How to change your security system over to the nbn™

November 16th, 2018 - Get new posts sent straight to your inbox, click here.

The move from the old communications infrastructure in Australia to the new nbn™ will have an impact on all communications technology in your home, and also in a small business.

Unless you’re in the most regional parts of Australia (where you will receive Fixed-Wireless or nbn™ Satellite connections), the nbn™ is in the process of replacing the existing copper network, meaning that any services you previously had on the copper network will be no longer available to you 18 months after the nbn™ is installed in your area.

Many people understand that this will impact the most obvious areas: your phone line, and your internet service.

But what a lot of people haven’t thought about is how the switch will also affect their security service, because some security solutions rely on a landline phone connection. This is especially true of residential customers and businesses that have a security system, but haven’t had a landline phone for quite some time – it can be easy to forget just what is powering your security system.

Will my security system work with the nbn™?

Don’t panic if you’re one of the people who have a security system on their phone line – you’re not about to simply lose your security.

It is worth checking in with your security provider before switching over to the nbn™ network or making any other changes.
However, the transition to an nbn™-powered security system will probably be painless, because most Australian security providers have been investing heavily in technology that removes reliance on phone lines.

How to switch your security system to the nbn™

The first thing you need to do is contact your security provider before making the switch to the nbn™ to ensure there won’t be any unexpected downtime to your security service. In addition to making sure that your security devices will continue to function as expected on the nbn™, your security provider should be able to talk to you about what would happen in the event of a power outage.

One of the (few) advantages to having a security system tied to the old and ailing copper network was that it existed independent of the household power supply. If the power went out, the alarm could still be triggered. Once connected to the nbn™, however, a power outage can also take down a security system if there is no backup power supply installed. However, a good security system should have some level of redundancy built in; that is, if the power is cut, a backup will kick in – usually with a backup battery connected to the system, as well as a wireless chip to compensate for the loss of nbn™ connectivity.

In fact, many security providers will go one step further to make the wireless solution the default. You’ll be provided with a 3G or 4G chip to install into your equipment, and that chip will simply run continuously, much like how a mobile phone does. You’ll need to check what kind of costs are involved with this, but it can work out well as a wireless connection can never be cut, and therefore it’s impossible for someone looking to break into your home or business to disable the security through the outside connection to the premise (be that a phone line or an nbn™ connection).

Regardless of which method you choose to go with, it’s also important to make sure that the new, nbn™-connected system will “check in” with the security firm’s servers on a regular basis. If connectivity is lost, it can be difficult to spot until it’s too late – everyone will think the systems are running fine until there’s a break-in. A frequent “check in” will alert the security firm if the system has gone offline for any reason, and that will allow you to run troubleshooting immediately.

Finally, be sure to ask your security provider if any of the new technologies needed for the nbn™-connected system (such as the backup wireless solution and battery, or replacement equipment for technology not compatible with the nbn™) are provided by the security provider, or whether you’ll need to arrange for it yourself.

Finding the right solution

There are so many options for security solutions on the market, and the types of services that are being offered can vary wildly. In short, however, you should be asking the following questions of your security provider:

  • Will my alarm work properly when connected to the nbn™?
  • What nbn™ plan would you recommend for your solution? How much bandwidth is generally required to power the system?
  • What backup options are available in the event of a power outage?
  • Are there any costs involved in taking my existing security solution and putting it on to the nbn™?
  • Are there any additional solutions and technologies available that take advantage of the nbn™ to give me more comprehensive security?

Once you have spoken with your security provider and confirmed that your security system will be able to transition to the nbn™, the next step is to choose a nbn™ provider.

Aussie Broadband recently won a ProductReview Award as Best Internet Service Provider for 2019. Find out if your small business office is eligible for the nbn™ with Aussie Broadband here, or if you’re looking for nbn™ for your home find out if you are eligible here.