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A few people have recently reached out to us to ask about how the new National Broadband Network will affect hearing aid compatible listening devices. We would like to assure you that there will be no change needed in telephone equipment once your home is connected to the NBN, unless you have been advised otherwise by your phone company. Read on for a more comprehensive look at this issue.

What is the National Broadband Network (NBN)?

The NBN is an Australia-wide initiative to upgrade the existing fixed line phone and Internet network infrastructure, with the aim of providing fast, reliable and affordable phone and Internet services to all Australians.

On a very basic level, the NBN will see copper lines be replaced by fibre-optic cables. It has been described as essential for Australia’s digital evolution, and will present opportunities in education, business, entertainment, health care and sociability.

Will you need to switch to the NBN?

It depends. If you live in an area where the NBN is available, existing phone lines, ADSL Internet, Telstra/Optus cable Internet and some Telstra fibre services will be disconnected and replaced by the NBN. When the NBN fibre install is complete in your area, you will be notified by direct mail of the date the old network will be switched off.

Moving to the NBN is not automatic. You will need to move your phone and Internet services to the NBN before the advised switch-off date.

To find out if the NBN is available at your home or business, click here.

Will switching to the NBN affect hearing aid compatible devices?

In short, no.

According to our hearing clinicians and a telephone company we spoke to, there will be no change needed in telephone equipment when your household swaps over to the National Broadband Network.  All current telephones, including amplified phones, should work just as well once on the NBN.

If you have further concerns about this, however, it is best to get in touch with your phone company to discuss the specifics of your situation.

Will the NBN be compatible with teletypewriters (TTYs)?

A TTY is a special type of phone for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. It features a keyboard where you can type your message, and a small display screen where you can read what the other person has said to you.

Phone services provided over the NBN are designed to support TTY transmissions, so once you swap over it should still work. If it does not, you should contact your phone company.

Any other questions about the NBN and assisted listening devices? Give your phone company a call to discuss your concerns. 

Further Topics

A Brief History Of Hearing Aid Technology
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