The NBN copper telephone line switch-off: 3 things to know

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The NBN copper telephone line switch-off: 3 things to know

See the list of suburbs where copper telephone lines will be switched off first and what it all means for you.


If there was ever a good reason to start taking the NBN seriously, this is it - sometime in the future the plan is that the copper telephone lines you use for your phone and Internet will be turned off.

This week the first list of areas where this will happen was announced. So what do you need to know?

1.The switch-off will only happen if your building is connected to the NBN via fibre optic cable. It won't happen in areas where you connect via wireless or satellite. And it won't happen until 18 months after you've been connected, which is a long way away for a lot of people.

2 Even if you're in an affected area, copper lines are not being switched off for everyone at once. You can see the list of areas where the final switchover to the NBN is happening in the table at the bottom of this article - copper telephone lines will be switched off in these areas 18 months from November 23, 2012. But this won't happen for all buildings in these areas.

How will you know? If you're affected you will be told about the switchover in the meantime. The NBN Co. states that it will be conducting a communications campaign, and it says it expects phone and Internet providers to do the same.

3 Copper switch-off is years away for most people. Work will have finished, or at least started, on connecting at least 3.5 million homes and businesses by June 2015. Keep in mind that copper telephone lines won't be turned off until 18 months after those premises are connected. Then keep in mind that all up, there is in the order of 13 million premises to eventually be connected.

So who's getting copper switched-off first?

The table below comes from NBN Co. and lists areas where ADSL and other services running over copper telephone lines will be switched off - this will happen 18 months from November 23, 2012. Note: as we mentioned above, not all buildings in the areas below are affected.

You can also see this NBN Co. rollout schedule list here on the Telstra site. An explanation of the list is here.

To stop using copper telephone line service and move to the NBN, you contact your telephone or Internet provider.

Our free NBN Toolkit compares prices from all the big NBN providers, plus setup guides, hardware and more.


[table from NBN Co. web site]


Approx Number of Premises passed

Link to map of active sites (purple areas)

Armidale NSW 
(4 areas, see map)


Brunswick Vic


Deloraine Tas


George Town Tas


Kiama NSW


Kingston Beach Tas


Sorell Tas


South Morang Vic


St Helens Tas


Townsville Qld


Triabunna Tas


Willunga SA





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