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NBN is not just about internet

5 things about NBNThe National Broadband Network (NBN) is modernising the telecommunications network to homes and businesses.

Many services and equipment use the telecommunications network, including telephone and voice services, internet, tele-typewriters, fax machines, alarms (medical, security, and fire alarms), EFTPOS machines and emergency elevator phones.

To continue to use these services you may need to switch to the NBN. Alternatively, these services may work over a mobile network.

Register devices with nbn

Switching is not automatic

Find out when NBN is available at your home on the nbn website.

You need to check because homes are switching to NBN at different times.

Your current services may be turned off. Generally this is 18 months after the NBN is available, but, it may be shorter or longer.

Retail Service Providers (RSP) sell services to consumers

Over NBN there are more RSPs and plans to choose from. RSPs offer different services. For example: different data and call inclusions, different speeds during peak hours, and different levels of customer support.

Choose a provider and plan that matches your needs. If you are not happy you can make a complaint or switch to a different provider.

For more tips read our blog: ‘Tips for picking a good value NBN internet plan’.

What is the difference between retail service provider and network provider?

  • Network providers (e.g. nbn, Opticomm) build and maintain the telecommunications network to consumers’ homes.
  • Retail Service Providers (e.g. Optus, TPG, Telstra) use the network to sell services to customers, such as internet and phone services.

Connecting is different for everyone

Your RSP will advise you on how to connect to the NBN. The process differs for everyone. An installer might visit you to install equipment inside and/or outside your home. Some homes may not require an installation visit.

Always check the installer’s ID. Installers will never ask you for money. Do not give money directly to installers.

Some things to note:

  • The equipment needs power to work. You may need to use an extension power cord.
  • Some people may need to upgrade the wiring in their home. This will be at your expense.
  • A new modem/gateway may be needed. RSPs can provide this or you can purchase your own. But make sure it will work on your type of NBN connection.

Services may work differently over NBN

The three biggest differences you need to consider:

Power outages

Without power your telecommunication services and devices will not work.

It may be possible to have a battery backup but consider alternative options, e.g. a charged mobile phone for use during an outage.

New devices

Some older devices may not work over NBN. You may need to upgrade these (e.g. EFTPOS machines, fax machines or tele-typewriters).

Your current handset(s) may need an Analogue Telephone Adapter. Check if this is supplied by your RSP and if there is an additional cost.

Multiple services in your house

If you have multiple handsets in your house, they are unlikely to work. New wiring may be required to keep them working. Alternatively, consider using a cordless phone with multiple handsets.

Questions to ask!

  1. When will NBN be available at my home?
  2. Will my services be disconnected?
  3. Can I use all my current services and devices over NBN (including keeping current phone number)?
  4. How long will it take to get connected?
  5. What do I need to do to prepare my property for connection?
  6. When will the billing start?
  7. What speed will I get on average with this plan during peak and off peak hours?
  8. Apart from the monthly charge, what other fees do I need to pay?
  9. Do I need to purchase a new modem / gateway / handset?
  10. Can I get voice services? Is the modem / gateway set to ensure quality of phone calls?


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