CHOICE membership

NBN FTTC and landline phone

We’ve just had the NBN connected (with Telstra) which works fine for the net but my phone doesn’t work at all. I’ve spent several fruitless hours with the Telstra rep to be told that the problem’s with my phone. As I’d no problem with the phone before the NBN was installed I’m sceptical. Has anyone else had this problem, and did you manage to get it fixed. Cheers Elle

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Do you have the phone make and model?

NBN Co. states…’ Your current phone should work over an nbn ™ Fixed Line service unless it is a rotary dial or pulse dial based phone. Your phone may need a converter or a new cable if it has an old connector plug and your phone provider will be able to confirm this.’

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Hi Phb, thanks for this. The phone is Swissvoice ePure (black). Telstra suggested I contact them but they’re in Europe so thought that might be abut difficult. Elle

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Do you use a modem to connect to the internet? Or do you have FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) that has a Device on the wall?

If it is a modem and it is the Telstra supplied one they should have set up the VOIP connection settings in the modem. You cannot use an after market modem, as Telstra will not supply the VOIP details to use your phone. If you have the Telstra one then you will need to use a RJ12 phone cable to connect the phone base station to the modem, it will not work wirelessly. I believe the phone port on the supplied modem is green but that may be incorrect. You cannot connect the handset directly to the modem as the handset is DECT 6.0 and the Telstra Gateway is DECT 2.0 compatible and they are different standards ie you must use the base station. RJ12 cables are quite cheap and readily available in lots of lengths. A RJ12 plug has six slots of which all 6, centre 4 or centre 2 may have pins. Any of these choices of pin allotments should work to connect your base station to the modem (it is normally the centre 2 pins that matter).

RJ12 plug 9.65mm wide (pic is larger than actual) image

If you are using FTTP then you will again need to use a cable to connect the phone base station to the wall device, this may be possible to use phone sockets on your wall as long as the wall device is also connected to a wall socket.

I also forgot to add before that the VOIP settings may have been set incorrectly or not been set (these are unlikely situations). I am unsure how to check these settings but the Telstra person should be able to determine if the settings are correct as they should have administrative access to these hidden settings even though you cannot see them.

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Thanks grahroll. This is fantastic. I do have the Telstra modem – it’s fiber to the curb. I’ll see if I can get the cable with correct attachment, from an electronics store I’m guessing :slight_smile: L

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Places such as Reject Shop, Coles, Woolworths, Computer Stores, JB HiFi, Jaycar and similar will most likely carry the cables you need. They shouldn’t cost you too much at all eg about $5 to $15 with lengths up to around 20 metres (use the shortest possible length that reaches between the two comfortably).

Let us know how you go getting connected, if you would like to keep us informed.

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Bingo! It works, many many thanks. It was the lead as you suggested. Im so glad I asked here. Not sure why Telstra aren’t aware – I’ve now heard from several people whose phone stopped working after the NBN.
Thanks again, Elle

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Yet another reason not to use the equipment provided by your ISP/RSP. If they are able to access it remotely, then their employees know how to do so as well. Similarly, if they are hacked and lose control of the information they use to access ‘your’ network equipment you’re hosed.

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Glad the advice helped, also very glad you are back to being able to use your home phone for calls.

Thank you for keeping us updated.

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Sadly Telstra among others do not publically make their VOIP settings available. So if you wish to use your phone with these providers you either have to go to a 3rd party solution that adds another device to your system or use their equipment. If you however decide to go to a provider who will supply these settings you are entirely free to do so and use your own nbn™ compatible modem. If they changed their procedures and policy so that these settings were available to be used it would make for many users who would swap out the business supplied models for the latest models. My suspicion is that there is a cash advantage to the business to supply the models they do, as well as a “support” advantage from not having to train staff across many types of models of devices.

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And this - along with the volume of scam calls we have been receiving lately - has meant that when my home moves onto the NBN it will be with my chosen equipment and without telephony. We are currently trialling this, with the home phone disconnected, and so far all is smooth sailing… except from the scammers’ perspective.

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What brilliant advice Grahroll! I am storing this post for future reference.

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Shouldn’t it be Free if its a VOIP call as its just using your DATA amount?

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Good question but the answer is no. Skype to Skype, Facetime, and similar where they use their own system do not generally charge for usage as long as the call remains in that system, you just use your data allowance from your internet plan. Though the call enabler eg Apple or Microsoft could easily place a charge on the use of their software and systems.

If you use Skype (only as an example) to phone a “real” number you need to have credit as there is a charge per unit of time, and this is also the same for other VOIP providers. The VOIP system indeed uses your data allowance and the internet but it also uses the different providers, national, and international telecom infrastructure to carry the call and the charges for this are often called termination charges. If you didn’t have the telecom systems you would not have the means to properly direct your call to the right number.

VOIP calls are cheaper than the old PSTN system because as you noted, you use your data and internet connection for much of a call’s travel.

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