We are definitely at a technology tipping point in Australia. As the National Broadband Network (NBN) tumbles across deserts, mountain ranges and bushland, existing telecommunications and internet infrastructure are being wound down to make way for the new. Telstra announced recently that the following products will no longer be sold and eventually disconnected entirely by 2022:
- ISDN2 enhanced,
- DDS Fastway,
- Megalink and
- Frame Relay
Before the estimated final exit date for all of the above products, there will be a regional rollout of products being turned off that mirrors the NBN co’s regional disconnection rollout. Before the 2022 final exit date, the supporting technologies and platforms that ensure the reliability and functionality of these products will no longer be supported by various vendors. Telstra, therefore, will be unable to provide and maintain services to an acceptable level. Additionally, once the national broadband new infrastructure is in 92% of relevant areas, Telstra will be required to “turn off” the copper network.
Telstra has been clear in communicating dates for the cease sales of various products, and it’s important to remember that customers will be able to continue to use and upgrade their existing services until the final disconnection comes into effect. Disconnections are planned to occur in line with the NBN co disconnection plan and as the new infrastructure gets turned on the old will be turned off. This will commence in June 2019 and be complete by June 2021.
Unfortunately, businesses are being targeted by some unscrupulous salespeople hoping to take advantage of the cease sale and eventual disconnection timeframe. It’s important to verify any claims made by sales consultants over this period from at least one other source and ensure any contracts are reviewed thoroughly and understood before signing. There have also been numerous anecdotal reports that salespeople have been claiming to “work on behalf of” a carrier or “working with” a particular provider. In the majority of cases, this is untrue.
Telstra has provided all customers with enough time to plan for the future. The eventual disconnections of products like ISDN are an opportunity for businesses to assess their technology and communication needs at a strategic level. In doing so, consider technology and communication requirements not just for now, but in the future as well.
All businesses will have enough notification time to transition to the new products to be in line with their infrastructure lifecycle. Importantly, most PABX (private telephone systems) can move to the new voice services replacing ISDN with a few minor upgrades. An entirely new system may not be necessary. That is why it is essential to get at least two opinions before making any decisions about your PABX/Voice/Data solution.
The NBN rollout, the cease sale and eventual disconnection of products like ISDN, provide an opportunity for businesses to review telecommunications and data technology requirements. Utilise the lead time available before disconnection to do research, seek alternatives and determine a data and communications solution that will ensure your business continues to thrive.
*and various other products