Using a fax machine on an ADSL broadband phone line

It’s not unusual for people who own small businesses to want to be able to use a fax machine on their landline. The question is will you be able to have a fax on the same phone line as your telephone and ADSL broadband connection?

Australia’s two main broadband providers, Optus (1300 137 897) and BigPond, own the copper wire telephone networks their services run on, and so can offer fax (seen as a ‘complex product’ by some other Internet Service Providers) together with their bundled phone and internet.

However, these ISPs are not the only companies who can offer the service. iiNet offers a Dual Phone and Fax Multiple Number, which lets customers add a fax number to your current phone line, providing you with separate telephone and fax numbers, without the need to install a second phone line to your home or business.

iiNet’s Fax Duet service can be added to your ADSL broadband and telephone bundle for a paltry $6 per month. Westnet, iPrimus and Netspace also offer the Fax Stream Duet service.

However, one of the cheapest home phone bundles on the broadband market at the moment is with TPG. TPG’s bundle only provides a basic landline service. Complex products cannot be used on the line.

This means as well as not being able to use a fax, you also won’t be able to use a back-to-base alarm system, Foxtel program purchase, analogue modem, or Eftpos facility on the bargain TPG connection.

It is also worth asking your broadband provider if they offer an email-to-Fax service. This is not the same as having a fax machine, and involves scanning documents into email attachments, but it can be a cheap and useful alternative to paying for a Fax Duet or a second landline. Often ISPs will charge as little as 10 cents per fax, and they can be sent to multi user lists at no extra charge. These services have the ability to receive faxes as well.