There are people that thrive on constant change, and in today’s fast-paced world, you could be forgiven for thinking that constant change is an unavoidable thing. But not all of us are so fond of things changing when we’re happy with them the way they are – as the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” It’s probably not surprising, either, that the older we get, the less we like things being changed just for the sake of it. That’s a very human thing – you’ve had plenty of time to figure out what works best for you, so why should it need to change?
Your Home Phone and the NBN
That’s a question that a lot of people have been asking as the country makes the steady transition to our new national communications network. While it’s named the NBN – the National Broadband Network – it is intended as a complete replacement of the existing network that we’ve been communicating with for over a century, the vast network of copper phone lines.
It’s a much-needed upgrade, as the old network is no longer able to keep up with the demands of the modern, internet-connected world, and has fallen into disrepair just because of how long it’s been in use. The NBN replaces most of the network with cables made of thousands of strands of glass, carrying everything from phone calls to web sites to television effortlessly around the country. But in the process of it being rolled out, one trusted device in your home is going to have to adapt – the home phone.
While its usage has drastically fallen over recent years as more and more people come to rely on mobile smartphones for their communications, the home phone has long been the communications anchor for a household, one that could be relied upon to always be there, always be working – and to not make us watch the clock when enjoying a long conversation! The flat-rate local call is actually enshrined in Australian law, so important is it to so many people.
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Change is Coming
Seniors and pensioners depend on the home phone more than most, for several reasons. It’s reliable (no need to worry about charging a battery), cheap and easy to use. When you want to catch up with your family and friends and have a proper conversation, the home phone is the thing you can rely on.
But with the arrival of the NBN, the way your home phone line works will change. While you’ll still be able to use the same phone you’ve already got, instead of connecting via a wire to your local phone exchange it will connect via your NBN broadband service – in other words, instead of plugging your phone into a wall socket, you’ll plug it into a modem. It won’t affect your ability to make and receive calls – in fact, they might even sound clearer – and you’ll keep the same phone number. But as it’s not a traditional home phone line any more, the cost of having the phone and making calls can vary wildly depending on which NBN provider you choose.
And what if you don’t want the internet at all, but just want your home phone line to keep working? You’re not alone – a lot of people just want to keep the home phone as it is and not make things more complicated than they need to be.
Keeping the Home Phone Simple and Easy
That’s where Southern Phone steps in. A communications company with its roots in local communities – it was originally set up to provide regional and remote people some real choices in the phone services available to them – Southern Phone remains community-owned and puts its profits to work for the very people it serves.
With the NBN roll-out now getting closer to completion, Southern Phone found that there are many who feel confused by the sudden array of options and the many offers from different providers, all related to broadband internet and some barely even mentioning the home phone line at all. Surely, they thought, it shouldn’t be so hard for someone who depends on their home phone to just… keep their home phone?
That’s where Next Home Phone comes in. It’s a service that runs on the NBN, but which seamlessly lets you keep your home phone and your phone number and avoid all the confusion and fuss.
How Much Does It Cost?
Since Next Home Phone is a brand-new service, Southern Phone could look at the different needs different people have with their home phone and offer plans to suit those different use types. It’s a far better option that the “one plan fits all” that most people have had for their home phone for years.
The differences between the plans lie only in the type and amount of calls that are included in the monthly plan cost. That means that if you don’t make many calls yourself (if you mainly have the home phone so people can call you), you can save money by choosing a plan that fits the way you use your home phone.
Entry Level Plan
The entry-level plan costs $25 per month, giving you a home phone line for less than the cost of line rental used to be. Calls to non-mobile phones anywhere in Australia cost only 5c per minute – but are capped at 25c for the first hour, making them effectively cheaper than local calls are under the old system (and this applies to any destination in Australia). Calls to mobile phones cost 30c per minute, capped at $3 for the first hour, also great value.
Medium Usage Plan
If you tend to call mobiles frequently, though – especially if you have family who are always on their mobiles rather than home phones – then you can opt for a $44/month plan that includes $44 of calls anywhere in Australia and to mobiles, charged at the same above rates. If you use that $44 worth, your phone line rental for the month has effectively been free!
Large Usage Plan
For those who make calls every day and like to stay on the phone for nice long chats, though, the best choice is the Large plan at $60 per month. That includes unlimited calls to anywhere in Australia, including mobiles, for the entire month, with no need to worry about how long your calls are.
Seniors and Pensioners Discount
Even better, if you’re a pensioner or a Seniors’ Card holder, you get a $10/month discount on that Large plan, making it effectively $50 per month – a fantastic price for a hassle-free, completely unlimited home phone service (the lower-priced plans also get a seniors and pensioners discount of $5/month).
And if you have family or friends overseas, you can add unlimited international calls to either the Medium or Large plans for only $15 per month, covering calls to 35 countries, including all the major destinations.
How to Order the Next Home Phone
If all, this sounds like the perfect solution to your worries about your home phone as the NBN arrives in your area, then get in touch with the Southern Phone team who’ll be able to answer any questions you have about the service, as well as making it easy to pick the plan that’s right for you. With your Next Home Phone service ordered, you don’t need to worry about any other details – Southern Phone takes care of all of it, including seamlessly moving your phone number over to the new service.
You can contact Southern Phone’s team seven days a week from 8am to 8pm on 13 14 64, for the price of a local call.
The Home Phone, Done Right
Considering how many people still rely on their home phone service for day to day life, it’s been surprising to see the home phone mentioned only as an afterthought by so many companies after the switch to the NBN. But Southern Phone understands there’s a real need in the community to keep in touch using the trusted, familiar home phone, and Next Home Phone is a solution that many people will have been impatiently waiting for.
What people are asking about Southern Phone
Throughout its history, Southern Phone has been a company owned by local councils of many of the communities it operates in. In December 2019, it was purchased by AGL Energy and is now a 100% owned subsidiary of that company.
If you’ve got access to the internet handy, you can pop onto Southern Phone’s web site (or use their free smartphone app) and live chat with one of their support team, or send a detailed message and get a response back via email. If you’d rather speak to a human, you can call them on 13 14 64 from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.
If you’re having connection issues with your internet, the first thing to do is to power off your modem, wait 30 seconds, turn it back on then wait a minute or two. If you’re still not connected, get in touch with Southern Phone’s tech support people on 13 14 64 (8am to 8pm) and they’ll be able to check your connection from their end, as well as letting you know if there’s a more widespread outage of any kind.