How do I keep the phones ringing when my NBN is down?

A must-read for small businesses that rely upon fixed lines to run their business.


A significant issue for small business in regional Australia is when the Internet goes down, the phones go down. The NBN is "the best of service product" that supports VoIP phones services, so when the NBN goes down, your phone lines also go down unless you build redundancy into your Telecommunications.

It not as hard or as costly as you may think. However, it does require a plan and execution.

In this blog, I will cover two business types


1. A solution for sole traders 1 to 4 employees, and 1 to 2 phone lines, e.g. Tradesman, cafes, restaurants, retail shops, online stores, consultants, caravan parks

2. A solution for small business 2 to 24 employees, 2 to 6 phone line extensions, e.g. real estate, larger tour companies, resorts, travel companies


Years ago, before NBN and VoIP ( Voice Over Internet Protocol our current internet phone service), we had a PSTN Public Switched Telephone Network. PSTN was a circuit-switched telephone network, hard-wired to the local exchange and bulletproof when it came to reliability.

However, with the NBN, we had to change to a digital system - VoIP, and with it in regional Australia, a network that is less than reliable, i.e. if your NBN goes down, your phone line goes down.

In many cases, your small business stops!

So small business needs to build redundancy into its communications as this is our lifeblood.

So what can we do?

Well, first of when the power goes off, we go off… I mean, the Internet is down, and phones are down.

So we need back up power; big organisations can invest in back up generators.

Small businesses need to get a UPS with a battery back set up to protect their computer, modem, and phone from power surges and downtime. It means if the power goes off, your Internet and phone continue to work.

If the NBN and or Internet goes down, I lose my phone and Internet.

Well, if you are a small business 1 to 2 person show, then?

OK, If you have an NBN service with a phone line with me, you can quickly get onto the service provider I set you up with, and they will divert your phone through to your mobile – easy.

Also, an option may be to have mobile Internet back up on your modem and help with that—more about that in a future blog.

However, if you are with, say, Telstra, then this is near impossible.

Move your phone lines away from service providers that don't support or make it challenging to respond ASAP so that you can manage the lines yourself online.

In many cases, this is easier said than done and will cause pain in the short term to move away.

However well worth it in the long run.

I suggest you get a 1300 or local number through this company I use


– they provide fantastic service that allows you to hop online and divert your lines to anywhere instantly – you can even set it up, so it happens automatically.

Also, they have lots of products to help your business manage phone calls in a professional manager.

The beauty of 1300 numbers is that you can terminate them anywhere on fixed-line, mobiles, even message services. Also, if you set up another office in a different location, you can use the same number.

Plus, you can set up a cascade of rules about where your incoming call will go, i.e. if your primary line is busy, you can go to a mobile or an answering service or even a live answering service, so many options.

I also suggest you have two mobile networks available in case one network goes down. Happy to recommend which networks are best for your circumstances; comment below or send me an email.

They are so easy to set up and won't cost you the earth. Your phones lines will never go unanswered again.

So you are a business with between 2 and 24 employees again; this is a different solution where I take your phones into the cloud in a big way with low costs. Furthermore, when the NBN goes down, your lines are diverted to employees and company mobiles, and life goes on… you stay open. Reach out to me here, and I will set up some tailored advice and a quote again it won't cost the earth.

If you need to be up 100% of the time, I can help you with a fully integrated NBN/ Satellite with power back up - set up that will give you 99.99% uptime. For Internet landlines phones and even mobiles.

If you live and work in places where I live, the Kimberley, you need to start planning now as sometimes these systems take a while to implement.



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