What happens when the copper gets disconnected? Your guide to switching over to NBN


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The National Broadband Network (NBN) is going to bring joy to thousands of Australians. The upcoming transition to super fast high-speed internet will bring many benefits that will make everyday life much more enjoyable. In the office, home or on the go, the NBN will greatly improve life on the World Wide Web.

However, as the new network is rolled out across the country, the old copper network will be disconnected. It is important that you understand how this will affect your household and how to prepare for the transition to the NBN. If you are connecting to the NBN via Fixed Wireless and or Satellite service don’t worry you’re copper connection will not be disconnected!

Never fear – as the NBN experts we’re here to make sure your transition to the NBN is as smooth and quick as the network itself. We’ve written this article to help you understand what happens with disconnection and what you need to do.

Cutting out the copper

The NBN rollout means that the copper wiring customers rely on for internet and fixed line home phone services will be disconnected. This sounds like a scary proposition. But the disconnection will not be a surprise.

You won’t wake up one day and be unable to connect to the internet. As the NBN is being rolled out in your area, you will be given written notice that you have about 18 months to switch over to the NBN. Although making the switch to NBN is not automatic and involves more than simply switching around a few plugs, your Retail Service Provider (RSP) – like iiNet – will help make that transition as smooth as possible.

Prepare for progress

The 18-month window for transitioning to the NBN should give you plenty of time to get ready. However, it is still wise to start thinking about how you’ll tackle the change.

If you don’t want to be proactive instead of sitting in limbo, you can get a better handle on just when the service will be installed in your neighbourhood by checking the NBN coverage checker.


During this period its also a good idea to consider exactly what services you’ll need to accommodate when it comes to changing over to the NBN. Not sure what type of plan will suit your household? No problem, check out our handy guide on how to choose your plan so you’re ready to rock when the NBN is up and running at your house.

Getting set up

Luckily for you it’s easy to take advantage of the bright and shiny new NBN once it becomes available.

Existing iiNet ADSL customers will be notified by iiNet before the NBN becomes live in their area. We will contact you regarding the installation and set up process.

Not yet with iiNet but want to be? Just sign up with iiNet broadband or Naked DSL today and we’ll be in touch with the NBN arrives in your area.

However, the main thing to remember is that if you want to stay connected to a phone service and the internet you will have to put in an application for an NBN service and we’ll arrange for a professional to come out and switch your connection over to the NBN.

Please note that there other services that may be affected in addition to internet and phone services such as

  • Medical alarms
  • Emergency call systems
  • Monitored security alarm systems
  • EFFTPOS terminals

It’s important to let us know that you require these services before we move you over to the NBN.

Costs associated with moving to the NBN 

Standard installation of NBN equipment is free of charge. However, if there are any wiring changes beyond the installation of the NBN connection box – this will be an additional cost for the homeowner. The same goes for any additional phone sockets that you might want installed in your home – standard installation is to the first socket only.

Following installation the only costs associated with the NBN, is paying for your monthly NBN service. We have a variety of NBN plans to suit a range of households and budgets.

Can I move my home phone number?

Yes! The ability to take your phone number with you, also known as ‘number porting’ is available when you transition to the NBN. Just be sure to let us know that you’d like to do this before you switch.

Information for rental properties

Just like you arrange your own internet services you can also arrange to switch over to an NBN plan with your RSP. The only difference is that you’ll need to liaise with your landlord on the best location for in-home NBN equipment.

What happens if you don’t move to the NBN?

Your internet and fixed line home phone will stop working. If you want to use the internet you’ll have to use alternative options like mobile broadband or a mobile phone with a mobile plan.

But seriously, who wouldn’t want to join the NBN? It’s faster, more reliable and the way of the future!

For more information and general troubleshooting, check out iiNet’s FAQ page.

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  1. Bob says:

    Labors NBN plan was to give a level playing field for all providers using future proof, “do it right the first time” fibre optic cable to every home. Murdoch ‘s Foxtel cables were not included, they would become a stranded asset. The result, Murdoch’s political clout has now allowed him to sell his cables to the LNP NBN Co.
    Amen. Game, set and match.
    This is not a conspiracy theory, this is history.

  2. Kylie says:

    Still waiting! Three years later – construction commenced in 2012. Not happy! And on top of that, there is no copper cut off date provided.

  3. Adele says:

    When, when, when the NBN…… point getting excited about Netflix if the current connection I have is so rubbish

  4. Lawrence Stephens says:

    Netflix will work fine on existing services you say. Hmm OK well what if I want to watch a HD movie on Netflix and my wife wants to be on the internet on her PC. I don’t think our existing 4.3Mbps line speed is going to cope with that now is it. The copper network in our area is rubbish. Telstra’s official line when I originally applied for ADSL was we were too far from the exchange. I live in the middle of the Sunshine Coast not the boonies. Then 6 months later miraculously we had ADSL available, which I asked the tech that came round to the neighbours on another problem on, and he said, “They probably just put another card in the RIM”. So Telstra lied to me and the ombudsman. I’ve no faith in the company what so ever, roll on NBN, I hope to have it ….. one day.


  5. Haych says:

    I find this article very misleading for the average consumer. Labor’s NBN policy would see Fibre to the Premise (FttP) and the removal of copper cables. This is not the case for Liberal’s NBN policy which uses copper cables for the last mile in most cases.

  6. Ken Whittaker says:

    Hi, Understanding that I live in a rural area of Victoria and the probability of NBN fibre internet connection is remote, consequently I will be offered a Wireless service, which will have inherent limitations due to band width. Can the providers please tell me what plans they have in place to be able to provide a “sustainable”, service, being in a state of knowledge, that, in all probability, the population of this country will double in the next 30 years? What are your plans to cover this contingency – or – shall I have to continue to pay a high price for an inefficient service which is typical in this disadvantaged country of ours.
    I doubt if you will respond due to the incompetence of the telecommunication department.
    Ken W

  7. Casey says:

    ‘don’t worry you’re copper connection will not be disconnected!’
    Sorry, your/you’re is a pet peeve.

  8. Glynn says:

    What will happen to your customers in Geelong who are using the TransAct cable when NBN eventually gets to Geelong?.

    • Amy Pearce says:

      It’s still our active network and customers can sign up and utilise as is, if within the footprint.
      We can’t comment on what will or won’t happen in the future.

      – Amy

  9. Ian Arcus says:

    The copper in our area,(Wonga Beach, Qld) is rubbish, our line speed goes from avg of 6.6Mbps one minute to 0.01Mbps a couple of minutes later. I have complained to iinet, unfortunately it is due to a Cable Network Infrastructure (CNI) fault, with Telstra wholesale….. The chances of getting it fixed….. Estimated 3-5 years. The sooner nbn roll out occurs with fixed line in our area the better…. Iinet do there best but the infrastructure is a TOTAL JOKE!, in its current state!!!!!!!

  10. Jeff says:

    We run a business with internet access via ADSL2 but 4km from the exchange and when checking the NBN rollout dates for this industrial area we are a no show. We cannot get anything better than 3.37mb/s download and 0.49 Mb/s upload. With all the NBN info around and slow expansion of NBN areas I am assuming we may get an NBN connection in the next decade or two if we are lucky. The technology will probably pass it by then and not need fibre or wires.

  11. Dick wesseling says:

    The current NBN is fibre to the node. We already have fibre to our street’s Node box. So can we get this NBN now please without having to wait for the bureaucratic slow process ‘ if and when we can see a financial benefit in doing it’ please. All the gobbledegook about Netflix is verbal diarrhea to those who don’t have a decent connection for the more obvious Internet usage.

  12. terry says:

    We have had the famous nbn now for a month,some things are fast as in salesmans mouths but the speed has gone back to the old dialup days ??? please explain, we are in the Hunter Valley NSW.

  13. Ron says:

    What happens to all of the older Australians who don’t want or understand the Internet, but rely on their Home Phone for communication and assistance and who don’t like or can’t afford Mobile Phones????

  14. David John Wilson-Roberts says:

    please let me know when NBN will be available in my area Berriedale 7011 Tasmania also use medical emergency contact.

    Not hearing anything from Telstra yet.

  15. Raima says:

    I think most if not all, we are sick and tired of hearing about NBN only to find out it’s not available. It’s creating a dreadful customer experience. Less talk more action.

  16. David says:

    I live in Port Pirie (country) SA. I’m on a disability pension and struggle to pay my bills. The government is taking away my concessions. Food and electricity prices are out of control and getting more expensive every day. I’m expected to live on less and less. I can’t afford the luxury of a mobile phone. And now you’re telling me that I have no choice but to pay more for my internet and telephone. Which days of the week do you suggest I go without eating?

    I currently have ADSL2+ unlimited plan with no peak restrictions. $69.99/month includes $39.99/month internet, $20 line rental fees, $5 VoIP pack for local and long distance to all landlines and mobiles, and $5 international VoIP pack (for family in USA). My connection is stable and I can stream HD movies and sports from anywhere in the world without problems.

    The slowest NBN plan with comparable downloads and phone usage is $109.90/month and the speed increase won’t be of any benefit to me.

    Who doesn’t want NBN? I don’t!! When you take away our choices, you price fix the entire market. That’s called a monopoly, and that was not how the initial plan for the NBN was presented to us. The NBN was supposed to create competition, not eliminate it. Most civilised countries have made monopolies illegal for good reason. There is no incentive to lower costs and improve service when you’re the only game in town. The Telstra experience has taught us nothing? I’m shocked and disappointed in my government. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

  17. JB says:

    By the time the NBN is rolled out in my area, it will be outdated(or shall I say “even more outdated”).

  18. Lyn says:

    Is this paper computer generated or are you lot just wishful thinking. Since the Liberals got in the NBN will no long be even remotely related to a super fast network. The outdated copper lines will stay and you will have to pay Telstra (or it’s like) a small fortune to use them.

  19. Don says:

    What happens to IINet customers on HFC in Ballarat, Mildura and Geelong

    • Amy Pearce says:

      HFC is still our active network and customers can sign up and utilise as is, if within the HFC footprint.

      We can’t comment on what will or won’t happen in the future.

      – Amy

  20. William Knox says:

    The LNP should be ashamed the way they have gutted equally the most important technology of the century. The NBN stood to be the backbone of the country’s communication network for at least a century or more; now it is a laughing stock. The LNPs actions are tantamount to treason and surprisingly (or not) Malcolm Turnbull (allegedly the most moderate of them all), is at the center of the debacle. Murdoch is a traitor and only interested in one thing… himself. His father would (continue) to be spinning in his grave.

  21. George Finn says:

    My internet is with iiNet, but my land line and mobile phones are with Telstra. Can this arrangement continue with NBN. Now in our eighties speed and uninterrupted service is not of great concern.

    • Amy Pearce says:

      Hi George,

      Yes, you can have multiple providers for different services.
      Once the NBN rolls out in your area, you will just need to decide on what plan to transfer to and your providers will do the rest.

      – Amy

  22. Chris Phillips says:

    My understanding was that the NBN would be no more expensive, yet the cheapest rate I seem to able to get is one third more expensive and hardly any quicker. It has done me no favours because I do not need a vast amount of speedy down-load

  23. Tricia says:

    Seems like Telstra is getting early access to new NBN connections. Our building is in progress and Telstra are already signing customers up. iinet on the other hand still don’t seem to know anything about it. Sadly our connection is so slow now, if Telstra get there first we’ll probably have to switch to them.

  24. Allan says:

    Big business ISPs must be welcoming NBN with open arms. When I’m forced to accept this panacea to all internet problems, my current network speed will reduce by 50% and the monthly subscription cost will increase by 50%.

    Is this how we recover the $45 Billion cost???

  25. Michael T says:

    I live in a new development where we have Fibre to the Premises connected to 2 homes up from mine. Fibre is running through the Telstra pit at the front of my house. I could quite literally, open it up and cut about 1000 houses internet/phone connections. When I ask the NBN when I can get connected all I get is “We have not started the rollout in your area yet” as the response. It is pitiful that my new home was built with full NBN capability with power/conduit/NBN Box in my garage and ethernet networking throughout my home, only to be told that we are not on the map. No one can nderstand that I could cut everyones conection in my suburb if I felt like it. Maybe only that way could I get the baffoons at NBN to listen to my pleas to get connected….!!! I live in a new development area of the Hunter Valley.

  26. Ash says:

    So the maps don’t appear to change very often (if at all). Four blocks away NBN is available. One block away from me there is build preparation however this appears to have been going on for months. The streets on the map don’t even exist, just the old dead end at each end. I’m not sure about the NBN any more. Was looking forward to it but after reading reviews everywhere, there are way more people complaining about than talking it up. If it continues, i’ll be holding onto my ‘old’ ADSL as long as I can and it will be 18 months to the day of receiving notification I have to change before I actually do.