Well in most cases the answer is NO.
Here is what the NBNCo says:
“Will my existing phone and Internet services really stop working if I don’t do anything to switch to the nbn™ network?”
“Yes, this is the case for the 93% of Australian premises connected to the nbn™ network via a fixed line technology. You can see where fixed line technologies have been installed in the nbn™ rollout map. We recommend you migrate your services over to the nbn™ network well before they are switched off, which occurs 18 months after the nbn™ network is switched on in your area.” Source: http://www.nbnco.com.au/connect-home-or-business/information-for-home/what-happens-in-a-power-blackout/information-about-your-landline.html
Have you seen a TV commercial, read information or listened to a radio ad that made you believe you have no other choice? Has anyone knocked on your door and left you feeling that if you don’t act quickly and switch to the nbn™, you will lose your Internet and phone? This has happened to many of our customers and we are hearing it happen more and more often. From what the NBNCo say on TV and write in material, consumers might be confused and could mistakenly believe that if they don’t switch to a retailers offering NBN services, their phones and Internet will stop working. They also might be confused into thinking they have no other choice but to use NBNCo services and not realise there are alternatives. None of this is correct.
The NBNCo use words like “in most cases yes” or “93% of premises connected to the nbn™”. To the average consumer, these persuasive messages are enough to make you feel you have no choice but to sign up with an NBN provider, otherwise you risk losing your Internet and phone. This is not the reality and it is our duty to debunk this myth.
So… let’s break it down and demystify this scare campaign, that those involved with the NBNCo will have you believe.
FACT: It is a fact that “93% of premises connected to the nbn™”, will have their copper ADSL and phone line switched off, 18 months after the NBN is available in that area.
REALITY: What this really means is that if you sign-up to or have Internet through a fixed wireless provider (like Uniti), use a mobile device or hotspot on a 3G/4G network, or you have a VoIP phone line you don’t need to do anything.
All the solutions listed above, are ways to obtain or retain Super-Fast Internet and a reliable telephone service, without having to connect to nbn™ services. And they don’t rely on outdated copper technology. So, no matter what they try and tell you, if you are with Uniti you DO NOT have to switch to the nbn™.
At Uniti we are very busy planning our National rollout, with Adelaide and Melbourne well underway. Our National rollout commences at the end of 2017 and will provide Australians with a real alternative to the nbn™. It is our strong belief that Australians be given a choice and that you should not have to accept a government designed and built network, which is plagued with performance, budget and rollout issues.
New fixed wireless ISP’s like Uniti are popping up quickly and we predict massive growth in the use of fixed wireless technologies and networks within the Telecommunications industry. It makes complete sense that operators would choose to deploy wireless as a Super-Fast network technology for their customers, when wireless technologies continue to evolve at such a continuingly rapid rate. Why would you dig up trenches everywhere, when you can shoot fibre fast Internet through the air?
The cut-off myth is not just being perpetuated by the NBNCo, mainstream media has aided in spreading the fear.
An article on Lifehacker.com.au, by Adam Turner, quotes Alex Kidman as saying:
“There’s no two ways about it, if you’re living or working in a premises that is declared NBN-ready then you have 18 months to subscribe to an NBN plan. Otherwise your phone line and internet will be disconnected, which could be a disaster if you’re running a business.” Source: https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2016/12/nbn-cut-off-date-what-you-need-to-know/
This statement is blatantly untrue. There ARE many alternatives and Uniti exists as one of these. Yes, your old and outdated ADSL and copper phone line will be disconnected. But there are other options and the above quote would lead you to believe you don’t have any other option.
What the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Says
Unsurprisingly, the ACCC paints quite a different picture.
“Existing landline phone and internet services”
“The majority of existing landline and internet services will be disconnected. All services that are supplied over Telstra’s copper and cable broadband networks will be disconnected. This includes services that are supplied by Telstra directly, as well as services that other service providers supply using Telstra’s copper network.”
“Services that are supplied over other fixed line networks, as well as mobile, wireless and satellite networks, are not being disconnected as part of the NBN rollout. You will need to ask your retail service provider whether this is relevant to you, as it can be difficult to always know which network your telecommunication service provider is using.”
“Disconnection of existing services”
“Some homes and businesses get their internet and phone services from companies that use networks that compete with the NBN. If you’re with one of these companies you don’t have to move to the NBN and your services won’t be disconnected. Check with your provider if you need to move.” Source: https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/national-broadband-network/moving-to-the-nbn-for-consumers#existing-landline-phone-and-internet-services
Other service providers (iiNet) are getting in on the act too.
“MYTH: Connecting to the NBN is optional.”
“False. The biggest surprise was that more than two-thirds of broadband users were not aware that moving to NBN fibre is compulsory. This is despite thousands of people nationwide affected by the recent 23 May deadline when the first compulsory cut-offs from the traditional copper telephone network took place.”
“The reality is that the copper network is disconnected 18 months after an area becomes “live” with NBN. That means that unless you switch to NBN you won’t have access to broadband or phone services (unless you switch to a mobile or other wireless solution).”
So, we need to ask ourselves some questions…
Why would the NBNCo and its retailers want us to believe we don’t have a choice? Why are customers switching to the NBN, only to find that their Internet speeds are no better than the ADSL service that it replaced? Could it be that the NBNCo has blown the budget, the rollout timeline, and they are now left with a wholesale network that is so costly that the business model is broken.
Why would the NBNCo not want you to know about your options? After all the whole aim of the NBN was to lift us from the dark ages into a modern connected world, where the speed of your Internet speed doesn’t inhibit you. It might be because alternatives don’t make them back the money they’ve spent.
At Uniti we want to be your Crusader, your champion, and keep the NBNCo honest and accountable. Join us in building what we think will be Australia’s number one, independent Internet service provider. We deliver Super-Fast Internet with amazing local customer support and we don’t need your tax money to do it.
You can check availability here: https://ismyplacepink.com
If you have any information in relation to deceptive practices being used to force you onto the nbn™, we would love to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 847 201 to report this information, so that we can lodge the material with the ACCC.