NBN to Aid and Subsidise Households with Medical Alarm Dependency

October 22, 2018
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The National Broadband Network (NBN) is at it again. This time, the networking giant is targeting to establish a plan that will help subsidise upgrades on unmonitored medical alarm systems. These systems are said to rely on the copper network in order to fulfil its purpose — calling the emergency numbers for help.

A lot of households in Australia are using such systems. There are three types of medical alarms, namely, professionally monitored, locally monitored and unmonitored medical alarms. The NBN is focusing on unmonitored medical alarms, which are able to contact close family members, friends, or an emergency number, sine the systems use NBN connections on premises to have power.

Unfortunately, when there are power outages, these systems will shut down, especially older models. What NBN is proposing is to offer subsidies of up to 80 per cent, or a maximum discount of $300 on the new alarms — these new alarms are now compatible with the NBN and cellular-based backup connections. So far, there are two providers participating in the proposed scheme, namely, CareAlert and the INS Group.

Not everyone is eligible for the scheme. Only Aussies who have existing unmonitored medical alarms that are connected to landline connection and live in the fixed-line NBN footprint are eligible for the subsidy.

“It’s important to remember the move to the NBN access network is not automatic – Australians will need to take action to migrate services such as medical alarms over to the new network,” NBN Co’s chief customer officer – residential, Brad Whitcomb, said in a statement.

“We’re encouraging all users of unmonitored medical alarms, or family or friends of those with an alarm, to register their details on our Medical Alarm Register so they can be provided assistance with their household’s migration, and also understand if they are eligible for up to an 80 per cent discount on upgrading a new alarm.”