Priority assistance & NBN compatibility

Consumers who use medical and security alarms should check to make sure they will continue to work when they switch to the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Priority assistance

If you’re a priority assistance customer, speak to your service provider to make sure you carry your priority assistance status over to your new NBN broadband service.

Medical and security fixed-line alarms

All services that use the traditional copper phone lines (i.e. your home phone and internet services) will be moved across to the NBN as it is rolled out across Australia.

Some personal medical (pendants) and home security alarms are monitored ‘back-to-base’ by an alarm company using the traditional copper phone lines.

Equipment connected over the NBN will not work during a power blackout. If you have safety-critical equipment such as a medical alarm, speak to your equipment provider about alternative solutions.

More information is available at NBN Co’s website.

Your alarm and the NBN

It is important to check whether your alarm will work on the NBN when your services are moved. This will depend on three factors:

  • the age and type of device
  • technology used by the alarm company
  • the telephone service supplied by your service provider.

Before signing up to an NBN service:

  1. Speak to your alarm supplier about whether your device has been tested on the NBN and if it will work.
  2. Let your preferred phone and internet provider know that you have an alarm service. Ask which NBN service is best suited to your particular equipment.
  3. If your preferred phone and internet provider cannot support an alarm service, you may need to consider other options. This may include reviewing alternative phone and internet providers.
  4. Note that your alarm may require some modifications, possibly at a cost to you.

Available assistance

There are programs available to assist some users of medical alarms to migrate to the NBN.

NBN Co’s medical alarm register

NBN Co has established a register to help people who have a medical alarm move to the NBN.

If you have a medical alarm, we recommend you add your details to NBN Co’s register. The register is designed so that friends and family can also perform the registration process.

You can also contact NBN Co by phone on 1800 227 300 or by email at info@nbnco.com.au.

NBN Co's Medical Alarm Subsidy Scheme (MASS)

In July 2016, NBN Co launched the MASS, which provides subsidies to alarm companies so they can help customers update to compatible devices at no cost. This scheme only covers medically compliant monitored devices, and does not cover unmonitored medical devices. Unmonitored devices require the user or another person to set off an alarm manually.

To assist unmonitored medical alarm users, NBN Co is offering all eligible users the opportunity to upgrade to a new unmonitored medical alarm that can connect to a mobile network. This means the alarm uses a mobile network instead of a landline, as the NBN network will not work during a power outage.

Department of Veterans' Affairs

Contact the Department of Veterans' Affairs directly to discuss your options if you have a medical alarm through one of their rehabilitation programs.

More information

National Broadband Network (NBN)