NBN wants to make the internet in your apartment complex better

Pictured: NBN connection point
// No love for FTTB.
Alex Choros
Aug 30, 2023
Icon Time To Read1 min read

Published on August 29, 2023

Over 50,000 strata-managed buildings in Australia will be able to upgrade to Fibre to the Premise over the next six months, NBN Co today announced. The initiative is part of the network builder's FTTP upgrade program, which will see 90% of the fixed-line NBN footprint able to order an NBN 1000 plan by 2025.

While the fibre upgrades will be welcome to those in the 50,000 eligible buildings, there's a rather big catch. At this stage, NBN Co is only offering the upgrade to apartments connected via Fibre to the Node or Fibre to the Curb.

Apartments connected via Fibre to the Basement are excluded from the upgrade program, and NBN Co doesn't currently have any upgrade plans for this technology type. According to the 2021 Census, there are over half a million Australians living in the country's 370,000 high-rise apartments. High-rise apartments are defined as nine stories or higher.

While many newer apartment complexes have HFC or FTTP NBN, older high-rise buildings are likely to rely on the FTTB. Since copper is being run internally from a building's basement to individual apartments, upgrading it to fibre can be a lot more challenging.

FTTB NBN plans max out at 100Mbps, while HFC and FTTP customers are able to order 250Mbps and 1000Mbps plans. FTTB customers looking for faster speeds need to consider an alternative like an uncapped 5G home internet plan. In our testing, we've seen speeds as fast as 500Mbps on 5G home internet.

For the buildings that can upgrade to full-fibre, the process is very different to other fibre upgrades so far. Instead of an individual resident requesting the upgrade, the Body Corporate or Owner's Committee need to make the request.

Upgrades are charged at $275 per apartment (including GST), so upgrading a ten apartment complex would cost $2,750 all up. Additional costs may be payable in the case of more complex installations.

This story first appeared on our sister site WhistleOut Australia.

Alex Choros
Written by
Alex Choros
Alex Choros is the Group Reviews Editor for Clearlink Australia's local websites - Reviews.org, Safewise, and WhistleOut - and the Managing Editor for WhistleOut Australia. He's been writing about consumer technology for over eight years and is an expert on the Australian telco sector, to the point where he knows far too many phone and internet plans by heart. He also contributes to Gizmodo and Lifehacker, and makes regular appearances on 2GB. Outside of tech, Alex loves long hikes, red wine, and death metal.

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