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Getting ready to connect to the NBN

Your current telephone and internet services will not be switched to the NBN automatically. Find out what steps you need to take to prepare for your switch to the NBN.

Step 1: Check you're 'ready to connect'

You generally have 18 months from when your area is 'ready for service' to switch to the NBN, before your old internet and phone services are disconnected.

If you're unsure whether your area is ready for the NBN, go to www.nbnco.com.au and enter your address in the check your address tool.

The tool will tell you if you can connect to the NBN and will also tell you which technology will be used at your address. The 'fixed line' technology types are explained below:

If you're in a regional or remote area, you may have a fixed wireless or satellite connection.

Take action based on the result:

  • 'Service available': Move to step 2
    • You have 18 months to switch to the NBN or an alternative network (such as a mobile network) once your area is declared 'ready for service'.
    • After 18 months, if you live in a fixed line area, your old internet and phone network will be disconnected and your services will stop working.
    • If you're in a fixed wireless or satellite area, Telstra's copper network will remain, but you should follow the steps below to switch to an NBN service.
  • 'Planned' or 'Build commenced':  register your email address for updates in the check your address tool.

Step 2: Make an informed decision

You will need to place an order with a phone or internet service provider to switch to the NBN. Before deciding on your provider, you should consider what services you will need. For example:

  • Do you need a telephone service, internet service, or both?
  • How much data you currently use (check your bills), or may need in the future. This will help you decide how much data you need on the NBN.
  • What speed do you require? You need to decide what you will use your internet service for, as this will influence what speed you need in order to get a good service. Read about available speeds on the NBN Co website.
  • Which provider is best for you? Review the list of providers on the NBN Co website.

Critical Information Summaries

Review the Critical Information Summary of your preferred providers—you can request this prior to entering a new contract, service or plan.

The Critical Information Summary sets out clear information about products, plans and services of the provider, so you can easily compare what is being offered.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority fact sheet 'Critical Information Summaries for telco consumers' provides more information about this product.

Step 3: Contact your preferred provider

Contact your preferred phone or internet provider to discuss your requirements and order the most appropriate plan for your needs.

Make sure you understand the terms and conditions, and discuss any questions you have with the provider before signing up to a plan.

Tell your provider if:

  • you're a PRIORITY® ASSISTANCE customer—the Telstra website has information about PRIORITY® ASSISTANCE
  • you have special equipment that operates using a landline phone connection—this includes EFTPOS, fax machines, medical and security alarms. A list of other types of over-the-top services is provided in our frequently asked questions below.

Your provider will work with NBN Co on your behalf to arrange the installation of your service.

Watch: Preparing to connect

Watch: Home phone over the NBN

Watch: Medical Alarms and the NBN

Resources

Fact sheets

Getting ready to connect to the NBN

Published 20th May 2020

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Your current telephone and internet services will not be switched to the NBN automatically. Read about what steps you need to take to prepare for your switch to the NBN.

Connecting to the NBN

Published 20th May 2020

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Once you've selected your preferred provider for services over the NBN and signed up for a plan that suits your needs, your provider will work with NBN Co Ltd on your behalf to arrange the installation of your service. Read more about what to expect when connecting your home to the NBN.

Getting assistance with your NBN service

Published 20th May 2020

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If you have a concern or complaint about the installation, connection, repair or operation of your internet or phone services provided over the NBN, you should contact your service provider. Read more about how to get assistance with your NBN service.

Medical alarms, autodiallers and emergency buttons

Published 20th May 2020

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Medical alarms, autodiallers and emergency buttons that use a fixed line connection need to be migrated to the National Broadband Network, or an alternative operating platform, before your existing service is disconnected. Read about how to register your details on NBN Co’s Medical Alarm Register.

Power outages and the NBN

Published 20th May 2020

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Equipment connected over the National Broadband Network will not work during a power outage. Read about how to plan for power outages and emergencies.

Your home phone and the NBN

Published 20th May 2020

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The National Broadband Network (NBN) is a major upgrade to Australia's national telecommunications infrastructure, and will deliver fast broadband to all Australian homes and businesses. In NBN fixed line areas, if you only use a landline telephone service without internet (known as a 'voice only' service), you need to move this service to the NBN.

 

Frequently asked questions

Yes, if your home or business is in a fixed line technology area, and you want to continue to receive phone or internet, you will have to switch your services to the NBN.

You generally have 18 months from the time your area is ‘ready for service’ to switch to the NBN.

To check the status of the NBN in your area, enter your address in the check your address tool on the nbn website.

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.

If your current service is provided over the Optus HFC network, Optus will provide you with at least 90 days notice to switch your services to the NBN before your current service is disconnected.

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

Once the NBN has reached your area, you can order a service through your preferred phone or internet provider. A list is available on the NBN Co website.

If you’re in a fixed line area, you will have 18 months to switch to the nbn from the time your area is declared ‘ready for service’. nbn will be in contact with more information as the network rolls out in your area, or you can register your email for updates once you’ve entered your address in the check your address tool on the NBN Co website.

You have 18 months to switch to the NBN or an alternative telecommunications network (such as a mobile network) once your area is declared ‘ready for service’.

After the 18 month window, your old internet and phone network will be disconnected and your services will stop working.

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, Telstra will continue to maintain its fixed line network in these areas.

Under the Government’s Statement of Expectations, NBN Co must deliver a minimum peak wholesale download speed of 25 megabits per second (Mbps) to all premises and at least 50 Mbps to 90 per cent of all fixed-line services as soon as possible.

To provide a safeguard for consumers, NBN Co performs a service qualification check on each line when an order is placed and notifies the service provider of the speed the network is capable of delivering. 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 home is capable of achieving.

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

  • how your internet 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 will be monitoring internet speeds through the Broadband Performance Monitoring and Reporting program to measure real time speeds over the NBN.

Standard NBN installation is free of charge 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 provider if there will be any additional fees or equipment needed to connect your premises to the NBN. Some providers offer 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.

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

A number of websites are available to help you compare plans, including finder.comWhistleOut,  iSelect and YouCompare.

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

If you use a telephone service without internet (known as a 'voice only' service), you still need to move 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 tool.

Contact your preferred phone or internet provider to discuss how voice only services can be provided over the NBN.

In most cases, you should be able to keep your existing phone number when switching to the NBN. When ordering your NBN service, advise your provider that you would like to keep your number. This is known as ‘porting’ your number.

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

When you order your NBN service you will need to tell your 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 machines
  • 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 switch to the NBN.

If you have a medical alarm (monitored and unmonitored), autodialler or emergency call button 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.

On 5 September 2018 NBN Co launched the Unmonitored Medical Alarm Upgrade Offer to support the upgrade of eligible unmonitored medical alarms as part of the migration to the NBN. Further information is on NBN Co’s website

Read our fact sheet for more information about registering your medical alarm.

If you have a monitored fire alarm and/or lift phone at your premises, you should register your details on NBN Co's Fire and Lift Register.

Read our frequently asked questions about monitored fire alarms and lift phones.

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.

Equipment connected 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 inside your home 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.

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 (MAF) sets out the principles 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.  

Visit the NBN Co website to learn more about the NBN.