Unless you haven't been paying any attention to the NBN, you probably know that once it is available to your premises you have 18 months to move your phone and broadband services to NBN-based equivalents. That includes landlines, ATMs, EFTPOS and fax machines, and so on, as well as ADSL or cable broadband.
Originally, there was no specified date for the disconnection of special services including Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM, but not the kind that dispenses cash!), Integrated Services Digital Networks (ISDN) and certain Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) services (typically used to carry voice, video and data services simultaneously).
These services have been offered by Telstra under a variety of names, including CustomNet Spectrum, Megalink and ISDN.
But in a series of arrangements that were made starting in 2015, they will be replaced with a set of NBN-delivered services with equivalent or better characteristics, so customers will need to arrange to switch before their old services are disconnected.
"Businesses will be disconnected [from the old services] either 36 months after the publishing date of the relevant white paper regarding the technology, or 18 months after their area is declared ready for service - whichever option allows for the most amount of time," an NBN Co spokesperson told BIT.
The 36-month deadlines work out as follows:
- Ethernet-Lite and Wholesale BDSL: September 2018
- Telstra CustomNet Spectrum and Telstra ATM over copper: April 2019
- DDS Fastway and Data Access Radial, and Megalink and Wholesale Transmission: May 2019
- TSS 4 frame relay, ISDN 10/20/30, and ISDN2: September 2019.
"Moving these services over to the NBN network is not automatic and businesses may lose temporary access to their services if they do not make the switch within their migration window. We understand this is a process which can take time so we want to ensure businesses have enough time to prepare to connect these complex systems to the new network," said executive general manager of business products and services Ben Salmon.
In this context, 'temporary access' refers to the way Telstra is allowed to continue to provide the old services for longer than 18 months after the NBN was ready for service in an area.
The NBN-based replacement services appear to be available only to customers in FTTP, FTTB and FTTN areas. So if you do use any of these special services and you're getting fixed wireless or HFC, it's probably best to start talking to your provider and its competitors sooner rather than later about what they will be able to offer, as you may need to start revamping your communications strategy well before the disconnection dates.
The key message is that pretty much whatever type of non-NBN fixed-line services you already have (with existing fibre services as the most obvious exception), you have a finite amount of time to switch them to the NBN or an alternative such as wireless broadband. So don't leave it to the last minute to decide what you're going to do: start planning so you won't have to make a rushed decision.
You can find out more about NBN for Business here.
Note: This article has been updated following clarification from NBN Co after its original statement.