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Last updated: 1 October, 2023

The NBN Will Affect Your Alarm System Monitoring

If you have an alarm system that uses any type of monitoring will definitely be affected by the NBN.

Read on and I’ll explain why and show you what to do. (In a hurry? Scroll down to go straight to the “Solutions” section)

Some things go well together:

Bacon and eggs, mashed potato and gravy, spaghetti and meatballs.

Then there are things that don’t go together at all: NBN and alarm systems is one of them.

The NBN rollout is due for completion by 2020.

If your alarm is monitored, either back-to-base or you use your mobile phone to monitor it yourself, you will be affected.

If you’re not yet connected to the NBN you should start to consider your options now to make sure your monitoring is not interrupted.

Getting Connected to the NBN

You’ll be notified when the NBN is available in your street.NBN-alarm-system

Connection to it is not automatic though. You need to contact a retail service provider. There are hundreds to choose from. Click here for a list.

Once you choose an NBN plan from a retail service provider and get hooked up, your existing analog telephone line will be disconnected. In its place, you’ll get a new NBN connection box that provides you with an internet connection and a digital phone line.

Some services that worked with your old telephone line won’t work with the new digital phone line.

Monitored security alarm systems are one such service.

If you want to keep your back-to-base alarm monitoring working after you switch over you need a solution that doesn’t use the NBN…….

………..unless you have an active  UNI-V port on your NBN Connection Box. 

Let me explain.

When the NBN was first conceived, every home was going to have its old copper phone line replaced with a new Hi-Tech fibre optic cable. The NBN Connection Box that will be installed in your home has a special socket built in. It’s called the ‘UNI-V port.’ Its purpose was to be a direct replacement for your existing analog phone line.

The idea was that any non-compliant equipment that wasn’t compatible with the NBN( fax machines, security and medical alarms) would continue to operate perfectly using the UNI-V port.

Sounds perfect right? It would be except for a few issues:

1 – This wonderful UNI-V port is only available to you if your home is connected to the NBN with a fibre -optic cable.

2 – Not every home is getting a fibre-optic cable anymore.

Apparently, someone in charge got their sums wrong and we don’t have enough money to do the job properly. Every home will still be connected to the NBN but using one of several different (cheaper) methods.

You can read about the different NBN connection methods here.

If your home is connected by one of these other methods you’re out of luck. You don’t get a UNI-V port, therefore you can’t connect your security alarm system to the NBN.

You’ll need to choose one of the alternatives listed below to continue your back to base monitoring or self-monitoring.

3 – Even if you do have Fibre-to-the-Home, your alarm monitoring will stop working if you have a power outage. That’s because your NBN Connection Box needs mains power to supply the internet to your home. There is a version of the NBN box that has a battery back up however not all NBN retail service providers offer it as part of your plan. And even if you can get one, it only works for 5 hours on the battery. The Australian Standard requires a minimum of 16 hours. This could affect an insurance claim if you are robbed and the monitoring isn’t working.

The Solutions

1 – Back-to-Base Alarm Systems Solution

A wireless communicator that bypasses the NBN altogether is really the only option if you still need professional back-to-base monitoring. There’s several available however we recommend the Permacomm PM 24.

It provides a secure connection using the Telstra mobile phone data network (GPRS) to send signals from your alarm to the monitoring station. It is extremely reliable and uses the alarm panel’s backup battery to continue you operating during a mains power fail.

A technician will need to install the small module inside your alarm panel and set it up.

Installation and set up is around $300, and the weekly monitoring fee is $9.00 per month.

Although the weekly monitoring fee is higher than the dialler monitoring fee there are a couple of offsets:

1 – You don’t need to pay a monthly telephone line rental fee

2 – You are not charged for individual phone calls that your alarm makes to the monitoring center. An unlimited number of signals is included in the $9.00 per week fee

The Permaconn PM-24 also checks in with the monitoring center every 12 hours to ensure the communication path is working. The old dial-up system checks every 7 days. This is one of the biggest advantages. Plus there are no telephone wires for an intruder to cut.

2 – Self Monitored Alarm Systems Solution

A 3G/4G wireless communicator will ensure your self-monitored alarm will continue to alert you if the alarm is activated. It’s a small box that looks like an internet router and takes the place of your phone line. Really! You could plug a telephone handset into its socket and make phone calls.

You simply pop in a pre-paid SIM card, power it up from the alarm panel’s power supply and plug the panel into the communications socket and test the system.

And because it’s a direct replacement for your old analog phone line, you’ll continue to receive your normal notifications – text message or mobile phone alerts, depending on your system.

It really should be done by a technician (we charge $395.00 to supply and install the 3/4G communicator and test the system) but could quite easily be done yourself if you’re a bit tech-savvy.

Speak to our home security experts if you want to know more. (03) 9005-0174

3 – Be Your Own Monitoring Control Room

Another option is to upgrade your control panel, add a simple internet module and you can control and monitor your alarm system from anywhere. Now you’re really in charge!

And the latest generation of alarm systems have options for sending you high-resolution video clips of alarm events. Home automation features are also on the way.

It’s a fact that you can’t depend on the police to attend an intruder alarm situation at your home anymore. Patrol services are expensive and can be slow to arrive. They may not even be able to verify you’ve had a break-in unless they have keys to your home. With that in mind, the arrival of the NBN could be an opportunity to ditch your monitoring and go down the self- monitoring path.

See our range of alarms with apps (free and paid ) HERE

In Closing…

The NBN will provide all Australians with a  reliable internet connection.  One of the unfortunate side-effects is that some of your existing equipment has to be upgraded or replaced because it’s not compatible with the NBN.

I’ve received tonnes of calls from customers who are less than thrilled that they need to spend money to keep what they already had!

And it really is understandable.

It’s not as if we are given a choice about switching to the NBN.

I’d love to hear your experience with the NBN. Please leave a comment if you feel like it

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