Six months after trialling voice services using the UNI-V port in a National Broadband Network (NBN) network termination unit, Internode has announced that it is ready to offer voice services on the NBN.
Until recently, customers on the NBN wanting to get a fixed voice service would have to use a voice-over-IP (VoIP) service. In May, Primus announced that it would trial software to make it easier for the retail service providers (RSPs) to deliver phone services through the UNI-V (user network interface voice) port using the TR-069 standard, developed by the Broadband Forum. This port has an analog telephone adapter, which will allow customers to keep using their existing analog telephone equipment and retain the same phone number after transitioning from the copper network. Customers with the phone service will, however, need battery backup to ensure that the phone still has power in the case of a blackout.
Internode said today that its Fibre Phone service can be ordered on its own, without the need to sign up for a broadband service, for AU$29.95 with untimed landline calls in Australia costing 18 cents each.
Internode's product manager, Jim Kellett, said in a statement that not everyone would want broadband services.
"Some folk want just a plain old telephone service, the same as they've always had, so now we can provide them with that service," he said.
From the customer's perspective, it's exactly the same as a regular landline. They just plug in their existing phone handset and start to make calls.
If the service is bundled with a broadband service, it is AU$10 cheaper, but customers will have to pay an AU$49 set-up fee, unless they sign on to a 24-month contract.
The Australian government is considering providing funding to internet service providers (ISPs) to ensure that those voice-only customers are transitioned onto the NBN before Telstra decommissions the copper service. In order to receive funding, the providers will have to promote NBN services to customers for a minimum of 12 months prior to the disconnection date in a particular area. At six months prior to the disconnection date, providers must give targeted migration information to their customers who will be affected; and at three months prior to disconnection, if the company has not completed its migration management, the Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency can appoint a third party to take over these tasks for the company.