news The National Broadband Network has rejected as “inaccurate” claims that its next-generation infrastructure rollout is placing medical alarm services at risk.
Citing an article in the Adelaide Advertiser reporting on a medical alarm service provider’s claim that the NBN rollout puts the safety of people with medical alarms at risk, the NBN company said that the report is “based on the alarm service provider’s media release, which was voluntarily withdrawn as it was inaccurate”.
In a statement, the NBN company stressed that ensuring continuity of services such as medical alarms during the rollout of the NBN network is an issue it takes “extremely seriously”.
“It was NBN that proactively brought medical alarm providers’ attention to the potential issue early in the NBN rollout and we have been working closely with providers since 2010 to assist them in developing solutions,” it said.
According to the company, it has established a medical alarm register that now lists over 180,000 people with medical alarms. The information on the register helps identify households with medical alarms and where support may be needed to help make sure medical alarm providers can provide continuity of service.
“NBN and medical alarm service providers have been contacting those affected residents in person and by letter to advise them about the implications for their medical alarm,” the NBN company said.
The Adelaide Advertiser article also stated that people with medical alarms were advised by the alarm service provider that they should switch to a system other than the NBN.
“It is very important to understand that this proposal is in fact part of a well-developed strategy coordinated with medical alarm providers nationally,” said the NBN company. “We have been working with monitored medical alarm providers nationally on this strategy to replace monitored medical alarms in coming years with new units that use a wireless network rather than the NBN, where this is needed for medical alarm providers to provide continuity of their services.”
The NBN provides on its website a list of medical alarm providers that have published information about the compatibility of their products with services provided over the NBN network.
If a provider is not listed, it suggests users should contact them directly to confirm compatibility of the alarm with its services.