NBN Co will allow the owners or makers of copper-based equipment to test NBN compatibility themselves, a new option that doesn't involve bringing gear to an on-network NBN-owned test facility.
The company quietly revealed plans to offer the 'out of area test support service' to selected organisations earlier this month. The test service is available until the end of July.
It is targeted at the makers and operators of "over the top devices and services that would otherwise be found operating over the existing telecommunications network, such as medical alarms, security services, EFTPOS devices and elevator phones".
NBN Co has already been trying to have these types of devices tested at the Plug Bench, an NBN-owned, Enex TestLab-run site in Brunswick.
By contrast, the out of area service sees a "test participant connecting to the NBN Co network and using its own dark fibre, extending outside the current fibre footprint of the NBN Co network to connect to the [tester's] own out of area test centre".
"However, unlike the Plug Bench, which was free to use, the out of area test service will be billable," NBN Co said.
Testers must also interconnect with NBN POIs in Lidcombe, NSW, and Prospect, SA.
More than a million devices that currently operate on Telstra copper will need to be shifted across to the NBN at some point. Copper disconnection begins on May 23 in 15 first-release NBN fibre sites.
Separate to the test initiatives, NBN Co this week established a register for medical alarms and alerts.
It wants seniors or their families or carers to list the presence of alarms at particular houses to ensure "appropriate assistance" is on hand at the switchover to NBN.