How long can I put off switch to NBN?

We are not on NBN, but we have 3 mobiles and a tablet in the house that are usually connected to our wifi. The worst of them has more than a day of battery life but all need to get recharged over night, every night, to also make it through the next day.

I assume you have a new router with your NBN, and that is the common element. In addition to @grahroll’s comments on turning off wifi when not in use on the device, make sure the wifi router setting is to be ‘on’ 24 x 7 if that is what you want. If the router turns off its wifi service on schedule (eg 10PM-6AM or whatever) all the mobiles and tablets will try very hard to find a network to connect to, and that also drains batteries quickly. Similarly, if the new wifi has a weak signal where your devices usually sit and the wifi signal is not strong enough, the devices will likewise expend lots of battery life searching or connecting and reconnecting.

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Hi kristyandru1,

I am in a same same but different situation. I have also received notification however am not keen on taking up the offer to get the gear installed as we will be doing a knock down - rebuild in 6 months time. I would prefer they return when we have finished building our house and complete the installation then. We did manage to speak to an NBN rep who came to our house however he did not take any notes, did not leave anything with us and did not give us a warm and fuzzy feeling about the understanding of our needs.

Just wondering if anybody else is in the same situation? … and what their experience has been.

Thanks for the suggestions. I have made some changes to my settings which help a bit. I have also been turning the wifi off which does make a difference. However, I used to have my wifi on all the time with no problem with battery draining. I just wonder why the nbn makes such a difference. Since I’m lazy and forgetful, it’s a pain to try to remember to turn the wifi off and on all the time.
Oh, well…it could be worse, I guess. My connection has been really good so far and that is more important. Guess I should just count my blessings and stop whinging! (a new concept for me so we’ll see how I go with that).

I wouldn’t put it off at all if I were you. It will eventually be turned off and from previous experience it can take months before it’s all sorted out and working. Get it done while you’ve still got an Internet connection, otherwise you could be months without one while they sort themselves out and your old service is no longer connected.

On your phone or tablet get an app to test the wifi strength in the area where you store them overnight eg bedside table. I use Wifi Analyzer by Kevin Yuan. The free version is good just gets ads on it but not intrusive… Check signal strength and what other Wifi signals are sharing or very close to your wifi channel…

I am assuming that they changed the modem you use and that may not have the same strength of signal output as your old one particularly if it only has internal antennas. If the signal is poor try adjusting the position/orientation of the modem and retesting the signal. Try first by facing the modem slightly away from it’s previous alignment then going to the overnight area and seeing what the signal is like. Keep doing this until you have completed about a 180 degree arc from it’s original position. If one point is strongest then after the testing is complete leave it there.

Also if the height of where the modem is placed has changed try placing it back at the old height and again you may need to redo the alignment tests at varying heights. The modem should be roughly at the height of where your phone will be, roughly means within 60 cm up or down…up is generally better as the closer you get to the floor the more clutter the signal needs to go through.

If your modem has external antennas you should try adjusting them as well to test the signal.

If your wifi channel is sharing it’s bandwidth with a lot of others you may need to try adjusting the channel it is on. To do this you will need to enter the modem’s setting and in the wifi section go to the channel and setting it to one of the channels that was free of others or had the least amount of others. For the 2.4 Ghz channels the best three to try for are 1, 6 and 11. For a bit of a read about it see here Originally it is probably on Auto. You should also set the signal strength to 100% while there if it isn’t already.

This should improve the behaviour of your phone and tablet power consumption and wifi speed particularly as they won’t have to expend as much energy trying to get the best signal. If you set the channel on your modem in many of the later phones and tablets you can lock them to that channel and also turn the searching for other networks off. If you can’t do this don’t worry though.

Oh and make sure your GPS/Location is turned off in your phone and tablet as this will certainly drain the batteries fast.


We’re with Optus (cable) and it’s the same for us - the service will be switched off first week of September which is less than 3 months since notification, nothing like the 18 months I’d heard. We received the Optus notification letter the same day as the NBN Co letter advising our area (Vic 3153 area) was now connected.

The government as well as NBNCo and all their captive ISPs appear to be perpetrating a hoax on ‘how easy it is and how much time we have’. With those letters in hand you might consider a formal complaint to the ‘Honourable’ Minister for Communications (Mitch Fifield) that he needs to make his industry adhere to the program, or he needs to publicly apologise for misleading us and come clean about reality in a public forum. Be clear to him it is not just about you but also about the class (eg all Australians with internet/phone service), hence you are approaching him since this is a government program.

After a few months you might get a response from his office that they have forwarded your concerns to NBNCo or Optus for their response to you, as is typical for ministerial offices passing paper across their desks in a ‘no-reponsibility here’ manner.

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18 mths is the standard cut-off period. But as noted in some posts, if you have a contract that is current with an RSP, they knowing that the NBN was coming, a lot of the time had terms in the contract that meant that they would switch you to the NBN as soon as they could. This is likely the case in many circumstances of early switches.

Cable however also presents another problem not associated with the old copper PSTN network. The NBN when setting up the HFC system use the old cable infrastructure for this (though many parts have to be upgraded) and run a piggy back system until the upgrades are finished. Once these are done they remove the old circuits and you are left only with the HFC hence a quicker changeover. Your phone can however remain on the copper for the 18 mths unless you are already on a VOIP phone or you choose to immediately upgrade to VOIP but you must cease your copper phone network at the end of the 18 mths.

18 mths for internet applies in areas that have had a “just copper” system (vast majority). Wifi and Satellite you get a choice to go VOIP or stay with copper for phones indefinitely. The original reason 18 mths was the standard was that almost all connections other than a few Wifi and Satellite connections were going to be FTTP now there is also HFC, FTTN, and more people going onto Wifi than originally intended. The MTM NBN may be blamed for these variances in cut-offs.


Another aspect of ‘how long…’


Public Phone Boxes and NBN

For the small townships around here, Sunshine Coast hinterland, it may not be a problem for some. We have a single public phone box several hundred metres from the copper exchange.

All of the locals who live outside the FTTN are expecting to keep their copper for calls, and many also for ADSL. There are enough near town centre premises that don’t have reliable mobile phone coverage to expect the NBN FW is ever going to be available to them.

So perhaps it depends on which public phone box and where it connects to. At least in rural areas?


I am on the brink of changing from Broadband Cable to NBN. The cabling was done many years ago through a Foxtell promotion and the connection is HFC. Now, from what I have read it appears that if you have a Foxtell suitable cable connection you do not have to change to the NBN.
Could someone please shed some light on this? My cable service has been very good, and I am loath to change unless necessary, although it has slowed somewhat, I suppose because of the uptake of NBN in my area.


Welcome to the forum @tentacle1 .

I would like to clarify that you currently have an ADSL connection via your Foxtel cable as described below:
### Foxtel Broadband on ADSL Service Description

Foxtel Broadband on ADSL is an Internet access service that is supplied up to the Network Boundary Point in your Home using ADSL technology.”

To convert to NBN, your Foxtel connection is used to provide access via HFC. The NBN modem will hang off your Foxtel hub, so no further wiring is required.

Once you have received notification that NBN is running in your area, you have a maximum of 18months to convert over before your ADSL connection is severed, so it is better to move across in a planned fashion before that happens.

The speed of your ADSL connection will depend on the plan you purchase, and as you have noted, the demands on the infrastructure in your area.

You will have noticed that I have move your post into a thread which deals with this issue. There is a lot of good information already provided if you read the posts. You can also search for other threads on the NBN (using the magnifying glass) for further information.


As part of the NBN rollout all of the Foxtel/Telstra cable services were sold to the NBN.

Foxtel will cease to provide cable services in 2023.
Amazingly Foxtel believe that the replacement delivery of it’s services over satellite is the perfect solution. Not all are convinced. Foxtels spin on the future:

The satellite service is intended to provide only content streaming. Internet services will subsequently need to be provided separately over the NBN (existing cable).

Many older cable connections were upgraded/replaced. We received a new install and cable for the NBN HFC in Brisbane City. Existing Foxtel customers were advised they would need a splitter to separate the NBN internet and Foxtel streaming services. Supposedly a routine install for Telstra bundled subscribers who chose to continue using Telstra as the RSP. The NBN team who did our install asked if we had Foxtel (we don’t), so it all seems very straight forward if in the interim you do not want to go to satellite. (Edit note, some Foxtel cable customers may already have a splitter if the internet is cable internet from Telstra)

There are various online discussions as to whether satellite delivery of 4K or better TV is a reliable solution for the future. NBN for internet and streaming your speeds depend on the Technology, speed plan and RSP. There are a number of Choice topics that provide information on all three.

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Vested interest? Surely not?

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Thanks for your response meltam.
I do not have ADSL but Telstra Broadband-HFC connected under a Foxtel Promotion
My query was IF I need to change to NBN not WHEN, hence the new topic I created.
How or why would anyone look to find my query under the Topic-How long before I need to change to NBN.
A thread that has nor been active since July 2019.


Thanks Mark for this information. Seeing that Foxtel/Telstra cable services were sold to the the NBN I now need to take a different view of my internet situation.
I must have misread or misunderstood the Gov. Site article I read concerning HCF. Seems now I do not have an option other than to change to NBN- a higher cost for slower speeds or a much higher cost for a reasonable speed.
I currently do not have Foxtel, but interesting to learn that they will cease to provide cable services come 2023.
Thanks also for the added information concerning 4K TV


I have just read that Foxtel is owned by Newscorp (65%) and Telstra!
That explains the ‘milk in the coconut’ regarding Foxtel/Telstra Broadband connections. I’m with you, they would not have a vested interest! Forgot to look up who owns the satellite?


The switch over date is one set by NBN Co. This is the date that you may find you do not have an internet connection unless you have signed up with a RSP (Retail Service Provider or in old speak ISP). If you are with Telstra Broadband they will normally transfer you automatically to a basic 25/5 plan at that date, this auto transfer is normally part of your contract conditions with them but you can’t bank on that. HFC is one of the few connections where cut-off is a set date that can be within the 12 -18 months changeover period that occurs for FTTP, FTTN, FW. FTTC is another where changeover is when the date can be shorter than the normal changeover period.

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It was not the service that was sold, it was the cable that provided the service. The NBN now owns the cable previously used for the service as noted. It puts all service providers, Telstra, Foxtel, Optus, etc in a similar position of having to pay the NBN Co for access.

Foxtel might have considered a deal to co-deliver an independent service stream over the NBN network after the current Telstra agreement end date. Or perhaps the NBN Co and Govt had already decided for them!

As most would now be aware all streaming services accessible over the NBN infrastructure (Foxtel, iView, Netflix, 7-Play etc) form part of your data count and are speed limited by the tier/service technology.

Making sense of what the circumstances may be for any premise with an existing third party service provider may be a challenge. Telstra nor Optus provide our internet services or streaming. I found talking to each in turn in store when they were not busy more helpful in understanding the options, assuming we chose to change provider. YMMV depending on your ability to resist the pre-programmed sales pitch. We also called our current ISP, sales who are also based in Australia.

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Optus used to provide ADSL via HFC broadband, so I was wonderng if the Telstra HFC broadband you currently have is similar.

The reason I move your query over to this thread is (as I tried to explain earlier) the real question is not IF, but WHEN you move to NBN. Once NBN is functioning in your area, you have a maximum of 18 months to convert over. This thread deals with the question of WHEN.

As you will have seen there are quite a number of knowledgable people who follow this thread and are very capable of answering your questions.

Do you know if NBN is active in your area, and if so, how long ago did it become available for connections?

To find out who can provide you with NBN at your address, have a look at NBN’s list of phone and internet providers. Then as @mark_m suggested if you are a member have a look at Choice’s best NBN plans to decide who you go with.