900,000 premises may need to foot bill under NBN revision: Archers

Those who own units and apartments, and who want the National Broadband Network fibre, may be looking at tens of thousands of dollars per complex under the revised network, Archers Body Corporate Management warns.

With the NBN on hold last month as the government reviewed the network, Archers’ senior body corporate manager, Michael Ryall, said the biggest concern currently being expressed by unit owners is the uncertainty of the results should they want NBN connection. He estimates up to 900,000 could be up for costs if they want FTTP connections, should these changes be made.

Currently, there is no study to determine precisely what the costs will be. However, Ryall notes it may be similar to that of Foxtel infrastructure – costing in excess of $10,000 per complex for medium to large buildings.

Under the previous plan, all unit owners would have received the full FTTP connection. Under the new proposal, they will only receive a fibre connection to the complex – leaving owners to pay for their individual connection.

Contracts signed or with detailed work underway are exempt from this change.

“At this point NBN Co cannot advise exactly what the future policy or costs will be only that the current policy is under review,” Ryall said.

"Under the Coalition’s proposal there will be two options for unit owners that have not already had NBN infrastructure installed in their buildings and want full FTTP connection, neither of which will be cheap,” he warned.

He said that the first thing unit owners should be doing is heading to the NBN Co website, to see whether you are in an NBN area.

“If you are in an area where the NBN rollout has not yet begun and you would like FTTP, the current Coalition policy is that each unit owner must pay to have cables connected from the complex connection to their unit or the body corporate or owners corporation could install a new backbone through the building, which will accommodate cables leading to multiple units,” he explained.

“Ask around first to see whether any fellow unit owners are keen for FTTP, because if there are a few units interested in going ahead, it is more cost effective for the body corporate to install a new backbone.”

The cost will depend on size, levels, number of units and existing infrastructure, with older strata title buildings expected to cost more – with some needing additional ducts to run fibre through.


Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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