Setting up an NBN retail service provider business

A Retail Service Provider is the most direct business one can set up from the National Broadband Network. The NBN is wholesale, and the only way to get it to your residence or business is through the retail level, where it becomes a commercial “product” provided for by an Internet Service Provider.

There are many complicated challenges involved with this, as well as considerable budgets, manpower, technology, infrastructure, legwork, and attention to detail. It is akin to creating a new system in order to provide NBN on an individual premises level, and later on to mass usage models, such as other businesses and large scale telecommunications.

Retail Service Providers will help with and provide for initial consulting, application, scheduling, installation, testing, and maintenance. On top of these, they will also handle all the billing, tech support and customer service roles. Oh, and the providing of the NBN broadband service itself, available in different formats, bundles, plans, and etc. These are all the key functions to be initiated when creating the outline of the business.

Everything also depends on the retail business’s capabilities, skills, deployment, organisation of system, reputation and actual performance to create the core of an NBN based business like this.


NBN set-up and installation increases further as the nationwide rollout campaign continues.

NBN / ISP set-up and startup basics

Setting up your own service provisioning for broadband services, especially NBN is entirely possible. There are different levels of this, from making a DIY movement to improve a single residence, to clamoring enough demand for NBN in a specific community or area with a considerable number of subscribers who want the service installed.
There have been cases of unhappy subscribers who decided to take matters into their hands and create their own company, and set up the technology and infrastructure and have their way when it comes to providing broadband services that’s a little more to their liking (and terms, and standards, if applicable). This is a bit similar to that.

Setting up an NBN / Internet service provider business will of course need a huge sum of moolah for starters. The biggest budget considerations belong to getting the organisation created, systems and standards in place, and then all physical assets off the ground to make the NBN service a reality. This is the initial phase.

The initial budgeting will determine the size and scope of the company, or project, and will establish the first ready facilities, with room for later expansion. This includes the NBN format to be offered.

These initial expenditures will help get the company off the ground. Alongside it is research and other non-physical properties and work: market research, legal implications, coverage areas, company format, offerings, customer information, advertising, and company policies. As well, proper training for qualified staff members, technical team, and service teams must be made in place. These have to be established before launching a proper promotional campaign.

Stakeholders, owners, officers, shareholders, and everyone involved are all in the mix to make sure business moves and service remains consistent and high quality. The higher-ups of the business will have the main say on decisions and what plans will be carried out.

As for the main facilities and physical setup: the crucial elements needed for a startup NBN connection will start with an exclusive POI or Point of Interconnect, which will be the source connection from which most the NBN connections will come from. This is the second phase, wherein the basic structure of the company and all its facilities and staff are created and standardised.

By posting a proper POI for operations, it ensures a worry free service that uses the standards speeds set by NBN Co. along with reliability, availability, and level of performance.

After this are the secondary important elements: having complete facilities, equipment, and infrastructure. These are the main required facilities that will deliver to everyone in the coverage area. Offering the NBN, and other possible formats such as ADSL, Mobile and 4G services, will require a complete set of facilities and equipment and infrastructure to be invested in for each of those services.

It is possible that at the early phase, companies would be able to offer one or two main formats only. For NBN this is most likely NBN wireless / 4G, and / or a version of fixed line NBN, whether pure fibre or Mixed Technology NBN. Especially if the area has copper facilities that are usable within the proposed NBN structure, whatever would be feasible in an area’s free market, versus the available funding, technology, and initial facilities.


The Road Muster vehicle, which works with Satellite NBN. These vehicles are part of NBN roadshows to promote nationwide NBN and Satellite NBN, particularly to remote and rural areas.


Vehicles for delivery, installation, ground work, as well as roadshows and demos are included, along with qualified service staff in all departments. A considerable NBN-ready area must be coordinated, with an increasing coverage area and the company’s own roll out process to lay fibre optic cables and set up transmission towers and equipment.

For NBN, this will cover fibre optic hubs and FTTx facilities, as well as non fibre elements such as HFC or Hybrid Fibre Coaxial, and all types of Mixed Technology NBN. Regional and rural areas included in their coverage areas would have NBN towers and wireless facilities.

Some of these physical and infrastructure needs might need initial legwork as well, including permits, legalities, and adherence to nationwide standards. Construction and roll out works are covered by this. Ensuring that these are well taken care of will make it possible to avoid future issues and construction area conflicts.

The Satellite NBN option is so far the newest addition to the NBN roster, and will involve consultations with NBN Co. to properly set up and source the service, particularly for rural and remote locations that are included in their fibre area footprint.

There are other elements of an Internet Service Provider, and most of these are post-set-up related. This is in the third phase of maintenance, where expansion and growth may be next set-up, if the plan is to get this company growing with a larger scale operation and scope of services.

Online presence is usually the first line of business and where most customers get a reference before getting in touch with the retail service provider. Second would be live, in person demos and roadshows where booths are set up to register interest or submit an application form, if already possible.
Online material and advertising includes the website and provisions for registering interest for later contact. It should provide all needed information that will help the would be subscriber with all the details of the connection.

This is followed by all operations online and in real life for advertising, marketing, promotion, and research, the latter of which includes consumer studies, feedback, and being up-to-date with current consumer trends, tech trends, and all avenues of promoting the company. This will ensure growth of the target market, and to increase sales by creating new markets as well.

Standards and Practices

A retailer must also provide quality service parallel with the NBN Co.’s declared global standards. As a wholesale product, these NBN standards must be upheld on all retail levels, including its aspects for pricing, quality, performance, and customer relations. Competitive pricing, bundles, and plans are some of the main considerations, and are regularly improved and enhanced for sales and revenue.

Unique offers tailor made for certain “high budget” customers, such as gamers, unlimited users, business class users are some of the ways we attract new markets, or create long term subscribers.
Many retailer companies offer bundles, which pair a service with a main device, such as a a Playstation or Xbox console, a tablet, or an Internet HDTV. This gives it a good reason to purchase and instantly gives the customer a main access device for entertainment with NBN providing the high speed broadband connection.


The Wolumla NBN Satellite Ground Station. Satellite NBN is currently the newest NBN format offering.


Opening new markets are a combination of advertising, marketing, and promotional work, with research and preference; it will also involve growth of the company and coverage area in order to offer new services for new subscribers. For instance, having Satellite NBN and Fixed Wireless NBN not only increases the profile of an ISP, but also increases revenue and subscriber count. Both formats have made it possible to go beyond the major cities and urban areas, and offer the same level of NBN to other parts of Australia.

More remote and rural areas are given a chance to be included in the network. In return, these areas generate other indirect revenue, from the businesses they create or new markets reached. Expanding the NBN network also improves many national telecommunications standards and makes use of these new markets.


Customer feedback and information is crucial to maintaining NBN quality and performance.

Keeping up with tech and consumer trends also allows the company to know and understand their markets and how to offer up-to-date and relevant services, from the offerings and bundles available, to improvements and upgrades to the company. This includes competitive prices and relevant bundles, as well as listening to consumer feedback – on all NBN formats offered, and from both urban and rural / remote area activity.

A great example are the new tech trends in further improving the service, and reaching further beyond the normal coverage areas around Australia; the use of Mixed Technology NBN Optimisation with G.Fast and XG.Fast technology, to make it at par with pure fibre is one of the latest developments, and a promising one for the future of part-copper networks for NBN.

The other not only opens up new NBN markets, but offers the same NBN service and performance to “outsider” areas previously uncovered. This in turn has given them new opportunities for fields such as e-commerce, distance education, advanced telecommunications, improved connectivity, and facilities for emergency and telehealth services.