Backup power supply for NBN services | ACMA

Backup power supply for NBN services

In a public consultation paper released today, the ACMA has invited comment on the regulatory safeguards that should apply as NBN Limited moves to introduce optional battery back-up for most new NBN fibre connections.

‘The ACMA must clearly ensure rigorous processes are in place to safeguard end-users by making sure they understand the implications of their choice about a backup power supply,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.

During a power failure, services supplied over fibre-based networks like the NBN will stop working unless an alternative backup power supply—such as a battery—is available. This is similar to the current circumstance of most cordless standard telephones not working during a power failure.

At the moment, everyone gets a backup power supply unit installed at their premises when they connect to the NBN. But research suggests that not everyone wants or needs it. Some end-users indicated that they would prefer to rely on their mobile phones in the event of a power failure.

Where NBN rollouts provide for a backup power supply service to be installed at a customer’s premises, the customer will be offered the choice to accept or decline such a backup power supply when connecting to the NBN (or another superfast telecommunications network).

‘For the sake of people who critically rely on a fixed line connection, it will be vital that adequate and consistent advice is given and informed consent obtained in all cases,’ Mr Chapman said.

A number of options to therefore implement the government’s policy for optional backup power supply are set out in the ACMA’s consultation paper. The closing date for submissions is Friday 20 December 2013.

Under the changed arrangements, priority assistance customers with a life threatening medical condition will continue to receive battery back-up automatically.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, (02) 9334 7719 and 0434 652 063 or

Media Release 87/2013 (26 Nov)

Last updated: 06 June 2016