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.

Tips for consumers moving to the NBN

  1. Keep informed: read information about when the NBN is coming to your area. NBN Co will contact you when your area is ready.
  2. Prepare early: check with your retail service provider whether you need to move your landline and internet services to the NBN. Find out your disconnection date.
  3. Shop around: compare different providers and plans to find the best option to suit your needs.
  4. Ask the right questions: find out about fees, equipment, back-up batteries and any special services.
  5. Call for help: if you have a problem that you cannot resolve with your provider, contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman on 1800 062 058.

Moving to the NBN is not automatic

Once NBN Co has announced that your area is ready for service you will generally have 18 months to move your service to the new NBN network. Some providers might have shorter timeframes than that and you will need to contact your preferred telecommunications service provider to confirm the timing and move to the NBN.

Existing landline phone and internet services

The majority of existing landline and internet services will be disconnected in future. All 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.

Disconnection of existing services

NBN Co will let you know by direct mail your region’s ‘ready for service’ date.  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, although some service providers might have shorter timeframes.

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 such as mobile phone or mobile broadband that are available to you.

Some homes and businesses get their internet and phone services from companies that use 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.

Voice and optional battery back-up

NBN Co provides an optional back-up battery for services using fibre to the premises technology. The battery might let you make calls when there is a power outage. Check with your service provider whether they provide this optional battery back-up with the NBN services they supply to you. Before deciding whether or not to get a battery, you should also check with your service provider whether their NBN voice service will be supported by the battery.

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 services and no voice services using VoIP when there is a power outage.

Alarms and other specialised services

If you have equipment which uses landline and/or internet services to function, you will need to check with the supplier of the equipment as to whether the equipment will work on the NBN and which NBN services are best suited for the equipment to work.

See: Medical & security alarm compatibility

Most telephone handsets should work on the NBN. However, it is best to check with your service provider of the handset to ensure that your handset is compatible. In the event you are advised that your handset is not compatible, be sure to confirm this information with the manufacturer.

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.

FAQs

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

Yes. If you act promptly and 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 soon after the disconnection date and it will not be possible to restore your services.

Can I keep my phone number?

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

Are there any termination and connection fees when moving to the NBN?

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

Before deciding whether to stay with your current telecommunications service provider or change your provider, compare different NBN service plans to see which plan suits your needs. Ask service providers about any disconnection and connection fees that they charge and the circumstances in which charges may be waived.

See: Questions to ask before moving to the NBN

Do I need new equipment to move to the NBN?

To connect to the NBN, you may need a modem and a router. The modem transmits and receives data through the telephone lines, allowing you to use the Internet. The router allows you to connect multiple devices to the modem. Often, the modem and router will be combined in the same device. Otherwise, they will be connected to each other via a cable.

A modem/router may connect you to the NBN via a wireless (Wi-Fi) or fixed (ethernet) connection. It is essentially a small box which plugs into a phone line connection in your house or NBN Co equipment.

Your current modem and router may be compatible with the NBN. However, some consumers may need to upgrade these devices. Many telecommunications service providers will provide a modem/router to you when they connect your service. It is important that you check with your service provider whether your existing modem/router is compatible with the NBN. If you are advised that it isn’t, confirm this information with the manufacturer.

If it’s not right, use your rights

More information

Internet & phone-services
Questions to ask before moving to the NBN
Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)