NBN Co has released details of a subsidy scheme to help households upgrade unmonitored medical alarm systems that rely on the copper network to call for help.
Unmonitored medical alarms can be used to call emergency services or a person’s emergency contact. NBN connections rely on premises having access to power; as a result, during power outages older unmonitored medical alarm systems may not function. Some newer medical alarms can connect over the NBN and also offer cellular-based backup connections if mains power is lost.
The new subsidy will cover up to 80 per cent of the cost of a new alarm, up to a maximum discount of $300. Currently two providers, CareAlert and the INS Group, are participating in the scheme.
To be eligible an individual needs to own an existing unmonitored medical alarm that relies on their landline connection and live in the fixed-line NBN footprint (the copper network is not being disconnected in areas served by NBN Co’s fixed wireless and Sky Muster satellite services).
“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.”
The company plans to launch a national awareness campaign targeting people who have unmonitored medical alarms.
Full details of the offer are available from NBN Co’s website.