NBN…Cause for Alarm?

The rollout of the NBN network involves new technologies and some of your existing devices are unlikely to be compatible with the new system.

Transitioning to the NBN can cause your alarm monitoring to stop working and consequently it is vital that you contact your alarm company to consider your options before performing your NBN transition.

Many current alarm systems are designed to use a phone line to dial the business owner or a monitoring centre and alert them to a sensor being triggered. Most alarms dial out over a copper phone line and can still dial out even if the phone line is already in use.

Currently, this copper line is not dependent on electricity being connected to your premises and your alarm is still capable of communication and provided you have a battery back-up power supply, your alarm will continue to function for a number of hours. While it’s tempting to think that you can simply plug into an equivalent phone port provided with an NBN service, there are some issues which need to be considered.

As the NBN fibre cable will mostly be fitted to an existing building, it is often laid in vulnerable areas and a thief can simply cut the fibre, defeating the alarm monitoring. The second issue is in relation to power failure. It is not difficult for a thief to simply turn off the power in an external power board, in order to defeat the alarm.

While the obvious solution is to look for alternative ways to maintain this connectivity, this must be done in collaboration with the alarm company. The simplest solution is to use the mobile network, provided you have a good and consistent signal. GPRS is the older

technology and is more widely used, but there can be coverage problems with 3G generally providing better coverage. Some alarm companies will set the communication to go via two mobile providers, as this protects against the failure of a particular mobile tower failing, which happens more than you realise. Although the NBN will provide a number of benefits, there is usually new equipment required to make the change and while this might be as simple as installing a new box onto your system, it may require a completely new alarm system.

Transitioning your business or home to the NBN can result in your alarm to stop working and consequently it’s important to contact your supplier to be able to consider your options before transitioning to the NBN.
Finally, it’s important to note that at the end of the 18 month transition period, your traditional copper telephone line will be disconnected. This means that if you wish to continue to make phone calls or use the internet through a landline service, you will need to be connected to the NBN.