CHOICE membership

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.


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.


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?