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Couple sitting on lounge using a phone and laptopMany vital services and equipment use telecommunications infrastructure to work, such as telephone and voice services, internet, disability equipment (tele-typewriters), fax machines, medical alarms, security alarms, EFTPOS machines and emergency elevator phones.

These services and equipment may be affected in the switch over to the National Broadband Network (NBN).

When considering switching over to the NBN, it is important to check:

  • If the devices you use will work over the network - the provider or manufacturer of the device will be able to advise you on this.
  • If your services will work with your chosen plan - ask if there are any changes required to your devices or in-house wiring.

In this article we look at some of the most used services and devices that will be affected by the NBN.

Power outages

With the NBN network the devices and services in your house will need power to work. If the power goes out your services and devices are unlikely to work. While it may be possible to have a battery backup, it is best to consider if you need an alternative option. For example, this might be a charged mobile phone that you can use during a power outage.

Telephone services

Telephone services are important for many consumers. When switching to the NBN you may consider a telephone service from a service provider or if you still need a fixed telephone service you may prefer to use a mobile service instead.

There are a few important things to consider:

  • It is unlikely that telephone services over the NBN will work in power outages. If you need access to services in a blackout you may need an alternative service such as a charged mobile phone.
  • Your current handset(s) may need an adapter (called an Analogue Telephone Adapter) for it to work over the NBN. Check if this is supplied by your service provider and if there are additional costs to have it.
  • If you have multiple handsets plugged in throughout your house ask if they will all still work. Additional wiring may be required to keep all the handsets working.
  • Consumers who will receive NBN satellite and fixed wireless can continue to use the current fixed line telephone services that they use.

Medical alarms

Medical alarms and alert devices are vital peace of mind devices to keep loved ones safe. It is important that you ensure the device will work over the NBN and that the service can be delivered even during power outages.

To do this, consumers should contact the provider of the medical alarm to ensure that the alarm is compatible with the NBN and the switch over to the network will be smooth.

It may be that an alternative solution that does not run over the NBN network is available and meets your needs better.

Medical alarm users should list their device on nbn’s National Medical Alarm Register, by calling 1800 227 300 or completing the online form.

Monitored fire and security alarm system

Is your house or apartment protected by a monitored fire or security alarm system?

If so, you will need to check with your service provider that the equipment will still work after the switch over to the NBN and that no additional wiring or devices are needed.

It is also important to ask what will happen in case of a power outage after you switch to the NBN.

Fire and lift phones

Emergency fire alarm and lift phones in your apartment may need to be switched to the NBN network to continue working.

Ask your strata manager if they have arranged for this.

You can register these services with nbn by calling 1800 687 626 or going online.

Tele-typewriters, fax and EFTPOS devices

Communication equipment such as tele-typewriters (TTYs), fax machines and EFTPOS devices need the telecommunications network to function.
These devices may need to be updated to work over the NBN network.

It is important to ask the device provider if they will work and your service provider if your NBN plan will support the equipment.

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