NBN battery cost

Are people aware they have to buy an expensive battery for their NBN every few years?

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What’s it for? when I unplug my modem, it turns off, so I don’t think it has any batteries of significant capacity. Battery replacement hasn’t been mentioned either by the NBN installer or my ISP.

Battery? For what? Where?

It’s a standby battery in case your power goes off. I found out about the battery because "the thing "kept beeping every 15 minutes and to stop the noise I had to get a battery. Our area was one of the first to get the NBN so I think a lot of people will soon have this problem.


OK, I don’t think it applies to nbn satellite modems then.

What are the battery specs for your modem?

This might be it?

Looks like they are around $25-30 each. Hope they last more than a few years otherwise they will become an environmental disposal issue.


If they aren’t heavily discharged, they should last at least 4-5 years. Disposal is just normal Lead-acid battery disposal, you can get 50c/kg at some metal recyclers, or just drop them off at the local tip recycling place for no charge.


You will be amazed how many old lead acid batteries are stored in residential properties in Australia (this is why most urban Council have free disposal programs to try and recover as many as possible). … increasing risk of soil and water contamination…and potentially impacting health of residents/children who nay come in contact with lead.

If lead in stored battery leaks, it is very hard to decomtaminate…the only real option is soil/contaminated material removal and disposal of the contaminated soul in an approved landfill. A costly exercise.


The batteries are usually only installed if you have a back-to-base alarm, or medical condition that requires you to have a permanently working landline for one reason or another, such as a medical alert system, otherwise NBN Co doesn’t include them when the NBN is first connected to your house. For those with batteries, they have different NBN setups and the landline phone plugs directly into the NBN box. For those with no battery installation, the landline phone plugs into the modem/router instead and is rendered useless should there ever be a loss of power until the power comes back on and the modem and NBN box have both rebooted. I once discussed getting a battery installation with NBN Co who said it could be done for a fee of about $95 and not once did they mention anything about having to replace the battery or that it would cost me to have the battery replaced.


The solution for that seems to be a UPS. I have a BTB alarm and have been perusing NBN plans and so far have yet to find one that openly admits to support it excepting tacitly by adding one’s own UPS to the NBN and ISP equipment.

I suspect the “retail telco ISPs” are not interested in having liability if the systems fail a medical emergency or alarm regardless of whether it is them or the NBN part of the equation.

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Here is the relevant nbnco page explaining the effects of a power outage on the various equipment types.


Thanks for that! It is clear the NBN is not fit for purpose other than as a plaything of partisan politicians as it is currently implemented, unless you have FTTP like almost everyone was supposed to get … :open_mouth:


Much will also depend on the nature and extent of the power outage.

Old style landlines aren’t 100% guaranteed. They would usually be (and are often still) operational during a power outage, but telephone exchanges require power, and if their backup power supply fails, even a landline can be rendered useless.

There are also incidences where copper cables are accidentally or deliberately severed.

As an emergency backup, a mobile phone, satellite phone, or radio transceiver might all be worth considering depending on your location and circumstances.

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While that is true, excepting for individual faults on my line taking me down for 11 days due to human error, I cannot remember another PSTN fail although grant they must occur from time to time. A PSTN power induced failure requires a mains fail and a backup fail.

My concern is based on becoming ever more educated on what the NBN is and is not, using NBNCo own information and that the service caveats are many.

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We have fibre to the premises. Speed is great, but we’re still stuck with a landline phone that’s reliant on having a working NBN connection in order to work, so if there’s a power outage, the phone dies completely.

We once had our fibre cable severed thanks to one NBN Co contractor neglecting to make sure everything was tucked away properly in the underground pit after he’d done some maintenance for someone. One Saturday morning the local council cut the grass and that was the end of our NBN phone and Internet connection because a small bit of cable was poking through the pit cover. We had no connection whatsoever until NBN Co could spare someone to replace the entire fibre cable that ran from the pit, up our driveway via overhead lines and then to the box on the outside of the house. Apparently they can’t repair a damaged fibre cable and have to replace the entire thing, which took a good week or so before someone was available to carry out the job for us.

Actually they can, but apparently they won’t for whatever reason. Decades ago I watched a poor tech (USA) in a wet pit splicing a major fibre bundle a contractor dug up. It is not something new.

Do you have a battery backup for your connection?

No, I don’t have a back to base alarm nor a medical condition, so NBN Co didn’t put in the battery. I prefer to use my prepaid mobile phone anyway. The only reason the landline phone is connected is because Telstra don’t have plans that are Internet only, even though the phone is now reliant on their being an Internet connection and not the other way around as it was with the old copper network.

@PhilT, you are right. Fibre cables can be joined and repaired…otherwise one would need a cable 1000s kilometres long to cross the oceans or where optical fibre ground wires (opgw) are used to protect electical infrastructure.

They are joined under controlled conditions in the field.

I have seen this for opgw, in the back of a techicians van, which was interesting to see. The same process can be used for repairs or inserting new section/removing a piece to replace/repair damaged cables.

However, it may be cheaper for short sections to replace the whole cable than do a repair.