• Everything you need to know about your landline or home phone

    The Universal Service Guarantee (USG) provides all Australian homes and businesses with access to both broadband and voice services, regardless of their location.

    The USG incorporates the Universal Service Obligation (USO). The USO is a long-standing consumer protection that ensures everyone has access to landline telephones and payphones regardless of where they live or work.

    For more information visit Telstra’s “Regional Australia” page.

  • There are multiple types of landline
    connections available

    Telstra’s standard telephone services use a mix of technologies.
    These services are supplied on plans specific to Telstra, which are
    (at minimum) equivalent to plans for the same services in cities.
    As the nbn™ fibre-optic network rolls out across Australia, it
    replaces PSTN wires.

    • 1 PTSN/PSTN (copper wires)
      • Most people know this as the traditional ‘line in the ground’ or ‘twisted pair’ connection. Copper wires are sheathed in plastic and usually dug (‘trenched’) into the ground. A junction box and other network parts are located in a “pit” near your house, providing easy access to technicians for troubleshooting and fixing issues. This pit is then connected to an exchange or node box.

        PSTN services don’t require an external power source to work. So, in a power outage, you will still have access to this connection if you have an unpowered handset. The durability and resilience of copper can make it a more reliable choice, particularly during adverse weather conditions or when newer technologies are not yet available. However, when compared to fibre or wireless options, there could be limitations concerning data transfer speeds and advanced features.

      • PTSN (copper)

      • Having issues with your Landline phone? Let’s troubleshoot.
    • 2 NGWL
      • Next Generation Wireless Link (NGWL) currently uses the Telstra Next G® (3G mobile phone) network to give customers access to a voice and broadband internet service. It’s not available to everyone but is offered under specific circumstances as an alternative to regular fixed-line services.

        An NGWL connection can be a better option where terrain makes laying cable difficult or too expensive. While NGWL offers a connection for internet and voice options, geographical and environmental features can impact signal strength.

      • Data plans on these services are traditionally limited to 25GB, contract-based, and can be quite costly. Technically, it’s not a landline service, as it uses the mobile phone network to provide these services.

        The NGWL service can be supplied in several different formats using various equipment options. For some, your telephone handset plugs into a connection box, which connects to an external antenna. This antenna then communicates with the nearest 3G tower. For many others, the connection is through copper line to the mini repeater tower or direct service to the modem via the mini repeater tower – these towers are not 3g towers, but rather daisy chain repeater stations.

        Although this service won’t technically operate during a power outage, you can extend its functionality using a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply battery solution), a power bank, or a generator. When combined with the battery life of the tower units, this setup can provide a few extra hours of connectivity.

        It’s important to note that this service does not provide calls with a wide frequency range (3.1kHz bandwidth). Telstra offers a dedicated support line for NGWL consumers – call 1800 MY NGWL (1800 696 495 ). You can find out more about the NGWL on the Telstra website.

        As part of the 3G shutdown, NGWL services will be migrated across to either a 4G Fixed Wireless (sometimes called Home Voice) connection, or in some cases a Satellite Home Internet connection, powered by Starlink.

      • NextG/NGWL

      • Having issues with your Landline phone? Let’s troubleshoot.
    • 3 High Capacity Radio Concentrator (HCRC)
      • HCRC, which stands for High Capacity Radio Concentrator, is a network operated by Telstra.

        The HCRC networks were initially deployed in the 1990s as an upgrade to replace older radio equipment. They play a crucial role in delivering telecommunications services, particularly in remote and less accessible areas of the country. As of late 2018, they provide approximately 14,000 individual services to around 6,400 premises in remote areas.


        An HCRC connection provides a landline / voice service in remote areas, where no other landline technologies are available. HCRC can also support features such as caller ID, call waiting and voicemail. However, it is becoming more difficult to source replacement parts for this technology type, and it often relies on older copper lines between Telstra towers and the house.

        People who currently have an HCRC connection can still use this technology type and are encouraged to maintain this connection as well as their internet technology, however Telstra are looking at other options, and are not promoting this technology, particularly for new home connections.

      • Having issues with your Landline phone? Let’s troubleshoot.
    • 4 USO Satellite
      • A USO Satellite service typically includes a fixed satellite dish permanently mounted outside your home, which communicates with a connection box inside. You can then connect your telephone handset to this box. This is different to a Satphone service.

        Satellite services are critical to Telstra’s communication network, delivering around 1,000 voice services to more remote areas across Australia. Telstra’s USO geostationary satellite platform has been set up so calls can be delivered in a single hop, reducing the typical latency delay found on satellite services as much as possible.

        USO Satellite phones can cover a wider geographical area, making them an excellent option for particularly isolated areas. However, this same advantage means latency and bandwidth can be impacted, and weather can obstruct the signal.

  • What the Telstra 3G shutdown means for you

    By June 30, 2024, Telstra is migrating all NGWL (3G) customers across to their new 4G Fixed Wireless service, including upgrades to equipment. Most customers will transition to a 4GFW (4G Fixed Wireless) solution, which includes a Telstra Smart Modem and a compatible antenna. Others may be offered a Home Satellite service powered by Starlink.

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    All your landline questions answered

    • 1 Can I get a landline?

      With the Universal Service Obligation (USO) in place, everyone will have access to a telephone connection of some kind. If you’re using the nbn® fibre network for your internet (Australia’s National Broadband Network), it will also deliver your voice services. Any previous landline services (like the old copper phone lines) will be deactivated.

      However, if you access the internet through nbn® Fixed Wireless or nbn® SkyMuster® satellite, you can choose to keep your existing landline service. We recommend holding onto your standard landline service alongside your internet connection. This ensures reliable communication during all situations, including blackouts, emergencies, or local network outages.

      Contact Telstra to find out how to get a landline on your property. When you talk to Telstra about your new landline service, they’ll provide all the details on how that service will be set up for you. If you need any help requesting a new landline, feel free to get in touch with us. We’re here to support you every step of the way!

    • 2 How do I ensure a smooth landline setup?

      When setting up your landline connection with a provider, ask them, or the installer, what equipment they provide and additional equipment you might need to pay extra for. For instance, a PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) line doesn’t automatically come with a phone handset. You can buy a handset from a phone retailer and connect it to your line.

      Telstra offers a basic handset for a one-time cost of $20* or a $3* monthly charge on top of your phone bill. You can pick it up from a Telstra store, select Australia Post outlets, or have it delivered by courier for $12*. View more info on their website.

      *Please note that the costs mentioned here are accurate as of the time of this writing.

      More information

    • 3 What are the Standard Telephone Service (STS) plans and costs?

      Telstra sets up STS plans to comply with their requirement under the USO. Telstra’s national pricing ensures that customers in remote areas pay the same price for a STS as those in cities.

      While STS used to be provided as a fixed-line service, Telstra can now offer different technologies, like satellite, for better value and connectivity in remote areas.

      Plans and costs for Next Generation Wireless Link (NGWL), High Capacity Radio Concentrator (HCRC), and USO Satellite connections may not be listed on Telstra’s website. It’s important to keep copies of all the documents you receive and carefully check your bills for pricing and any unexpected fees or additions.

      • Standard Copper Wire Connection: If you’re looking for a standard copper wire connection, you can find pricing on Telstra’s “Home Phone” page.
      • Financial Assistance: Available for pensioners and eligible Health Care Card holders.
  • Did you know you’re entitled to having access to telephone services?

    The Universal Service Obligation (USO) is a consumer protection put in place by the Australian Government. It means that you have the right to a standard fixed landline phone service provided by Telstra, regardless of where you live or work in Australia.

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