NBN frequently asked questions

Do I need to move my internet and home phone to the NBN?

If your home or business is in a fixed line technology area, you will need to move to the NBN to retain your internet and home phone connection. If your home or business is in a fixed wireless or satellite area, you may move to the NBN or keep using your existing internet service and landline connection.

For more information on the technologies used in the rollout, visit the nbn website.

How do I move?

Once the NBN has reached your area, you can order a service through your preferred phone or internet retail services provider.

After you have checked your address through the NBN website, NBN Co provides a link to a list of providers offering services in your area.

If you are in a fixed line area, you generally have 18 months to move to the NBN from the time your area is declared ‘ready for service’. NBN Co and your current service provider contacts you with more information as the network rolls out in your area.

What happens if I don’t switch to the NBN?

If you choose not to switch to the NBN, you will need to consider using an alternative telecommunications network, such as a mobile network. You will need to arrange to move to the alternative network before the end of the 18 month period, when your old internet and phone services will be disconnected.

If you’re in a fixed wireless or satellite area, you’re not required to connect to the NBN as Telstra will continue to maintain its network in these areas.

How much will installation of the NBN cost?

Standard NBN installation is free of charge. This applies during the 18 month period after the NBN is declared ‘ready for service’ in your area. Additional charges may apply if your home or business requires upgrades to wiring or cabling or if you want a non-standard installation.

You should ask your service provider if there will be any additional fees or equipment needed to connect your premises to the NBN. Some providers offer a professional installation of their equipment, which may incur charges.

If additional wiring or cabling is required, you may need to arrange for a registered cabler (a person who holds a current cabling registration) to undertake this work. The Registered Cablers website has details of registered cablers.

How much do NBN services cost?

The cost of NBN services will vary between service providers. You are encouraged to shop around to find the plan that best suits your needs. A list of providers is available on the NBN Co website.

If you are in receipt of a Centrelink payment or a Department of Veterans Affairs concession, you may be entitled to the Commonwealth Telephone Allowance.

Do you only need a phone service?

If you use a telephone service without internet (known as a 'voice only' service), you still need to move this service to the NBN if you live in a fixed line area. You can check what technology your area will receive through NBN Co’s check your address function.

You should contact your preferred phone or internet service provider to discuss how voice only services can be provided over the NBN.

Can I keep my home or business phone number?

In most cases, you should be able to keep your existing telephone number when moving to the NBN. You should advise your preferred phone or internet retail service provider that you would like to keep your number when ordering your NBN service.

If you are changing service providers and would like to keep your phone number, you should check with your new provider that it will ‘port’ across your phone number before signing any contracts. Not all providers will accept a number porting request.

Your phone and internet service provider should be able to give you advice on porting your number to make sure your phone service is not disconnected.

What if I have special features or over-the-top services on my current phone connection?

When you order your NBN service you will need to tell your phone or internet service provider if you have Priority Assistance status, any enhanced call features or other over-the-top services you want to migrate.

Enhanced call features may include:

  • privacy protection measures, such as silent numbers, calling number display and calling number display blocking
  • call waiting
  • call forwarding
  • call barring.

Over-the-top services may include:

  • medical alarms
  • lift emergency phones
  • monitored fire alarms
  • monitored security alarm systems
  • ATMs and EFTPOS machines
  • fax machine & teletypewriter (TTY) devices.

Priority Assistance status is given to customers diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions who require a reliable home phone connection. If you are already classified as a Priority Assistance customer with your provider, you should ask to move your status when you migrate your services to the NBN.

What if I have a medical alarm?

If you have a medical alarm at your premises you can register your details on NBN Co’s Medical Alarm Register. Registration is free and allows NBN Co to identify households where support may be needed before switching to the NBN.

Find out more information and register your details on at NBN Co’s Medical Alarm Register

Do you need to move a monitored fire alarm or lift phone to the NBN?

If you have a monitored fire alarm and/or lift phone at your premises, find out more information in our frequently asked questions and register your details on nbn's Fire and Lift Register.

Detailed information for building owners/managers and industry can be found in the Migration of Monitored Fire Alarm and Lift Phone Services Good Practice Guide. The Guide sets out what parties involved in the migration of monitored fire alarms and lift phones need to do, options for migration paths, and other relevant considerations.

What happens if I have a query about my NBN service?

If you have any questions about your NBN service, as a customer you should first contact your phone and internet retail service provider. Your service provider is best placed to resolve any query about the installation, activation and service performance of your service.

If you are dissatisfied with the response you receive from your service provider, you can raise a complaint with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) on their website or by calling 1800 062 058. The TIO is a free and independent dispute resolution body for consumers with unresolved complaints about their phone or internet services.

What speeds can I expect over the NBN?

Under Statutory Infrastructure Provider obligations the NBN network, as a wholesale network carrier, must deliver a minimum peak wholesale download speed of 25 megabits per second (Mbps) or better.

Your service provider is responsible for making sure they can deliver the service they have sold you, and where necessary, adjusting your plan to a speed tier that your service is capable of achieving.

A number of factors beyond NBN Co’s control may affect broadband speeds over the network. These include:

  • how the retail provider designs its service to run over the infrastructure;
  • how much capacity the retailer buys from NBN Co;
  • your in-home set-up, including end user equipment and wiring;
  • congestion on the internet site visited.

Video streaming services can also be impacted by the content management system that supports the stream and how it is compressed for viewing.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is monitoring internet speeds through the Measuring Broadband Australia program to measure real time speeds over the NBN.

How do I prepare for a power outage?

Equipment without an independent battery power supply connected solely over the NBN will not work during a power outage. Consider having access to another form of communication, such as a charged mobile phone.

The following would be affected during a power outage:

  • fixed-line telephone and internet services
  • medical alarms
  • security alarms.

You should consider maintaining a fully charged power bank which can be used to recharge your mobile device in the event of a power outage.

How a power outage affects the NBN and services at your premises will depend on the technology used at your premises. More information about how technology is affected by power outage is available on the NBN Co website.

Who is responsible for what?

NBN Co is a Government Business Enterprise. It is responsible for rolling out the NBN on a wholesale-only, open-access basis, which means it is a wholesaler and does not supply retail services directly to the public.

NBN Co’s role is to provide the underlying infrastructure and wholesale products that are the building blocks upon which telecommunications companies develop retail products to offer to consumers.

Once the network rollout has been completed and activated in an area, consumers are able to place an order for a service through a phone or internet provider.

Providers are responsible for:

  • offering retail products and services to the consumer
  • placing orders directly with NBN Co for a service over the network
  • reporting to NBN Co any network-related issues the consumer is experiencing with the installation process
  • informing the consumer of progress and/or delays relating to the installation
  • dealing with billing or account management inquiries from the consumer.

If you have any questions or concerns about your service, your best point of contact is your phone and internet provider who has a direct relationship with NBN Co and is best placed to resolve any issues.

The Migration Assurance Framework was developed in close collaboration with industry. It sets out the principles for industry that guide the process for switching to the NBN and the agreed roles and responsibilities of all industry parties for a seamless service transition to an NBN service.

Industry parties have agreed to apply the framework and work together to safeguard continuity of service.

Find out more

Additional information from NBN Co.