Should you switch 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, 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 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’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

Related articles:
NBN: broadband or fraud-band?

Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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