Tag Archive for switchoff

Copper Switchoff – preparing your business

emergency-preparedness

If you live in the fibre areas of Deloraine, George Town or St Helens – the copper based fixed telephone and internet is due to be switched off next Friday (May 23rd). If you want to avoid this disconnection it is important to contact a service provider (who need not be your current provider) and make sure you have an NBN order in place before next Friday.

If you have an order in place or the NBNCo is unable to accept an order to service your address (the technical term is service class 0), you will not be disconnected. It is also important that you inform your provider if you need your telephone line for any sort of emergency purposes – for example you have a medical alert device, you have a lift phone or you are elderly. NBNCo are particularly concerned that they don’t put people’s lives at risk in this process.

Phone lines and addresses: It is expected that in order to prepare the list of lines to disconnect, Telstra will essentially be comparing the list of addresses (from NBNCo) not to be disconnected. However we are expecting this to create issues when the address for a telephone line is wrong, as Telstra will not see the telephone line in its list of “not to be disconnected” addresses. We currently have a situation where a business in St Helens had moved just a block down the road, somehow their main number was still listed at their old address. After consultation with NBNCo, we believe the best way forward is to place an NBN order at their old address, which we will just cancel once we have fully migrated the client. If you want to check your addresses, feel free to give me a call.

Choosing a provider: If you have left this to the last minute then you probably won’t have had time a reasonable time to consider which provider to use, before putting in an NBN order. You have to consider things like contracts, prices and whether you trust them to migrate you without downtime. If you are in this position and you want more time to decide, my company, Launtel is offering a service to just get an NBN order into the system to stop anything being disconnected – if you then want to use a different provider you can simply place a new order with them.

Backup plans: Unfortunately despite all the above, we are concerned there may still be situations where you could be disconnected by mistake. NBNCo and Telstra have said they will have emergency plans to reconnect lines (within hours I have heard) should this occur. However since this is the first time anyone has been through this, we are not sure how this will pan out in practice. My strong recommendation is you consider how you will operate your business should you have no fixed telephone lines and internet – don’t forget about EFTPOS and your security alarm. Things to consider:

  • Make sure your staff all have mobiles to make calls with.
  • Get a mobile internet connection.
  • Put a mobile number on your website.
  • Get a mobile EFTPOS unit.

If you want help with this, feel free to give me a call at Launtel or on my mobile: 0418 217 582

NBN Rural Woes

fibre-power-pole

ON Sunday, December 22, the NBN cable was off the hydro pole and on the top off a barbed wire  fence in the blackberries on Tasman Highway 2 1/2 kilometres from St Helens towards Scottsdale.

I notified Aurora as I thought it might have been the three-phase power cable.

It was terrific in its response and actions but said it was the NBN cable and the NBN had been notified.

I spoke to a Visionstream person who also said that NBN had been notified on three occasions about this, but it took until 3.45pm on Friday, December 27, for the repair crew to come and lift the cable out of the blackberries and barbed wire fence.

The NBN cable is still only about four metres off the ground between the poles.

My concerns on so-called remote locations like St Helens with the NBN has now been confirmed with this fiasco – if live stock had been in the paddock, as we all know, they would have chewed it to pieces, and potentially put small businesses out of business.

When the copper is turned off nobody can trade without a live connection as we are all unfortunately committed to computers.

NBN obviously doesn’t give a high priority to repairs and maintenance so how can we operate with the cables strung between poles in a remote location and in a fire-prone area?

– Michael Tucker of St Helens Newsagency, Examiner 3rd Jan 2014

You can find the original opinion piece here

What Michael doesn’t say is that following the May 2014 permanent switch off of the copper network the telephones would also be inoperable should the fibre cable be cut. This is of great concern – particularly for businesses.

Given that the cut off date seems to completely immovable it is important that we:

  • Keep lobbying the government and NBNCo to secure these cables – Michael Tucker noted in my meeting with him before Christmas that following the 1967 Bushfires it was mandated that telephone lines be carried underground due to their importance – the same should be true of the fibre.
  • Businesses consider carefully the impact that loss of internet and phones would have on their business and consider putting in place some backup options (using the 3G mobile network).