ABOUT 4680 premises in Armidale eligible for the National Broadband Network (NBN) have been urged to make the switch as soon as possible.
The NBN’s new infrastructure will replace the existing landline phone, ADSL internet and Telstra cable internet services when these services are officially switched off on May 23, but NBN representatives are urging people not to leave it to the last minute.
NBN Co spokesman Darren Rudd said residents and businesses needed to move their landline and internet services over to the NBN
if they wished to continue using them, although they had a choice about whether they switched to the new network or made do with mobile or other wireless solutions.
“We are committed to ensuring local residents and businesses are aware and have the necessary information needed ahead of migration to the new infrastructure,” he said.
“We are also continuing to actively engage with a variety of industry and community groups including telephone and internet service providers, local council
and advocacy groups to ensure the message is reaching the Armidale community.”
People with special equipment, including EFTPOS terminals and medical and security alarms that were connected to a landline phone, also needed to check with their service provider, Mr Rudd said.
Gary Melville, a retired teacher from Armidale, said since making the switch to his Activ8me NBN service he’d been able to download video and music that wasn’t possible on his old connection.
“Pensioners like me can often be intimidated by new technology, but the NBN connection process was a lot easier and cheaper than I thought,” he said.
Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association president Nan Bosler also encouraged people in Armidale to embrace the new technology.
“It’s particularly important for older Australians living in these areas to still contact their telephone service provider and connect their new voice-only service, even if they don’t use the internet,” she said.
“But I would also advise seniors to use this as an opportunity to get themselves online and experience the benefits of fast broadband.
“Using the internet can help reduce social isolation for older Australians by keeping them in touch with family and friends, whether they are across the road or across the world.”
NBN Co is hosting an information session at the Armidale City Bowling Club today and tomorrow from 10.30am to 4.30pm for those wanting to know more about the changes.