Stepping up from a residential plan to a business-grade internet and voice plan from the likes of Internode or iiNet could make sense for your business.
Whether you're a residential or business customer, if you're using Telstra's copper phone lines for DSL broadband from another ISP then you can probably save money by transferring your phone number from Telstra to your ISP.
This doesn't mean ditching your landline for Voice over IP. Instead, it simply means that you pay your line rental to your ISP instead of Telstra and save money. It's exactly the same "PSTN" copper landline service as before, you're just paying for it on your broadband bill. Internode's landline services are known as NodeLine, while its VoiP lines are known as NodePhone. iiNet simply calls them Home Phone and Netphone. Depending on your local telephone exchange, you might have the option of "naked DSL" – ditching your landline and just keeping broadband (perhaps with a VoIP service).
If you're running a small business then you might consider stepping up from a consumer-grade plan to a business plan. Internode has just revamped its business plans to bring them into line with iiNet's plans (iiNet acquired Internode last year). Compared to the residential plans you don't get the same bang for your buck in terms of your monthly data allowance, but there are a few perks with the iiNet/Internode plans which might make a business plan right for you;
- Uploads don't count towards your monthly limit - useful if you regularly send large files to customers rather than simply downloading content. It's probably not worth switching to a business plan just for unmetered uploads, as you could simply put the money towards a higher residential plan. But business plans add support for Annex M, which increases upstream data transfer speeds for ADSL2+ services.
- Shaped to 512/512kbps if you exceeded your monthly data allowance (with the option to buy extra data packs). Residential plans are often shaped at 256/256kbps or lower.
- Bundled landline with unlimited local and national calls included - perhaps a significant money saver if you make a lot of interstate calls.
- 20 email inboxes with spam and virus filtering – caters for multiple staff along with administrative accounts such as email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Static IP address – handy if you're running servers. Under a residential plan you're issued a new IP address each time your modem reboots, which can mean reconfiguring your servers.
- Business-grade VoIP services including multiple lines and cloud PABX features for diverting calls within your business.
- Priority business customer support.
If your small business is ready to move to the next level it's certainly worth considering the advantages of a business-grade internet and voice service as opposed to a cheaper residential bundle.