News

How will the NBN Impact you in an Emergency?

By Alex Kidman @ finder.com.au
Archived 19 Jul 2017 - Posted: 27 May 2017
The NBN is frequently a hot topic as NBN and Internet service providers work hard to help Aussies connect to the new network as it is rolled out.

The high price tag for the project, along with frequent scrutiny from both local and global (The New York Times) media has kept the network into the limelight, but not always for the best reasons.

While more and more homes are being connected, there are still many Australians who are confused about the NBN. Despite 4.5 million premises being declared NBN-ready, only 50% of those homes and businesses are actually NBN-connected. That means over 2 million Australian premises have not switched over even though they have the opportunity to do so.

It may not seem like a big issue, especially for people whose current Internet connection works well enough for their needs. But what some don’t realise is that we can’t say no to the NBN. Every premise in Australia will have to switch over to the network by 2020 if they want broadband or fixed line telephony services in their home.

To make sure everyone crosses over, Australians generally have an 18 month window to switch to the network once their home or business is NBN-ready. If you fail to switch over after 18 months, your Internet and landline connection will be switched off. This will also impact any other appliance or service that may be using the Internet or phone line such as EFTPOS machines, monitored fire alarms and even medical alarms, autodiallers and emergency call buttons.

As you can imagine, this is where not connecting to the NBN can become particularly problematic. As an example, medical alarms used by those with a disability or medical condition, and by the elderly rely on a callback function. In an emergency situation, they allow individuals to press the call button on their alarm which automatically dials either a friend, relative or - in extreme circumstances - emergency services.

If someone is currently relying on a medical alarm, it’s crucial to stay on top of their NBN service status and make sure you don't leave switching over till it’s too late.

You can check finder.com.au’s NBN tracker via the link below to find out when the NBN will be available at your home or business. Once you’re ready to connect, it’s a good opportunity to compare plans and switch providers. Just make sure you reconnect all of your appliances relying on an Internet or fixed line phone connection.

Many of us don’t realise just how much our everyday life relies on technologies like the Internet. Whether it’s doing a little bit of online shopping or checking in with an elderly relative, the Internet is everywhere. If you want to avoid getting caught out, it’s best to stay informed and be on the lookout for when the NBN will be coming to your home or business. 

 
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