Telstra to move your NBN home phone to Telstra 4G – DON’T DO IT (Update)

Telstra has advised its universal service obligation (USO) customers (those on the $25-45 per month plan) that receive a landline only (not data) via NBN that it is moving their home phone to Telstra 4G.


I received another letter on 1 April (not an April Fool’s joke) after having advised Telstra on 12 March that I categorically did not want to move from NBN to 4G. I could not have made that clearer and was given a reference number. This NEW letter was a reminder that the NBN-based landline would be moved to 4G.

So I rang Telstra again, WASTING MORE TIME, and explained that I had categorically ASKED TO REMAIN ON NBN. What manner of incompetence would allow a second letter telling me that it was going to 4G? The assistant looked up the original reference number and said that it had not been actioned because the request had not been processed correctly. I was given another reference number and assured that it would be processed correctly this time. The assistant also said that they had experienced a huge response to staying on NBN, and they were weeks behind due to that.

Why am I annoyed at Telstra?

I am annoyed at Telstra because it says if you do nothing, your home landline phone will automatically swap to Telstra 4G from 18 April 2023. I am doubly annoyed at the absolute incompetence of its so-called ‘customer service’ centre.

It should state (but does not) that you will stay with NBN if you do nothing (the old opt-in, opt-out status quo argument). Frankly, it is a dirty trick as many pensioners and non-tech savvy users don’t understand the implications of this and cannot be bothered to ring 1800 621 290 or visit a Telstra store. The Telecommunications Ombudsman and ACCC have heard about that and agreed that it should have been opt-in – yet Telstra seems content to ignore best practice.

A move from NBN landline to Telstra 4G could be a disaster.

Telstra won’t tell you that there are things such as blackspots where the signal is barely a single bar or two. It won’t admit that some areas have extremely variable signal strength, and it has been unable to fix that.

It also won’t tell you that by moving to Telstra 4G, your landline will save Telstra money as it does not have to pay NBN. The revenue goes straight to Telstra’s bottom line. It is likely not subject to the same Universal Service obligations either.

And if you have emergency medical devices, alarms, Fax, EFTPOS etc., Telstra 4G won’t work.

I rang Telstra, and it was not easy. First, the support person wanted to know why I wanted to stay with the NBN Connection when Tesltra 4G was so much better. I said it was my option to remain with NBN – full stop. But they insisted on knowing, so I let them have it regarding crap Telstra signal strength; all the while, the 4G signal was dropping out, and we were both asking, “Can you hear me?”


NBN provides a far more reliable service with far fewer outages and issues. Even if you just use NBN for your phone, you still have a Telstra modem and can upgrade the VOICE service to VOICE and DATA should you need it. Although at that time, it would make sense to swap to a decent NBN provider like Aussie Broadband (a company that cares), which has a landline plan for $10 per month that includes unlimited national/mobile calls across Australia. That is on top of the DATA plan starting from $69/25/10Mbps per month (Telstra is $80 per month).

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