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Building a New Home

Building / renovating or relocating? Don’t forget the phone lines and communications cables! Below are some helpful steps to assist you in this process and avoid costly mistakes.

Choosing a phone provider

Most people I know would rather have an eye tooth pulled, than try to understand this industry!

To cut through all the noise you will need to identify what your priorities are with price and service.

Cheap prices and top service don’t go together, so we suggest that if you are in business or want top service, don’t choose the cheaper option.

The time when this will really pay off is usually when there is a problem with your phone line or if you want to talk to a customer service person.

Most customer service representatives are on commission, so don’t be too quick to sign up on any "hot deals" for free cordless phones etc without checking all your options.

Our experience of these cordless phones is that they are a "cheap" imported product and usually needing replacement after 12 months.

For those of you who are on a budget why not look at connecting a phone service using VOIP technology. This will be dependent on availability of your local telephone exchange or carrier.

Choosing an internet service provider (ISP)

Internet service providers fall into the same class as phone providers so a degree in thinkology would be good here.

The type of broadband available will be dependent on what area you live in, so you may need to do some homework with the various providers first before buying modems etc.

As there are several forms of broadband services in Australia you will need to choose one that suits you and your area.

1.   "ADSL" which connects through your existing phone line.

ADSL is generally available in a variety of speeds to suit all budgets.

Speeds vary with distance from equipped exchanges ranging from 220kbps to about 24,000kbps (24 Meg).

There is a reasonable level of competition in place for this market so prices will vary.

The down sides are:

  • it relies on an aging copper network that is in some areas substandard
  • it is restricted to close proximity of the telephone exchanges
  • can cause "line noise" feeding back into the telephone line when using inline filters
  • may require a Central Filter to be installed to the line
  • can be costly installing Central Filters

2.   "Satellite" connected to the roof of a building

Good for rural areas where no other types of broadband exists.

This type of technology is expensive and although subsidies are available from the government, they only apply to plans delivering a very basic service of about 512kbps.

Any attempt to increase the speed to a more acceptable level will see the subsidy stripped.

Our opinion is that this is a last resort option.

3.   "Wireless"

Wireless broadband gives you the freedom to access the internet in most populated areas in Australia. There is no need to connect to phone lines, so this form of broadband is becoming more popular.

Connection is via a wireless modem or a wireless internet card.

Advantages:

  • freedom to access broadband in most populated areas
  • no need to connect to phone lines or cable

Disadvantages:

  • expensive
  • can be slow

4.   "Cable Broadband" connected, using a coaxial TV cable

This form of broadband is reasonable but the infrastructure is not open to competition to other competitors, so prices are usually at the top end of the market.

Cable broadband will not interfere with the phone lines or alarm systems, eliminating the need for inline filters or Central Filters.

Speed will vary with user traffic on the network as this is a shared "pipe" of information.

Advantages:

  • Good for the average user
  • Reliability is reasonable
  • Price can be negotiated in most circumstances making it attractive

5.   Fibre to the house (FTTH)

Suburbs such as Sandhurst, located in the South East and Sanctuary Lakes located in the west of Melbourne have fibre optic networks in place.

These privately maintained modern networks can deliver very fast broadband, free telephone calls within the estate/suburb and television reception eliminating the need for antenna installations.


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