nbn statement: 22 January 2018


NBN Co Fact Check: lift emergency phone and fire alarm disconnections

NBN Co, the company rolling out Australia’s broadband network, strongly refutes incorrect and misleading claims published by the Sunday Territorian on 21 January 2018, and in a press release from Ace Body Corporate Management dated 21 January 2018, in relation to the disconnection of emergency lift phones and fire alarms.

NBN Co has been working closely with the monitored fire alarm and lift emergency phone industries for a number of years to maximise awareness of the need for building managers to migrate fire and lift services off the legacy copper network.

In September 2015, the Department of Communications, NBN Co and industry convened a Roundtable and formed two working groups to develop fire alarm and lift emergency phone migration plans and provide advice to industry and building owners. The resulting Good Practice Guide provides assistance to industry and building managers.

We also created a monitored fire alarm and lift emergency phone register in 2015 to enable NBN Co to support the safe migration of these devices registered with NBN Co, as the nbn™ network rolls out.

Importantly, as part of the industry roundtable, Telstra and NBN Co deferred the mandatory disconnection of existing monitored fire alarm and lift emergency phones for nearly two years to allow industry and building managers to develop products and prepare themselves for the necessary migration.

This industry-led carefully managed migration process is underway, though it is important to note it is a separate process to residential disconnections. We are working closely with industry and building managers to help them ensure registered fire and lift services are not left without a working connection.

It is also important to note that the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service’s in-house fire alarm monitoring system (NTFAST) is a radio-based system with no reliance on the copper PSTN network. The Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service has advised that monitored fire alarms within this system will not be affected by the nbn™ rollout and thus are not required to be migrated.  

Ultimately, the safe working condition of monitored fire alarms and lift emergency phones is a health and safety responsibility of the building manager. Further information on what steps building managers should take can be found here.

Media enquiries

Email: media@nbnco.com.au