Today there are stories all over the place about the thousands and thousands of householders who face having their existing internet and phone services switched off if they haven’t connected to the NBN – so the simple question most people are asking is, Am I required to switch to the NBN?
The NBN is a national infrastructure project, replacing all existing phone and fixed line internet services that had previously been in service. The project has been slow to roll out and has faced many hurdles, but in the last 18 months the number of homes being made ready for connection has skyrocketed.
It’s these homes that now face the possibility of being disconnected if they haven’t signed up for an NBN plan with one of the Telcos.
What’s the process?
As you might have seen on the NBN website, every single home has a date or rough timeline against them – the process involves planning, then building, then testing and activating the areas.
Once your home is deemed “ready to connect” you start getting letters from NBN, as well as from Telcos.
NBN tell us that there’s always a surge in connections in the few months following that initial “switch on”. That then lapses and people just sit around – we suspect most of those who don’t sign up either have concerns about the quality of the NBN based on widespread media reporting, or they don’t think they need it.
The target for every home across Australia is around 75% of homes to connect to NBN. The remaining 25% either don’t want a phone or internet service, are relying on mobile and mobile broadband for communications or are being serviced by another broadband provider.
If you haven’t connected to the NBN within 18 months of your home being deemed “ready to connect” you start getting more letters and even door knocking visits – once that time ticks over then disconnections will begin to occur.
Existing landline phones and ADSL internet services will shut off. There’s always plenty of notice, however one wonders if people are even opening those letters from NBN?
Why do I need NBN?
If you have a phone line, or internet at home, the NBN is the new network through which those services are delivered.
You can stay with your existing telco – they will simply need to send you some equipment and possibly have technicians visit to install it. Then keep your phone number going.
If you don’t want any internet connection or only want a phone line, you can sign up to the most basic of NBN services (known as NBN 12) which will allow you to keep your landline phone (albeit connected via an NBN internet service – but just ignore that ok?)
Will this disconnection story get even bigger?
Oh yes. Headlines of 100,000 people being disconnected from internet services will be dwarfed by what’s to come.
Think about this – more than 100,000 homes each WEEK are being made ready for service by NBN, that means in 18 months from now there’s 400,000 homes, probably 200,000 of which who haven’t signed up that will be reaching the 18 month mark.
The numbers are huge, the scale of this project is huge.
Isn’t the NBN rubbish though?
You might think that if you read the headlines, but remember this. NBN makes great clickbait, everyone loves to hate a government project – right now (as of December 14) there are 3,346,767 homes in Australia connected to the NBN. Yep, there’s some that aren’t happy, but for the vast overwhelming majority it’s just fine – in fact better than what they had before.