In the coming months Chorus (the company that owns and operates NZ's copper network) plans to withdraw the old copper network from operation. But don't worry this will only apply to streets where fibre (the modern alternative) is already available, whew!
If you’re affected, you’ll need to move to fibre, or another technology, to stay connected to internet and phone services. Monitored medical and home alarms that use your copper connection will also be affected.
What does this mean for me?
Old-school landlines, ADSL, and VDSL type internet connections all run on the copper network that is being withdrawn because copper has been replaced by superior fibre lines. If you have these services, you will need to switch to fibre broadband or another technology to stay connected. It’s easy to make the switch to fibre by visiting our website and submitting an upgrade form here or giving our friendly team a call on 0800 438 669 to get your switch underway.
In most cases, the fibre install is free and is the best solution to get fast reliable internet and phone services to replace your copper connection – but it pays to take the time to review your options at this point.
What are my options?
To prepare for copper withdrawal, your options are to:
- Move to a fibre service for phone and/or broadband services
- Move to an alternative voice or broadband service
- Disconnect your copper service without switching, if you don’t want similar services using another technology
- Do nothing – if you choose to do nothing, Chorus can withdraw your copper service from the withdrawal date and you will not be able to access the broadband and landline services you currently use
Fibre is the most popular way Kiwi connect to ultra-fast broadband in New Zealand. It's more reliable, more resilient and offers many improvements to copper broadband services (ADSL or VDSL). Read more about Now fibre here.
How do I know when my services will be withdrawn?
Chorus will notify you at least 6-months out from the date when your services are set to be withdrawn. Because you're a Now customer we also know about the change happening to your connection and we’ll also contact you to ensure you're fully up to speed with what's going on.
As your withdrawal date gets closer if you haven’t switched away from copper you will also receive further reminder notices at 3-months, and 20 days prior to the date of disconnection. But you don't need to wait, you can make the switch at any time.
What about my medical alarm or monitored security system?
Unlike copper-based phone services, fibre phone lines need power to operate. If you have a medical alarm you may need an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to ensure your alarm services continue to function in the event of a power outage. Also, you may not be able to call 111 in an emergency from your landline during a power outage. Where possible we suggest keeping a mobile phone ready to be used during a power outage as a backup. Click here to read more about the 111 Contact Code or to learn how to register as a Vulnerable Consumer to ensure you get the right support for your situation.
If you have a monitored security alarm you should contact your alarm company to confirm what solution will work best for you and your system.
What do I need to do?
Once you’ve been notified of your withdrawal you should contact Now to start switching your services – Chorus will give you 6-months’ notice before disconnecting anything, but to ensure you remain connected you can book your switch at any time. It can take a few weeks for your new install to happen, so don’t leave it to the deadline to contact us to avoid disruption to your services. Click here to start your fibre upgrade.
If you do nothing your connection will still be disconnected on the scheduled withdrawal date.
Will my current phone and router still work if I switch to fibre?
This is a good time to check that you have the right equipment in your home that works with the latest technology. In most cases, your current landline phone should work just fine over fibre. If your internet connection is ADSL or VDSL at the moment you will need to check that your router is fibre ready. Give us a call if you're not sure - it's easy for us to help you check it, or with getting the right router for your new connection.
What are the rules for changes like this?
This change is being made based on the rules of the copper withdrawal code – created by the Commerce Commission. If you want to know more about the code visit the Commerce Commission website here: https://comcom.govt.nz/regulated-industries/telecommunications/projects/copper-withdrawal-code
If you wish to make a complaint in relation to copper withdrawal you can get in touch with Chorus or us. If we (or Chorus) cannot resolve your issue (or you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint) you can take it to the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution service at www.tdr.org.nz. You can also contact the Commerce Commission at any time with a complaint and take enforcement action to the High Court (as provided for in section 156BA of the Telecommunications Act).