Frequently Asked Questions March 2016

Frequently Asked Questions July 2016

Q. What is the Managed Fire Alarm System (MFAS)?

A. The Managed Fire Alarm System (MFAS) is a further development of the current fire alarm monitoring solution which has been developed by Telstra in consultation with the SA Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) and the SA Country Fire Service (CFS). It has been developed to address the withdrawal of the copper telephone line network associated with the roll-out of the optical fibre based National Broadband Network (NBN).

The MFAS incorporates technology which utilises the mobile networks of separate carriers to offer diverse pathways for alarm monitoring. This alleviates the reliance on copper services due to be removed as part of the NBN rollout and minimises the reliance on NBN services.

 (In a small number of areas where dual mobile network coverage may not be available, a dual monitoring path will be engineered using one mobile network, and an alternative NBN fibre or wireless connection)

As the MFAS has been developed to address a critical Public Safety requirement and the involvement of Telstra and other providers has been recognised to be important to the efficient operation of the system and, therefore, in the public interest, the ACCC has agreed to MFS and CFS having those third party providers delivering services to customers.

Q. Why do I have to change my Fire Alarm Connection to the MFAS?

A. As the National Broadband Network (NBN) is being rolled-out, it is a requirement of the NBN Contract that the existing copper telephone network in the area of the roll-out is turned off within 18 months of NBN services being available.

Existing copper fire lines provide the ‘primary’ alarm connection path, so alternative technologies need to be used.

MFAS compatible Alarm Signaling Equipment (ASE) units will utilise either Dual Mobile Telephone Network technology, or a Single Mobile Telephone Network with an NBN compatible connection where Dual Mobile Networks are not available

Q. What am I required to do in order to avoid my existing Fire Line from being dis-connected prior to transition to the MFAS?

A. The MFS has provided NBN Co. with the addresses of all premises which currently have a copper Fire Line connected. However, to ensure that your Fire Line is “flagged” to avoid dis-connection, you should call 1800 687 626 or visit www.nbn.com.au/fireandlift and register your service. Fire Lines may be ‘quarantined’ up until 30 June 2017.

Q. What am I required to do in order to have my monitored premises changed to the new MFAS?

A. Telstra will operate the MFAS on behalf of the South Australian Fire Services. They will co-ordinate the transition of your Alarm Connection from the copper network to the dual Mobile Network (or alternative) and will contact customers as the MFAS installation teams plan to move into your area.

Telstra will send you a letter providing further information regarding the NBN roll-out and how to apply to be transitioned onto the MFAS, including an application form, which should be filled out and returned to Telstra.

Q. What happens after the application forms are submitted? 

A. Telstra will create a work order for your transition and issue it to the Installation Team, who will attend at an arranged time to swap your existing Alarm Signalling Equipment (ASE) unit to a new generation ASE unit. In the majority of instances, the new ASE units will use dual mobile telephone network connections, so there will be no reliance on fibre or wireless broadband connectivity.  

Where dual mobile network coverage is not available, an alternate combination of one mobile network connection and an NBN connection via fibre or wireless broadband will be used. Specialist technicians will assess which method will provide the most reliable connection.

Once the new ASE is installed, a new account will be issued by Telstra and the old account and IP Fire Line will be cancelled. This is to allow the copper line to be dis-connected in accordance with the NBN roll-out legislated requirement.

Q. Why do I have to upgrade my current ASE to an MFAS compatible ASE? 

A. Due to the change in technology, the existing ASE will not be compatible with the new services. 

Q. Can I arrange to have my ASE installed now? 

A. No. The Transition Program will need to concentrate primarily on areas where the NBN is being rolled out. Copper lines in these areas will be targeted for disconnection once NBN is installed, so these areas will have priority.

Telstra will contact customers as their area is programmed for transition to the MFAS.

Q. I’ve received the letter from Telstra with the Application to connect to the MFAS. What happens if I don’t send it back within the specified time? 

A. Telstra will progressively send out the Application Letters to customers in areas in which the Installation Teams will be carrying out the ASE Transition Program. If you do not return the application in time for the transition to occur when the Team is in your area, you will not be included in the initial Transition Plan. This will preclude you from the install fee waiver that will apply to alarms that are part of the initial transition. The connection fee applied to alarms which are not part of the initial transition will be $350.00.

Q. How do I arrange a change-over date for my premises? 

A. Telstra will contact you when your area is programmed for transition by the Transition Installation Team. It is not possible to arrange a specified change-over date. (New connections to the MFAS will be completed via separate Fire Contractors in time to meet client occupancy requirements)

 Q. How do I arrange to have a NEW MFAS service connected to my premises?

A. Contact the Fire Contractor who has been engaged to install your fire protection system. The Fire Contractor will consult with the design team for your project and gather the information required to make application to the Fire Service for a new connection. An application form will be completed on your behalf by the Fire Contractor, who will forward it to the MFS Fire Safety Department.

The MFS Fire Safety Department will assess the technical aspect of the proposed connection,  approve the application and return it to the Fire Contractor. The Fire Contractor will forward the application back to you so that you can submit the MFAS Application to Telstra. The MFS Fire Safety Department will also prepare and send you an “SAMFS Agreement to Connect” to the MFS monitoring equipment (as opposed to the Telstra network) . You will need to sign and return this to the MFS. The Fire Service will in turn monitor your premises' Fire Alarm and dispatch Fire appliances to the site when the alarm activates.

 Q. How will I arrange a Change of Ownership for the MFAS service connected to my premises?

A. Contact the MFAS Support Team by email at enquiry@samfs.sa.gov.au and request an MFAS Application Form. Complete the “Change of Ownership” section and return it to the MFAS Support Team via email for approval. The form will then be returned to you for forwarding to Telstra who will process the application in accordance with the MFAS Terms and Conditions,  

Q. How will I arrange the Cancellation of the MFAS service connected to my premises?

A. Contact the MFAS Support Team by email at enquiry@samfs.sa.gov.au and request an MFAS Application Form. Complete the “Cancellation” section and return it to the MFAS Support Team via email for approval. The form will then be returned to you for forwarding to Telstra for processing in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of the MFAS Agreement. (Note that some occupancies require connection to the Fire Service via the MFAS as part of the occupancy or licensing arrangements. Permission to cancel and dis-connect from the MFAS may be required from your Local Council)

Q. Why do I have to pay Telstra for connection to the MFAS, when I already pay an annual monitoring fee to the Fire Services?

A. The Telstra monthly charge covers the rental of the new generation ASE unit, dual network access to enable the fire alarm signal to reach the MFS monitoring Centre, administration, and repairs or replacement of the ASE unit and associated equipment. (The monthly fee is unchanged from the existing IP Fire Line)

The annual Fire Alarm Monitoring fee paid to the Fire Services covers the costs associated with the monitoring of your premise alarm and any subsequent action taken by the MFS Monitoring Centre.

Q. What happens to the old ASE which is removed from my Fire Panel or Sprinkler System?

A. The Telstra Installation Team will remove the existing obsolete ASE unit from your fire panel, and install the new generation ASE unit. You may request to keep the obsolete ASE unit and arrange disposal, or the Installation Team can remove it from your premises and arrange disposal in an environmentally sound manner to assist in recycling the plastic and metal components.

Q. Will the new MFAS cost more than the existing monthly alarm connection fee?

A. Telstra will provide the new ASE unit and an approved dual path connection via the MFAS for the same monthly fee as currently charged for the existing copper IP Fire Line. It also includes routine maintenance and replacement if found to be faulty in accordance with Telstra’s Conditions of Connection.

Q. Will I have to pay for the new generation ASE Unit?

A. No. The monthly MFAS fee includes rental of the new generation ASE unit.

Q. I’ve received notification from NBN that their rollout is occurring in my area, but I haven’t been contacted by Telstra. What should I do?

A. Contact the MFAS Support Team on enquiry@samfs.sa.gov.au, quoting your Fire Alarm Reference No. (eg 010/123). The Team will send you an MFAS Application form, which you should complete and return to mfasoperations@team.telstra.com marked “For Transition”.

Q. What happens if my ASE is maliciously damaged by someone?

A. Telstra may suspend or terminate the MFAS connection due to repeated damage to components of the MFAS. The ASE is installed in a secure cabinet or room where un-authorised persons would not normally have access. If damaged, Telstra would repair or replace the ASE in accordance with the MFAS conditions of connections

 

Further information may be obtained by emailing the MFAS Support Team on enquiry@samfs.sa.gov.au or by contacting the MFAS Support Team on 8204 3600.