• Are Belong modems locked?
  • Are Telstra modems locked?
  • Are Optus modems locked?

NBN, short for the National Broadband Network, replaced copper wires and cable broadband with optical fibre and other advanced technologies to provide more reliable, high-capacity internet and faster speeds to Australian homes. It has been transitioning the country to a digital future and changing the way we access the Internet.

There are many internet service providers (ISP) that offer reliable NBN plans. When you have selected one, there may come a time that you might want to switch to another, and for plenty of good reasons. 

  • Better service 
  • Cheaper plans 
  • Faster speed 
  • More inclusions 
  • More reliable connection 

Switching NBN providers is fairly easy. But, one question people ask is whether the NBN modems are locked to their current provider and would the switch mean replacing your modems as well. In this article, we’ll discuss further the things you need to know about switching to a different NBN provider, the costs involved and the process it entails. 

How to Switch to a New NBN Provider: Are NBN Modems Locked? 

In general, an NBN modem will work on other networks as long as the provider doesn’t have any restrictions. This is also the case if you bought your modem from an electronics store. But, on some occasions, an ISP will lock the modem to their network for quality and security reasons. Users may experience slower Internet when they switch to a different NBN provider using their existing modem. 

Which providers lock their modems to their network, you may ask? 

Belong Modem

Belong models are pre-configured with their network. But, they shouldn’t be locked and you can configure your modem for use with other networks. Log into the configuration web page and reset it this time using your new logins.

When you have a Belong modem, you don’t need to return it when you switch providers as long as you have completed your contract. Just make sure that you’ve paid your final bill and returned any equipment that doesn’t belong to you.

Telstra Modem

Telstra modems are not locked to the network. But, they do have fairly closed firmware on it. Unless you’re tech-savvy, you may have a hard time getting it configured to work with any other provider. So, you might be better off using an approved router for your current ISP.

More often than not, you need to return your equipment when you cancel or switch your service. This is especially the case for Telstra as their modems are leased. But, if you own the modem outright, then you can keep it and use it with a new provider as long as it's compatible.

Optus Modem

Optus modems are not locked, but they may not work with other providers. It’s better to check with your new service provider to assist you further.

The reason why Optus modems usually fail to work with other providers is that they use a technology called G.INP. It helps to improve the quality and stability of your broadband connection. But, other networks don’t use this technology which makes it difficult to connect with their systems.

Huawei Modem 

The modems Huawei provides are not locked to their network. However, some of their supplied modems for their NBN plans are encrypted for security. Making and receiving phone calls using their modem may not be available to other networks. 

With a Huawei modem, you need to check with your new provider if they can configure the settings for you. Once it’s configured, your phone and Internet should work as usual. Just remember that you need to return any equipment that’s leased when you cancel your service.

Using a provider-supplied modem allows them to provide support for connecting and troubleshooting your equipment. Otherwise, the support and services they can give you may be limited. Nevertheless, you can find the settings to manually configure your modem in your respective network’s technical settings. 

In the rare event that your modem is locked to your previous ISP, you can always reach out to them to remove the locking codes—in most cases, they will oblige. But, if it’s just not possible due to quality and security reasons, you will have to buy a new modem. 

Here are some of the best NBN-ready modems in the market.

Ready to Switch to a New NBN Provider? 

Before cutting ties with your current provider, make sure to check your ongoing contract. Some charge a fee if you decide to cancel within the contract period. For example, Vodafone may charge you for the modem if you leave before 36 months. 

Check out the cancellation fees of each NBN provider here.

If you’re not satisfied with the value of your NBN, it’s best to contact your current provider first before switching. Compare other plans with them and see if they’ll match it or give you a better deal. 


Some of the factors that you need to consider before you switch are listed below.

  • The type of NBN connection you have

The type of NBN connection you have will determine the type of equipment you need, as well as installation and activation fees.

Usually, you will be able to know the type of connection you have by the technology installed in your area. The most common types of NBN connections are:

      • FTTP (Fibre to the Premises)
      • FTTN (Fibre to the Node)
      • FTTC (Fibre to the Curb)
      • HFC (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial)
      • Wireless NBN
      • Satellite NBN
  • Your usage needs

How much data do you need? What speed tier are you comfortable with? Do you need extras like unlimited data or free local and national calls?

The answers to these questions will help you decide which NBN plan is the best for you. This can be attributed to the fact that your usage needs will change over time. For instance, you may need more data if you now work from home full-time or have kids who are now streaming content all day.

  • The NBN plans available in your area

Not all providers are available in every area. Check which ones are available where you live and see what they have to offer. You should also compare the plans they have to see which one is best for you. From there, you can decide whether it’s worth it to switch or not.

  • Bundle deals

You may be able to get a better deal if you bundle your NBN plan with other services like home phone, mobile, and entertainment packages.

  • NBN discounts

See if any special offers or discounts are available before you sign up. You may be able to get a discount on your first bill or get a free modem.

  • The price you’re paying for your current NBN plan

Finally, make sure you’re getting the best value for your money. If you’re not happy with the speed or quality of your current NBN connection, it might be time to switch providers. Just remember that the cheapest plan isn’t always the best.

Switching NBN providers is easy and shouldn’t take more than a few days. Just remember to check if your current contract has any exit fees, and compare different plans to get the best value for your needs.


To find the best NBN plan for your needs, use our free broadband comparison tool. It only takes a minute to compare and switch plans.

You can also find the best NBN plans in your area through Compare Broadband’s comparison tool or call us at 1300 106 571 for immediate assistance.