Should you switch to the NBN?

Many Australians are unaware of the consequences of not switching to the NBN.

As of late, you’ve probably noticed that talk of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is frequently popping up in the news. Despite this, many Australians are still unaware of the repercussions of not switching over.

In fact, finder.com.au research has revealed that more than half of Australia’s population has no idea of the consequences of being in an NBN-ready premise and not activating their connection.

This apathetic attitude towards the new broadband network is not surprising. Australians have grown increasingly disinterested in the topic, largely due to the techy vocabulary and frequent changes to the roll-out dates. If you’re not a tech expert, it can be hard to get your head around all the terminology.

In an attempt to increase Aussies’ knowledge of this so-called internet revolution, NBN (the company in charge of rolling out the technology – confusing, I know), has amped up NBN education. But despite this effort, Australians are still rather uninformed about their rights when it comes to migrating to the NBN.

Highlighting this, further results from a finder.com.au survey have found that 17 per cent of respondents believe that they actually have a choice between swapping to the NBN or remaining on their current broadband network. Little do they know that they must either switch over or face being switched off.

That’s right, if you don’t migrate to the NBN once your home has been declared ready you will eventually face internet and phone disconnection. If you haven’t switched over within 18 months of the NBN becoming available at your premises, your old phone network will be switched off, taking with it your home phone line and internet connection. In fact, an astronomical 870,000 properties will be disconnected in the first half of 2017.

This will have a detrimental effect on residential homes and commercial businesses. Whether you miss out on a day’s worth of profits or on the latest episode of The Crown on Netflix, life without the internet is almost unthinkable.

It becomes more problematic for people who use a medical alarm. These important pieces of technology are, in most cases, connected to an existing phone line. If a home phone line is cut off, people may not realise that their medical device may also be switched off. In the case of a medical emergency, this can be life-threatening.

So, if you or someone you know is reliant on a medical alarm, you need to stay informed and make sure you know when your home is NBN-ready.

If you’re not sure, you can check out finder.com.au’s NBN tracker, which will provide you with roll-out progress updates, information on the technology you can expect in your area and a list of NBN plans on offer.

In this day and age, the internet and phone network is crucial to most aspects of everyday living. By making sure you stay informed, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and energy in the long run.

Alex Kidman is the tech and telco editor at comparison site finder.com.au

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    COMMENTS

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    Old Geezer
    21st Mar 2017
    10:47am
    If you have wireless NBN and live in a rural area then you can keep your old phone line because if the power goes out your phone won't work if it is connected to the NBN. They don't supply a power backup to your wireless NBN. I bought one myself.
    Lippy
    21st Mar 2017
    10:28pm
    They only do this if you qualify for health reasons.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Mar 2017
    12:12pm
    I didn't qualify for health reasons and no one else here did either.
    Hawkeye
    23rd Mar 2017
    11:18pm
    Wrong Lippy
    With fixed Wireless NBN your old landline phone stays connected.
    Wstaton
    21st Mar 2017
    10:58am
    It's the same for satellite nbn. Normally some people have access through a mobile but if there is no coverage then you are stuffed. I live only 120km as the crow flies from Melbourne but have only intermittent unreliable mobile coverage.
    bluebottle
    21st Mar 2017
    11:09am
    The linked Finder.com.au website says we're 3 years away; the NBN website says 6 months.
    Who's right ?
    joyandles
    21st Mar 2017
    11:19am
    bluebottle, you must live in the same suburb as me (central NSW) as I got the same result!!!
    bluebottle
    21st Mar 2017
    11:32am
    No joyandles - Adelaide suburbs.
    I think NBN Co started to give more definite times recently - no idea how accurate ...
    graeme
    21st Mar 2017
    11:42am
    Turnbull has made the NBN a disaster. I will be using the better, alternative wireless internet which fortunately is already available in our apartment building.
    Tom Tank
    21st Mar 2017
    11:47am
    Having to connect to the NBN is totally against all free market principles espoused by the Libs. What is going on here? We are being forced into a monopoly.
    This is one gigantic stuff up especially as I have heard reports that in many places the NBN is slower than existing connections.
    Wstaton
    21st Mar 2017
    8:00pm
    Yes but at least it is a government monopoly. Eventually it will be sold off to a private monopoly and that's when the fun begins. Just like when all the electricity was sold off. Look where that has got us.
    Lippy
    21st Mar 2017
    10:36pm
    Same rule for all. They set a date before total change-over. I worked on South Brisbane FTTP project and everyone had to change. The ONLY benefit with NBN is it's cheaper plans than the above mentioned or Velocity, very pricey and very limited providers. eg. http://www.internode.on.net/residential/broadband/fibre/
    jackie
    21st Mar 2017
    11:56am
    That should be the government's responsibility and your network provider to provide you with all the details on how to switch to NBN and that it is available in your area.
    Bob L
    21st Mar 2017
    12:31pm
    I am NBN ready and was told over the phone that I could connect at exactly the same cost as I was paying at the moment no extra cost involved. When I went into the Telstra office to change to NBN I was told it would cost me an extra $10 a month. I refused explaining what I was told over the phone.They said this was incorrect, so I said I wouldnt bother then as there are better deals about than Telstras . They got quite indignant as this and said I would be cut off then, I told them that as I was still under contract for another 12 months they would not be able to disconnect me until this contract ran out. They begrudgingly told me this was correct. So don't be bullied into changing too early if you haven't found a provider you are happy with.
    Wstaton
    21st Mar 2017
    8:03pm
    I will never ever have anything to do with Telstra even if I have to pay more elsewhere which is unlikely.
    Lippy
    21st Mar 2017
    10:39pm
    YES, people need to speak up. Not their network anymore : )
    Lippy
    21st Mar 2017
    10:39pm
    YES, people need to speak up. Not their network anymore : )
    Old Geezer
    22nd Mar 2017
    12:13pm
    Nothing wrong with Telstra that an Australian call centre would not fix.
    Joy Anne
    21st Mar 2017
    12:32pm
    I don't want NBN as I have never had a home phone line with Internet. I use a Wifi Modem which I can take when travelling. I am a pensioner and that is why I don't want it as I could not afford it anyway.
    I also move house as the rents go up as I struggle to afford each time the rent goes up
    scouserdog
    21st Mar 2017
    12:34pm
    Having checked on the link I am non the wiser.
    Teditor
    21st Mar 2017
    12:53pm
    This what I class as a "Big Brother" tactic, I have reluctantly changed over, since the change I have lost a second phone number and my home phone number seems to work intermittent, contacting Telstra has had me redirected to NBN and redirected to Tesltra and so on "Yes, we have made some adjustments and all is well now!", no, still have the phone not working properly and the internet keeps freezing and also have no phone if the power gores off, I "HAD TO CHANGE" so I was told and reluctantly did so, I don't want a mobile, I don't wand a zillion TV channels, I just want basic and relieble internet and land line - BIG BROTHER are you listening?
    Kiwozok
    21st Mar 2017
    2:49pm
    We all thought NBN meant fast broadband - BUT only if you are willing to pay for speed otherwise its just the same speed as you are probably already on if you have cheap plan like me ClubTelco at $40/month. The downside to switching straight away is you will likely not find a plan as cheap as you might already have - they are all more expensive! So I am delaying my switch till the 18 months comes around. Be wary because NBN will pressure you to switch - its because there is a huge shortage of copper wire cable and the phone companies want you to switch so they can pull up the copper cable.
    Lippy
    21st Mar 2017
    10:50pm
    What copper shortage and what are they pull-up? As for cheaper at the same speeds, Dodo can offer from $29 12/1 or MyRepublic for $59.90 Unlimited at the fastest speed available to your place which will have to be well over 25Mb which ADSL2+ can't even supply. No pressure, they do give you 18 months which is 17 months more than when you get your car rego.
    4b2
    21st Mar 2017
    3:30pm
    Is this another nasty from the Libs? They are trying to attack 18C for limiting freedom of speech but no concern about our freedom of choice?

    Typical of these born to rule swine.
    floss
    21st Mar 2017
    3:50pm
    Our change over to the N.B.N cost us heaps.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Mar 2017
    12:11pm
    Mine cost me a lot less than I was paying for ADSL and the phone.
    Star Trekker
    21st Mar 2017
    4:43pm
    I have had nothing but trouble since switching to the NBN. Speeds vary between 5 mbps and 50 mbps.
    Up to 30 dropouts per day.
    Telcos absolutely bl**dy useless in trying to get it fixed. They say that it is the copper wire from the node to the house that is the problem.

    Thanks Mr. Turnbull for the crappy internet. I was better off on ADSL.
    Lark Force
    21st Mar 2017
    5:04pm
    Finder.com.au says not planned yet, but letter received saying fibre to the house connection due in March 2017? And the Node has been installed 300 metres away.
    I'll believe it when I see it, but not fussed if it doesn't happen.
    I suspect its being installed for the benefit of tax avoiding NBN shareholders who will send profits to Bermuda anyway. I certainly don't need any faster internet I can only type 5 words a minute! Ha Ha!
    Sevi
    21st Mar 2017
    5:37pm
    Been on the NBN 6 weeks now and 2 weeks ago had a storm, didn't just lose the 'net we lost the 'landline' which of course is the VOIP system (Voice Over Internet Protocol). This answers the question as to why we don't have a choice. It should be cheaper not dearer.
    emjay
    21st Mar 2017
    6:03pm
    The whole NBN thing has been an absolute nightmare over about ten months, and we only wanted to ensure continuation of our phone line, on which our medical alert is dependant. Now we find that if the power goes out, the phone line won't work either!
    Seems to have been ill concieved and poorly planned.
    Also, we were able to operate separate handsets from other rooms before, but cannot now.
    Kiwozok
    21st Mar 2017
    6:22pm
    Landlines will all be gone eventually and we don't get a say at all. Hold out as long as you can. Ask what the final cut off date is - usually 18 months after you get notified of NBN in your area - and diarise it so you can switch before they cut your copper wired cut your landline off. Don't be pressured - they want your copper wire now because of the global copper shortage.
    Missskinnylegs
    21st Mar 2017
    8:02pm
    I dont want NBN - but I need landline to call Mum - mobile too expensive - we are both pensioners- but I DONT LIKE BEING THREATENED BY NBN - and yes CAPS for shouting! How dare they!
    Kiwozok
    21st Mar 2017
    8:33pm
    All landlines will cease and only operate through NBN system so you have to switch to NBN eventually if you want a phone - you don't have to have the internet but your phone will be connected through NBN. After the 18 months is up they will automatically disconnect landlines and you won't have any phone and will lose your number too.
    Kiwozok
    21st Mar 2017
    8:33pm
    All landlines will cease and only operate through NBN system so you have to switch to NBN eventually if you want a phone - you don't have to have the internet but your phone will be connected through NBN. After the 18 months is up they will automatically disconnect landlines and you won't have any phone and will lose your number too.
    Old Geezer
    21st Mar 2017
    10:25pm
    I use Skype a lot now as it is so much cheaper than anything else. Great for sending SMSs too as it is so much easier typing on a keyboard. Skype credit is on special at Woolies this week for nearly half price too. Takes me ages to use $10 credit.
    vinradio
    22nd Mar 2017
    4:46pm
    While we will all need to switch eventually, it's probably easier just to do it from your current ISP (as recommended on he TV ads). I'm not sure it will be faster than ADSL2+, as I'm not going to pay for anything much more than I have now, which is costing me $70 a month. As I have a mobile, I should be okay in the event of a blackout, but I might invest in a battery backup for the NBN anyway. My ISP will let me know when the NBN is available at my location.
    vinradio
    22nd Mar 2017
    4:47pm
    My current plan includes phone line rental.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Mar 2017
    10:04pm
    If you have cable NBN it comes with battery backup but wireless NBN doesn't.
    Spud
    22nd Mar 2017
    11:42pm
    Our NBN experience has been a disaster! We were conned into connecting late last year but the tech who arrived couldn't get a signal (we're listed as ready) but a few hours before his arrival, Telstra had already disconnected our ASDL line and then claimed to be not allowed to reconnect it, citing Federal Government refusal to reconnect to promote a positive image of NBN's signal availability. After speaking for about eight hours to a half dozen Telstra personnel (mostly in the Philippines of course), we had to agree to a wireless dongle which provides slow internet. Our home phone hadn't worked for three years anyway, so we now have a smaller phone bill and no nuisance callers, but a slow service. Hard to believe that Telstra was once an Aussie company interested in our welfare!
    PlanB
    23rd Mar 2017
    7:48am
    everyone I have spoken to re the NBN has said what a bloody disaster it has been and they have been off air for many weeks at a time more than once -- I have been able to get the NBN since last July but have held off because of the problems.
    wendan31
    24th Mar 2017
    5:22pm
    Plan B why not start a - change.org - on this subject, some of these articles have pretty good results.
    PlanB
    25th Mar 2017
    2:31pm
    What is that you suggest wendan????????

    23rd Mar 2017
    9:29am
    blackmail. no choice. no democracy.
    wendan31
    24th Mar 2017
    4:40pm
    NBN what a joke and a total waste of money, I was on Broadband for years, then came NBN, the connections for our area are right outside our garden fence, they actually had to dig up our outside garden for their 2x2 mtr hole to put it all in, it was always advertised as superfast NBN, being on a pension and with Telstra we have to have a landline which we have to pay for but DO NOT USE, I expected my fast NBN hooked up computer to take off - instead I would have to pay well into the $100's for any faster than I had before NBN - my computer (brand new, good quality brand) is no faster than my old computer prior to NBN installation, I contacted Telstra about my slow computer, after being sent from one department to another 5 times, I was told if I paid another $10 or $20 I may get a slightly faster speed, this is blackmail, especially as they could not guarantee a faster speed. I was also amazed after having to wait 2 weeks after NBN had done their work for Telstra to come and set it all up, the tradie had to ring India to turn my computer on, so much for Australian fast track NBN.
    PlanB
    24th Mar 2017
    4:51pm
    wendan, I think it is about time we ALL got onto this rotten Government and DEMANDED it be put right! I am willing and there are more of us than them if we all stood up and yelled they would HAVE to do something
    Kiwozok
    24th Mar 2017
    5:59pm
    With all the posts on this I think its good reason to wait until the very last minute to switch as hopefully by then the glitches might be fixed and it will (hopefully) work properly and fees will be more competitive. There is nothing to match my unlimited Club Telco $40/mth no contract plan or anything anywhere near it so i am definitely holding out.
    wendan31
    25th Mar 2017
    12:43am
    Wise man.
    jamesmn
    28th Apr 2017
    12:08pm
    you do not need to switch to the nbn is is nothing but a con all you need is Wi-Fi you can run your internet and your mobile phone you do NOT need a landline Telstra will tell you different they get a commission on every new deal or alteration they sell if need be you can have a external Arial fitted to the outside of your house forget Optus and vodaphone Aldi is 1 of the best using Telstra network and lines be careful of these lying sales people if you get ripped of by any of them report them to the accc who will investigate them and fine them. And cancel the contract once you put in a complaint you are assigned a case manager to fix the problem.
    Kiwozok
    28th Apr 2017
    2:53pm
    This sounds good - but too good to be true I am afraid - unfortunately you still need Naked DSL or ADSL to connect Wi-Fi. This means that the service uses their current Telstra copper wiring to connect you. Once NBN is in your area and you are notified you will have 18 months to connect Wi-Fi or otherwise after which time the copper wires will be ripped out and there will no longer be any Naked DSL or ADSL for a wi-fi connection. Unless of course you use a mobile wi-fi and then you use the mobile towers only for your connection (same as for your mobile phone) - which can be very expensive.
    Kiwozok
    28th Apr 2017
    3:07pm
    PS A mobile Wi-Fi will only give you say (eg Telstra) 20GB for $70/month and $10 per GB thereafter.


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