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Image: NBN Co fibre haul, Toowoomba

Two in three Australians unaware NBN switch is compulsory

The first National Broadband Network (NBN) connections have now gone live in sections of Australia – yet some two thirds of the population have no idea the transition is compulsory.

A new survey report – Familiarity & Understanding of the NBN – commissioned by telecommunications provider iiNet found the majority of Australians (67 per cent) believe that connecting to the NBN is a choice, and they can opt to remain on their existing broadband connection. In fact, those who miss the deadline to connect to the NBN are cut off from the traditional copper telephone network.

The first round of NBN connections went live on May 23, 2014 to fifteen first release areas, with those consumers and businesses now relying exclusively on the new network for internet and phone services. The NBN Co has already set about disconnecting the old network in the affected areas throughout Australia, from Tasmania to Townsville and from Willunga to Armidale.

The survey also revealed that some 41 per cent of the 1,200 respondents had very little understanding of the network 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.

Furthermore, some 20 per cent of people believe NBN Co will become their Internet provider. Users have to make the transition through a retail service provider.

More information about the steps residents and businesses need to take to switch to the NBN as well as a list of service providers can be found at: nbnco.com.au/switch. There are a number of areas planned to make the switch later in the year – check out the connections map here.

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Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie is the editor-at-large of Dynamic Business. Stephanie brings with her a passion for journalism, business, and new ideas. On her days off, you might find her reading a book on the beach.

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