measures to support increasing capacity and data demand for our satellite services in regional and remote Australia.
These initiatives have been designed to support the requirement expected to be created as more people in regional and remote communities work from home and more children study remotely in the coming weeks.
Two key measures will see:
a) Customers on standard nbn™ Sky Muster™ services have their data download limits increased significantly
b) Customers on nbn™ Sky Muster™ Plus services have an increased range of applications not count towards monthly data quotas
NBN Co today announced it will waive charges for additional capacity of up to 40 per cent to Retail Service Providers (RSPs) for at least three months to help them support Australian residential and business nbn customers. The additional capacity pricing relief will apply to all fixed line, fixed wireless and satellite nbn technologies.
From Monday 23 March, NBN Co will immediately offer retailers access to pricing relief for up to 40 per cent more Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) capacity as required to help meet demand over time at no additional cost.
Today’s announcement follows weeks of detailed planning and assessment by nbn’s engineers on the network’s capabilities to effectively meet Australia’s growing broadband requirements as more people choose to spend more time at home working, studying, shopping, and streaming entertainment content.
NBN Co plans to introduce this offer from Monday 23 March and will set the CVC usage charges applied in February 2020 as the baseline, waiving any additional changes for overage that would otherwise be incurred by RSPs over the next three months, and will continue to monitor the situation in terms of any further decision making required.
Offers advice for getting better internet performance at home
NBN Co is responding to a shift in Australia’s internet usage patterns that will occur as more people choose to work, study, shop and stream more content at home as the nation responds to the impact of COVID-19 (the Coronavirus). During this period, digital connectivity will also be a primary channel for people to stay in touch with family and friends.
NBN Co’s team of data scientists and network engineers have been studying data consumption patterns in other countries that have been significantly impacted by the pandemic in recent weeks. At the same time, the company’s engineering teams have been planning for, and strengthening the network to help meet residential data demand that will likely surge, based on overseas examples, at different times of the day and night.
NBN Co is well-advanced with its contingency plans and will incrementally increase its data capacity allocation to retailers to accommodate the expected growth in residential data demand. It is requesting that retailers place their forward orders for CVC (capacity) in the normal way, and NBN Co will increase capacity as required to meet demand.
While working from home (WFH) has become increasingly common with those seeking flexibility in their careers, it’s likely never been a hotter topic of conversation than now.
Some companies are already voluntarily asking their staff to work remotely, while those with suspected or confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus are being advised to self-isolate.
So, whether you need or want to work from home, we’ve compiled the following tips to help you make the most of services over the nbn™ broadband access network*.
Get the right speed
Depending on the nature of your work, you may be surprised at the download and upload requirements needed to effectively get the job done.
Sending and receiving large files, taking video conference calls, and simultaneously running multiple online programs are just some of the typical work tasks that can affect internet speed.
And if you work at night, remember that internet speeds tend to slow down in the after-dinner ‘busy period’.
Get the right plan
Working from home doesn’t have to be an isolating experience. Apps like Slack are useful for real-time team collaboration, while the likes of Trello can help with project management.
For some virtual face-to-face time, try apps like Skype and Zoom, and share files over the cloud – including real-time document co-authoring and version control – with those including Google Docs and OneDrive.
While undoubtedly handy, keep in mind that the more reliant your remote work is on internet-based software, the more bandwidth you may need. So, while sharing basic documents will have a relatively minor impact on your bandwidth, downloading and uploading massive files could have a noticeable effect.
Get the optimum performance
Even with the right speed and plan, factors around the home can affect your online experience*. To help make the most of your work day, start by ensuring you have the best possible internet set-up in your home.
Using Wi-Fi? Make sure your modem isn’t hiding behind the likes of brick walls, large electrical appliances or mirrors. These – and more – can cause poor signal.
Living in a device-happy home? Basic modems can generally support eight devices connected at one time, so chat to your provider to make sure you have the right modem for your needs.
Older cabling or devices at your place? These can lead to slower speeds. Get an assessment from a registered cabler and consider upgrading older devices, like printers or computers.
Consistently uploading large files? Consider doing so during off-peak hours (between 12am and 7am).
Many businesses use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to allow their employees to log in remotely – and safely – to work servers and systems.
If your internet appears to go down while working, it could be your VPN.
To check whether it’s your VPN or an issue with your nbn™ connection, try accessing a non-work website like Google. If it loads normally, contact your workplace to let them know your VPN isn’t working. You can also check if any unforeseen incident may be impacting your services over the nbn™ access network.