Orange rates above national average for NBN connections despite quarter of premises holding off

CONNECTING: The first properties in Orange to be disconnected from the copper network will begin in February next year and will continue until May 2019.
CONNECTING: The first properties in Orange to be disconnected from the copper network will begin in February next year and will continue until May 2019.

A quarter of Orange homes and businesses are still yet to switch to the NBN despite the first batch of copper disconnections due in February.

Since construction of the NBN was finished around 10,500 residential and commercial properties have switched.

A further 2000 properties have connected through wireless towers.

NBN spokeswoman Lynette Keep said Orange’ was above the national average of 75 per cent of premises having made the switch.

Ms Keep said changing to the NBN was not automatic and encouraged people to speak to their existing internet service provider (ISP).

She said the decommissioning of the old copper network in Orange would begin in February next year and continue until May 2019.

“This is to ensure customers can speak to their preferred phone or  internet service provider to discuss their individual needs for internet speeds and usage,” Ms Keep said.

“It also allows time for those with special equipment including medical and security alarms and EFTPOS terminals, which operate using a landline phone connection, to contact their device provider and preferred phone company and internet service provider before the 18 month disconnection.”

The news comes as an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) inquiry begins and as Telstra announced 42,000 customers will be refunded

Those customers were paying for a “speed boost” which an ACCC investigation found the company could not guarantee.

Mid-State Communications owner Adam Irwin said some businesses and residents were worried about changng from their existing service.

“Everyone you talk to has a horror story,” Mr Irwin said.

As well as worrying about reliability, Mr Irwin said there had been reports from customers of people going door-to-door which should be investigated by the ACCC.

“There are providers are going door-to-door using scare tactics to sign people up to their NBN service,” he said.

Mr Irwin said the contracts were long-term and required people to rent equipment which they either had to hand back after five years, or sign a new contract.