NBN Co teams up with strata group for apartment trial

NBN Co is attempting to tackle the tricky issue of obtaining consent from unit owners to roll out fibre into multi-dwelling units.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

NBN Co and Strata Community Australia (SCA) are set to trial a regime to make it easier for NBN Co to obtain the contact information of owners of apartments in the National Broadband Network (NBN) fibre roll-out area where consent is needed in order to install fibre in each building.

One of the more complex issues with rolling out the fibre broadband network across Australia is installing it in existing multi-dwelling units [MDUs]. NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said that the average number of units in a MDU is nine, but this is widely varied. In addition to the physical difference, there can be a number of different owners requiring consent to install the fibre to those units and to assist to design the best method to install the fibre into the buildings.

The company announced today with SCA that they would conduct a six-month pilot to make it easier get contact details from owner corporations and body corporates of MDUs to get consent to install the fibre using a new online register with SCA.

SCA CEO Mark Lever said that it would help to ensure that NBN Co was talking to the right people at the right time.

"The last thing anyone wants is for households to miss out on the benefits of the NBN simply because no one could be contacted to assist with building access," he said. "NBN Co does not currently charge for a standard installation into a multi-unit residential community, or for the ongoing maintenance of the NBN equipment and cables, so there is no reason not to get on board."

SCA will begin listing which buildings NBN Co is seeking to contact later this week on its website, which currently only lists suburbs.

In December, Universal Communications Group and Downer EDI were awarded AU$87 million in contracts to roll out fibre into existing MDUs across New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria, and Tasmania.

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