Broadband users face deadline as NBN Co readies compulsory copper cut-off

Two-thirds of Australians still believe connecting to the NBN is a optional: iiNET

Thousands of broadband users are in for a rude shock tomorrow as NBN Co prepares to enforce the first compulsory cut-offs from the old copper network.

NBN Co previously announced that it will start disconnecting the old telephone network in 15 first release areas from May 23, 2014, leaving consumers and businesses to rely exclusively on the new network for Internet and phone services.

However, new research has revealed more than more than two-thirds of Australians still believe that connecting to the NBN is a optional.

This is despite thousands of people nationwide facing tomorrow’s deadline for the first compulsory cut-offs from the traditional copper telephone network. The survey was conducted by Hall and Partners Open Mind in April 2014, from a representative online survey of 1200 people (Australian adults in metropolitan areas) for iiNet.

It found 67 per cent of adult Australians thought connecting to the NBN was optional, and that they would be allowed to keep their existing broadband connection. The report, Familiarity & Understanding of the NBN, also found that half of those surveyed do not know how to get an NBN service connected at their house. Other findings include that 41 per cent of respondents had very little understanding of the changes – while eight per cent had never heard of the NBN. iiNet Product Manager, Rachael McIntyre, said the report’s finding were surprising given that the $37 billion project was already four years into its build phase.

“The biggest surprise was that more than two thirds of these broadband users were not aware that moving to fibre is compulsory,” she said. “Tomorrow, residents in 15 areas throughout Australia, from Tasmania to Townsville and from Willunga to Armidale, arrive at the May 23 deadline when NBN Co has said it will start disconnecting the old copper network. The report also found 20 per cent of people believe NBN Co will become their Internet provider.

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Tags Hall & Partners Open MindiiNet Product ManagerMalcolm TurnbullRachael McIntyrenbn coFamiliarity & Understanding of the NBNiiNet

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Kevin Robb


The NBN have done their part but the service providers have failed to advise their customers in area where the optic fibre has been laid adequately.
As such customers relying on land lines should not be penalized because of the incompetency of the providers and a moratorium should be placed on the cut off until connections are completed.
Providers should act swiftly before this becomes a major issue and gives the Abbott Government more fuel to critizise and force changes to the NBN.
The Federal Government has confused the issue for future roll outs with their threats to alter the original NBN plan from direct to home connection to fibre to node only.
Three things need to be sorted out now.
1. All existing landline premises must be connected as an emergency.
2. Copper wire cut off dates for each area posponed until connections are completed.
3. The Federal Government to make it plain and clear what their intentions are remembering they do not have a mandate to alter NBN.
4. Providers forced to inform customers of pending changes and that there is no choice, it's either NBN or nothing.
5. All providers and NBN to get together and fix this fiasco pronto.

Verity Pravda


What a disgraceful first line. There are NOT thousands of broadband users about to get a shock on 23 May. There were 27000 premises in the initial 15 FSAMs, as at 8 May all but 750 had already ordered an NBN service. All these affected residents have been communicated to extensively.

The iiNet survey may be accurate, but it is irrelevant. What does it matter about whether people not facing iminnent cut-off - or indeed yet able to access the NBN - know. It is disappointing from a public policy point of view that people don't seeem to have followed the debate. I wonder if those same people realise that undr MTM if they get broadband via HFC the NBN Co plan is that they will only be able to get voice over HFC.

Bold prediction - no one will lose a copper service on 23 May.

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