Aussie homes, businesses risk having internet disconnected as NBN cut-off date looms

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A NBN Co worker arranges fibre-optic cables used in the National Broadband Network in west Sydney July 11, 2013. Reuters/Daniel Munoz

Nearly 100,000 Aussie homes and businesses risk having their internet disconnected when the new year comes if they do not make a decision before the 18-month NBN cut-off date. Up to 173 suburbs have to choose an NBN provider and a plan before the grace period ends.

The areas are already “NBN ready” but there are up to 95,590 homes and businesses that have not moved over to the national broadband network. This means they would be disconnected from their internet and landlines in January.

Telstra home and landline services are expected to be switched off. The same thing could happen to other telcos utilising the company’s copper phone lines.

NBN cut-off date looms

Services from providers that offer ADSL, ADSL2 and ADSL2+ will come to an end. Also tipped to be disconnected are Optus and Telstra BigPond cable internet services.

If Foxtel Pay TV is provided over Telstra Cable or satellite, it will not be affected. But streaming Foxtel Now would not work without a valid Internet connection.

The latest rollout data from NBN Co showed that up to 3.35 million premises were activated in December. Up to 6.05 million homes and businesses are now ready to connect.

Victoria is tipped to be the largest hit. There could be over 22,000 Victorian premises that could be affected by the cut-off date, comparison website Finder suggests.

Next is Queensland, with 19,988 homes and businesses. Western Australia follows with 17,670 while the Melbourne suburb of Pakenham would see over 15,000 houses without the internet.

Other areas that could be impacted are Queensland’s Edmonton, South Australia’s Murray Bridge and the New South Wales suburbs of Nelson Bay and Terrigal. The “take up rate” of the NBN is of crucial concern in these areas as provided every household has made the move to the network at the end of the 18 months.

But many Australians are not aware that they needed to make a change. “There has been a lot of talk about the NBN in recent months but Australians remain confused about the broadband network,” Finder spokesperson Angus Kidman said, according to Sydney Morning Herald.

Kidman added it is worrying to see that nearly half of those not on the NBN is not planning to make the switch. Those who are unsure if they have made the switch or have questions about their area being NBN ready may contact their internet providers.