NBN switch: is your connection at risk?

By not switching to the NBN, thousands of Australians are risking being disconnected.

NBN switch: is your connection at risk?

It’s been dogged by problems but now that the switch over to the NBN is in full swing, thousands of Australian households are at risk of losing their phone and internet connection.

Once available in an area, residents and businesses must make the switch within 18 months or risk being disconnected. Despite being notified by the NBN Co. and having telcos, such as Telstra and TPG notify them of offers on plans, many consumers are failing to take action, leaving them in communication limbo.

The NBN Co estimates that of the 900,000 premises that have had access to the NBN for 18 months, only five per cent have failed to migrate – that is 45,000 households and businesses that have lost connection.

It is worth noting that not all premises will require a connection and therefore the 45,000 may not be disadvantaged by not making the switch. The NBN expects a take up rate of 73–75 per cent by the end of the rollout.

By December 2016, only 44 per cent of premises in areas where the NBN was available had made the switch, preferring instead to rely on connecting via copper and cable services. It’s expected by mid-2017 that 50 per cent of the 11.9 million premises that will have access to the NBN will be able make the switch.  

So, even if the date on which NBN will be available in your area is still some months away, it’s important to take action before the 18-month switching window comes to an end.

To find out when your home will get the NBN, you can use the NBN Co’s Check Your Address tool.

Have you made the switch to the NBN?

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    COMMENTS

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    Sen.Cit.90
    27th Apr 2017
    10:46am
    The address tool (NBN Co’s Check Your Address tool) is very good. My connection is latter half of 2018
    Grumpy Old Mike
    27th Apr 2017
    10:52am
    We connected to the NBN in March because we had received the warning that our phone would be disconnected in six months. After signing a two year contract with Optus for what we thought was a good package, we have just received a letter telling us that they are putting up their price for calls to mobiles and STD calls from 20 cents per minute to 28 cents per minute.

    So two months after we signed a 'fake' contract for two years, Optus are increasing our prices by 40 per cent! Why would anyone believe telcos or energy suppliers?
    Rosret
    27th Apr 2017
    11:02am
    Can they do that? I would be talking to your friendly Indian phone fellow on that one. Then I'd be talking to the ombudsman.
    Old Geezer
    27th Apr 2017
    2:46pm
    Use Skype instead. You can buy Skype credit for 40% off at Woolies or Coles at present.
    MarLin
    28th Apr 2017
    7:04pm
    Re-read your Optus contract, GOM, because unless there was some fine print allowing them to change the contracted price before the expiry date, they can't change it for at least the term of the contract!
    If you can't find any such fine print then I agree with Rosret - except I'd recommend missing out the "friendly Indian" and going direct to the ombudsman (TIO).
    In fact, even if you DO find such fine print, I'd still be asking the TIO if they can do that - because it sounds very much like "misleading and deceptive conduct" to me...
    maxchugg
    1st May 2017
    10:36am
    I have switched to the NBN retaining my existing contract with Telstra. No price increase, no noticeable difference in performance between the old and new systems.
    I admit to being a little doubtful about going with Telstra because of bad reports, but I have been with them for a number of years, have absolutely no complaints and would recommend them to pensioners.
    And, to set the record straight, my only involvement with Telstra is being a satisfied customer.
    MarLin
    2nd May 2017
    1:19pm
    Despite the excruciating mental anguish sometimes experienced when trying to get problems fixed by Telstra, I must say in all fairness that you can at least find them when things go wrong. The same does not necessarily apply to all telco's!
    Rosret
    27th Apr 2017
    11:00am
    I wish I could post the image you have for the Friday funnies here. If you have ADSL2 and its working well hang on to it as long as you can. Unless you pay for the best the NBN has to offer it will go slower than your ADSL2 especially it you have NBN to the node and you will lose your analog phone line and your back to base security systems.
    Rae
    27th Apr 2017
    4:09pm
    Not to mention the drop outs. All that crashing is costing business quite a bit. Typical though with a government more concerned with future sales of assets that getting things right in the first place.
    Retired Knowall
    2nd May 2017
    7:50am
    My speed went from 4-6 Mbs to over 11 on a 12 Mbs plan.
    MarLin
    2nd May 2017
    1:26pm
    "Over 11" on a 12 Mbs plan - so you're nearly getting what you're paying for! But it's not all about speed, RK (read other comments on this page about the need for more bandwidth so we can actually connect to the internet, regardless of speed).
    You should perhaps also have another look at your plan/s because we get 25Mbps download and 5Mbps upload on a basic bundle - although I repeat: speed is irrelevant unless there's enough signal strength - 'grunt' - to allow connection to the internet in the first place!
    Dabbydoos
    27th Apr 2017
    11:08am
    We have NBN but what if we move to an area where they have not taken up the option and we are out of time to change and get disconnected. Answers please I am technology ignorant.
    MarLin
    28th Apr 2017
    12:20am
    That's one for your telco, Dd. You'd never get an answer from NBN at least until you've consulted your telco, according to our experience.
    jackie
    27th Apr 2017
    11:13am
    I am very happy with my ADSL2 internet and should not have to be forced to connect to NBN.
    wendan31
    29th Apr 2017
    1:25am
    I agree with you Jackie, why should you be forced into something you do not want or need. We have had NBN for over 2 years now, the main connection is almost outside our door, we have a corner property we had to pull up all our garden that was planted there so they could dig a huge 2x2mtr hole for all the cables, they were working there for over 6 weeks, it was a complete shamble. The worst of it all is that this so-called super fast NBN only works fast if you are paying your server well over the $100 mark each month. We have a friend who lives way out in the country is on an independent server and gets a speed of almost 100 he was highly shocked to find my speed is under 25, mostly around 23.6 or .8, I got onto Telstra immediately, their answer was I was getting what I was paying for, IF I was to pay an extra 10 or 20 dollars per month, I MAY get a slightly faster speed, no guarantee. As far as I am concerned NBN is a total waste of tax payers money.
    Retired Knowall
    2nd May 2017
    7:51am
    No one is forcing you, you can always go wireless.
    MarLin
    2nd May 2017
    1:41pm
    The question we were asked, RK, was, "Have you switched to NBN?" We weren't asked if we wanted an alternative technology. And not everyone "can always go wireless", anyway - we need a home phone to call overseas cheaply; many others also need a landline for a whole range of different reasons.
    And to address your comment that "no one is forcing you", the situation is that if you don't switch to NBN within 18 months of your property being deemed NBN-ready, you will be summarily disconnected from your existing landline - and that's being "forced" in anyone's language!
    margie
    27th Apr 2017
    11:23am
    I was just placed on the NBN without my say and despite going to the ombudsman there is little I can do because the old wires have been disconnected. The NBN itself has been a complete nightmare, constant cutting out, slow, slow connections. Two months in and I have been compensated three months free billing, plus three new wi fi's. Last one was moved to a different position in the house and seems slightly better with less drop outs. Still very slow and mobile phones only have good coverage in the part of the house close to the wi fi. My advice is to not change until absolutely necessary and maybe these problems might be ironed out
    MarLin
    27th Apr 2017
    12:43pm
    Spot on, Margie! We returned from o/s last year to letters from our telco (Telstra) and NBN breathlessly telling us our high-rise building was now "NBN-ready" (which should be the Macquarie Dictionary's #1 "swear word of the year"!).
    We naively switched over and that's when the trouble started. We finally got it sorted out nearly four months later - despite daily phone calls and much mental anguish because we never knew if we were going to wake up to a working internet connection or not!
    Along the way, we learned from several of the many folk in Indian and/or the Philippines call centres that we (and indeed our whole suburb) were in what's known but rarely if ever publicised as the "co-existence period" - the 18 months from when NBN comes into your area to when the transfers are (hopefully) complete, and during which you and your neighbours are little more than guinea pigs for NBN!
    The lesson is clear - do not even think about switching to NBN-based services until the latest possible moment in that 18 months "co-existence" period.
    Old Geezer
    27th Apr 2017
    2:49pm
    Best thing I ever did changing to the NBN and a lot cheaper too.
    MarLin
    28th Apr 2017
    6:51pm
    It's obviously got to work at least occasionally, OG, or the whole place would be bankrupt! You're clearly one of the lucky ones - but it's got little to do with technical expertise. A local computer shop owner in our suburb was called to a high rise because NBN wouldn't go to do any fault-finding - he said he found the fibre simply hadn't been connected properly in the basement (by contractors, of course)!
    4b2
    27th Apr 2017
    1:07pm
    Lest we forget this is the brainchild of the PM, who Criticised labors NBN plan as too expensve and too slow. So much for his knowledge of the NBN and his plan is slower in speed, slowe to implement, and moe expensive for all.
    Old Geezer
    27th Apr 2017
    2:49pm
    Labor's system would never have worked anyway.
    Rae
    27th Apr 2017
    4:16pm
    A friend with fibre to the premises has no trouble. Telstra's lack of maintenance is causing a lot of the angst. This is fairly normal with very complex systems in private, shareholder profiteer businesses.
    MarLin
    28th Apr 2017
    6:57pm
    Why do you say that, OG? Do you know something we don't? Fyi, the petty politicising of NBN by both parties is at least partly to blame for the current mess. During our four months of purgatory trying to get the much-touted NBN-based service to work, NBN refused several times to visit our premises (where I was certain we simply needed a booster on our floor-level - and was eventually proven correct). One NBN tech said, "We're working to strict deadlines imposed by the gov't and can't take time to revisit premises where an installation has been signed off". So if Labor wasn't barking at LNP's heels to try and score some political brownie points, the NBN techs might be able to work to a far more reasonable deadline that allows time to revisit premises where faults are reported!
    wendan31
    29th Apr 2017
    1:44am
    It would not matter if it was Labors plan or the Libs, it is what we have been given and cannot do anything about unfortunately, the NBN guys who dug up our garden to dig their hole for the cables for our area were really genuine guys doing their job, when it came to the installation of our NBN they used inexperienced young people, the NBN boxes were installed on the wall in our study, the telstra guy came to connect us 2 weeks later, he just touched one of the boxes and it fell to the floor taking a great lump of plaster to leave a gaping mess in our wall, we complained, the telstra guy put in a complaint, 1,2,3,4,5,6 months later we were still ringing and complaining, we wanted our wall fixed and the box re-fitted, the young inexperienced NBN guy who did the initial installation had put the tiniest 1 screw THROUGH THE BOX into the wall, the screw did not even penetrate 1/4 of an inch into the wall to hold the box which is quite heavy, he obviously did not even know that there is 2 holes already in the equipment where 2 LARGER screws were meant to go through and then the cover went over the whole box.
    MarLin
    29th Apr 2017
    12:22pm
    Back to the petty politics, wendan. If both major parties weren't so intent on scoring points off each other, there might have been an incentive for NBN Co to hire experienced people who could at least screw a cabinet onto a wall (they've already hired experienced techs from Optus and Telstra, but obviously didn't go any further...).
    See also my comment elsewhere on this page about the fibre in one high rise building not being connected properly to the building's system in the basement - that was also (not) done by a young contractor!
    Quality control costs money, and it clearly wasn't factored into the budget - almost certainly to avoid criticism from Labor about "cost blowouts". So now we have to live with "inferior service" instead!
    When our high rise building management complained about lack of NBN signal strength, they (NBN) said they'd revisit every three months and "adjust bandwidth as required". That was last August, and still no visit!!!
    Chris
    27th Apr 2017
    4:41pm
    Our landline since being connected to the NBN has been very poor - dropouts, scratchy. We run (and rely) on our business on this line and had no problem before on broadband. 'I want it back!
    Dand
    27th Apr 2017
    5:28pm
    At first my NBN worked pretty well. Now I get drop-outs, It sometimes takes forever to pick up, at least once a week I can't get email until late at night. Sadly its a bloody waste of a hell of a lot of money.
    MarLin
    28th Apr 2017
    12:28am
    A major issue with even "good" NBN is that the more they give, the more we want. Living in a high rise, we never had a problem with ADSL 2+, but as soon as we all switched to NBN it started - dropouts for days at a time. But no-one knew what was causing the dropouts until a Telstra tech visited our premises for the second time and did a "wifi analysis" (you can download the app free - same name). It showed the clear overlaps from all the neighbouring wifi systems. After giving us 4 different modems, with non making any difference, the tech sold us a wifi extender that helps a lot and reduces dropouts somewhat. We went to JB HiFi to buy a top of the range modem (with multiple antennas and inbuilt amplifiers) but none of their impressive Netgear models worked with the poorly designed NBN which needs home phones to plug into the modem instead of the wall. Gaaaaarrrrggggghhhhh!
    bobbalinda
    28th Apr 2017
    1:03pm
    Any one I know who has had NBN switched on in their area hates it! Poor service, slower speeds etc. At the moment when there is a blackout I can use my homeline with an old phone but with NBN this is no longer possible, not good when there are serious medical problems and help may be needed in a hurry. Telstra is not always woring in this area.
    GrayComputing
    28th Apr 2017
    10:59pm
    NOTE Carefully: What the great NBN has in the fine print is the 8 previously free service on the phone line like alarm monitoring and medical monitoring are NO LONGER available or if they are at EXTRA COST PER MONTH
    It cost me $300 to get wireless modems installed to do that early free work.
    As an ex telecom engineer there is absolutely no technical reason that make the NBN incompatible with these previously free services!
    What we have instead is deliberate designed incompatibilities to raise more money for the Talco's.
    Yes it just our normal robber telecom barons robbing us blind legally as dictated by our governments
    MarLin
    29th Apr 2017
    11:59am
    Have to agree, GC - and feel sorry for anyone with one of those small telcos who "piggyback" on Telstra's network and usually don't have a shop you can walk into, or even a call centre where you can complain; at least you can find Telstra to get something done (however long and excruciating the process!).
    One of the many, many excuses we were given over the four months of continuous daily contact with Telstra about our non-performing NBN-based service was that "Telstra guarantees the service, not the service level". What they meant was that as long as a signal was coming into our apartment, they didn't care whether it was strong enough to allow us onto the internet or not - that bit was our problem!
    Like you, we had to pay extra for additional equipment to make a previously workable service work again!!!
    JAID
    30th Apr 2017
    12:56pm
    We have had an NBN connection for almost 3 years with next to no trouble. We purchase one lower than the fastest rate and that often downloads and uploads 4 or 5 times faster than ADSL2 ever did.

    If you don't send/receive large files or view intensive media that doesnt gain you much over ADSL but the aim has been to lift the country into much faster volume data movement and in so far as it has been rolled out it seems to have achieved that.

    Apart from businessess who can make heavy use of high data loads the change has enabled a signficant change in the way many use media socially and for entertainment. (Not that that is always useful, entertaining, affordable or generally good for all.)
    MarLin
    30th Apr 2017
    3:34pm
    Speed is only one aspect, JAID - and I must say the 'basic' 25Mbps download speeds are very welcome after being used to about 5Mpbs for so long. But bandwidth, signal strength, throughput, 'grunt' - call it what you will - is far more important in the long run, and we're not getting that in our suburb nor, by all accounts, are many others.
    The gov't-owned NBN seems to be operating as most governments do, ie do and spend only the bare minimum to make it look as though the job's being done as touted. That's why NBN techs are telling high-rise building managers that they'll revisit every three months (presumably only during the initial 18 months "co-existence" period - after which we're probably all on our own!) and "adjust" the amount of bandwidth they pipe into the building according to demand.
    But therein lies another problem, unique to the "NBN era": When the signal you got was the signal you got, and "make the most of it", all was well for most of us. But now that amazing speeds are possible, a lot of people who arguably don't need them want to experience them anyway - and rather than pay the telco for a higher-level service (especially if they're gonna have to sign a two-year contract), they go to the electronics shop and buy the biggest, grandest router/modem they can find, even if they don't need it. The result of course is that their modem overpowers all their neighbours' wifi systems and no-one else gets anything!
    Anyone living in a high-rise should download the (free) 'wifi analyzer' app and see what I mean - the maze of competing signals is horrific! But the telco's and even NBN don't care - their job is to sell services, not to make sure everyone gets a fair go!
    JAID
    22nd Mar 2018
    11:01am
    I understand MarLin,

    We are fortunate in being well located receiving fibre direct to our modem. We may have one of the grandest modem/routers available but it only broadcasts to us (I hope.) So fortunately we do not have to fight for bandwidth and have never notice any log jamb.

    We do receive and transmit graphic material but averaged over entire days this is very minimal usage and the typology of our use shows that we currently need no more bandwidth or speed than our currently less than highest category. Proof of that was that 4 people were able to view HD and higher content simultaneously the other day.

    Our situation as a single small building located directly beside a service and having been rolled out early would not be what everybody has access to (not therefore being 'fair' but it is understandable. This partly as it probably would have cost more to provide a lesser option in our case.

    I know it doesn't work to the satisfaction of everybody but there would have to be a large number with memories that are highly pleased of the advantage.
    musicveg
    30th Apr 2017
    8:08pm
    I can't afford it anyway so sticking with a mobile wifi and mobile phone.
    KB
    6th May 2017
    12:00pm
    Yes I i am with you.I have a landline and the internet. NBN is more expensive than the current system
    KB
    6th May 2017
    11:57am
    I currently get ADLS2 and happy the connection.Now they are rolling out NBN in our street.Does that mean we will have to change over to the new system whether we want to or not?
    Maggie
    22nd Mar 2018
    10:45am
    Try WhattsApp! It's a free app you can download on your mobile phone and you can then chat FREE. (sometimes line not very clear but I have talked to people all over the world successfully.)
    You can also send and receive free texts all over the world.

    We have to beat the greedy devils somehow!


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