Moving to the NBN for consumers

Most people will need to move to the National Broadband Network (NBN) if they want a landline or internet service.

Moving to the NBN is not automatic

NBN Co will let you know your region’s ‘ready for service’ date by direct mail. Once NBN has announced your area is ready for service, you will generally have 18 months to move your landline phone and internet services to the new NBN network. Some service providers might have shorter timeframes.

You will need to contact your preferred telecommunications service provider to confirm the timing and arrange for a new NBN phone and internet service.

Any services you do not cancel or move to the NBN within the specified timeframe will be disconnected.

If you do not want to move to the NBN, consider asking you preferred service provider about other options available such as mobile phone or mobile broadband.

Some homes and businesses get their internet and phone services from companies using networks that compete with the NBN. If you’re with one of these companies, you don’t have to move to the NBN and your services won’t be disconnected. Check with your provider if you need to move.

  • Can I keep my existing service if I place an order after the disconnection date?

Yes. If you place an NBN order with your preferred service provider within five weeks of the disconnection date, your existing services may be restored while you wait for your NBN service. Ask your preferred service provider if this option is available to you.

If you do not place an NBN order, your existing phone and internet services will be permanently disconnected after the disconnection date and it won't be possible to restore your services.

Disconnecting existing landline phone and internet services

The majority of existing landline and internet services will be disconnected in the future. Most services that are supplied over Telstra’s copper and cable broadband networks will be disconnected. This includes services that are supplied by Telstra directly, as well as services that other service providers supply using Telstra’s copper network.

Services that are supplied over other fixed line networks, as well as mobile, wireless and satellite networks, are not being disconnected as part of the NBN rollout.

You will need to ask your retail service provider whether this is relevant to you, as it can be difficult to always know which network your telecommunication service provider is using.

Choosing a service provider and plan for the NBN

Before moving to the NBN, you will need to decide on a telecommunications service provider and plan. Compare different NBN service plans to see which plan best suits your needs.

NBN Co does not provide services directly to the public, but acts as a wholesaler to other service providers. Contact your preferred telecommunications service provider when you are ready to move to the NBN. You may wish to remain with your current provider or choose a new one.

When you choose an internet service on the NBN, you’re likely to have some choice about the speed of the broadband connection.

The price of your NBN service will depend upon the speed of your NBN service and the amount of your monthly data allowance.

See: Broadband speeds

Tips for moving to the NBN

Keep informed: read information about when the NBN is coming to your area and check rollout updates on the NBN Co website. NBN Co will contact you when your area is ready for service.

Prepare early: check with your retail service provider whether you need to move your landline and internet services to the NBN, and find out your disconnection date.

Shop around: compare different providers and plans to find the best option to suit your needs.

Ask the right questions: find out about fees, equipment, back-up batteries and any special services.

Termination and connection fees

You may face additional fees from your telecommunications service provider when moving to the NBN. Whether you are charged fees will depend on your individual circumstances and the fee policy of your telecommunications service provider. These fees could be between $50 and $350.

Ask service providers about any disconnection and connection fees that they charge and the circumstances in which charges may be waived.

For example, you may not be charged a termination fee if your contract has already expired or if you order NBN services from the same internet service provider who currently provides your internet service. Some telecommunications service providers do not charge activation or set-up fees for a service on the NBN if you enter into a contract for a certain amount of time with them.

Modems and routers

You will need a modem and a router that works on the NBN to get an NBN service. This may be different to the modem or router you currently use for ADSL or HFC internet services.

A modem and router will often be combined into the same device. The modem allows you to access the internet and the router allows you to connect a number of different devices to the internet. If your router is a separate device, it must be connected to the modem.

Many service providers offer NBN compatible modems with NBN broadband plans, either to purchase upfront or included with the plan. You can also purchase modems from electronics retailers, but make sure to ask if it will work on the NBN.

Ask your telecommunications service provider if your existing modem or router is compatible with the NBN, or if you’ll receive a new modem with your NBN plan. If you’re advised that it isn’t compatible, confirm this information with the manufacturer.

Voice services on the NBN

On the NBN, voice services will be provided over the internet. This is called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). VoIP allows you to use your internet connection as a telephone service.

Some service providers offer VoIP services which may be supplied with a special phone handset. Other VoIP services operate through your computer or device and may require special software and equipment such as a microphone headset.

It’s important to know that most VoIP services will not operate during power outages.

A small number of internet phone providers don’t allow you to make calls to numbers beginning with 13 or 1800, or charge different rates for these calls.

Most telephone handsets should work on the NBN. However, you should check that your handset is compatible with your service provider. If you’re advised that your handset is not compatible, be sure to confirm this information with the manufacturer.

  • Can I keep my phone number?

Yes, in most cases you can keep your phone number although confirm this with your service provider.

Voice and optional battery back-up

NBN Co provides an optional back-up battery free of charge to consumers getting fibre to their house. The battery will let you make calls when there is a power outage.

Check if your service provider provides this optional battery back-up with your NBN services. If they don’t provide one, you should make sure their NBN voice services will be supported before purchasing one.

Some service providers only offer phone services using VoIP via your internet connection. You should be aware that internet services (including VoIP services) are not supported by the battery. This means that there will be no internet or voice services using VoIP when there is a power outage.

Priority assistance, medical alarms and other specialised services

If you are a priority assistance customer, speak to your service provider to make sure you carry your priority assistance status over to your new NBN-based service.

See: Priority assistance & NBN compatibility

If it’s not right, use your rights

  • If you cannot resolve a problem with your provider, contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) on 1800 062 058 or through the TIO website.
  • Recognise, avoid and report NBN scams.

More information

Consumer rights for landline & internet services

Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)