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  • #52659

    I am renting a unit on the Northern Beaches in Sydney, NSW. I have received a letter to say the telephone  lines and thus my ADSL internet are being disconnected in a couple of months. I then organised with my internet provider to have a technician come out to install the NBN.

    The technician says we have cable TV requiring a HFC connection. He could see the cable go in to the electrical box then back in to the wall. He says there is most likely a splitter in the ceiling of the three storey block and the cables then run down through the cavity brick wall to each apartment. I have never had cable TV in the more than 20 years I have rented there. He and I looked everywhere for a man hole access to the ceiling with no luck. He left.

    I called the Strata managing agent and asked for help to find and access the ceiling space as I am sure others must have done in the past. The agent refused to provide any help as I was only renting, and told me that my landlord or managing agent would have to contact them.

    I rent from the owner directly (my landlord) so I asked him to contact them for the information. He called them and they said they would call him back, which they never did.

    The landlord then told me I would have to sort it out for myself. I dropped notes under the doors of the top floor units to try and find out if they had access to the roof space or knew how to access it. The only reply is another tenant who also needs to get the NBN connected soon or risk disconnection.

    I then called the Strata managing agent again to ask for the contact details of the secretary of the strata committee so I could ask them how to access the roof. As you might have guessed, they would not tell me this either.

    What are my rights and how can the NBN technician get access to the roof so I can get the NBN connected before they cut of my phone and internet access.

    Thank you.

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  • #54744

    Yes Goodluck  Jester! We recently had NBN installed in our Sydney apartment block and it is a ” process ” ( I say recently but i think from first NBN letter to Strata to final install took about 20 months ).  At our first meeting with NBN, the OC dealt with a rep from NBN,  I think there may have been a Telstra rep, a rep representing the head contractor for NBN and a couple of guys from one of many subcontracting firms employed by the head contractor to do the install. In Jester’s case, NBN would’ve have informed owners / strata that NBN was coming to their suburb and organised a meeting with the OC.  Our building had HFC for cable TV and thought they’d be used but NBN refused to use existing cabling as they couldn’t guarantee the integrity of the existing cable and would prefer to core new holes and put their new cabling in for the block ( hmmm? ). It may also depend on what type of NBN is to be installed in your Building FTTC, FTTN or FTTP.  I think ours was FTTC,  NBN came into a distribution box from the street then into our basement to a box and cabling in ducts was brought up and outside everyones’ front door. I think that is all the owners have to do. Renters can then chose any NBN provider and the provider will bring the NBN into property and put a socket in the wall as part a contract between renter and NBN provider. If an owner wanted to they could bring the cabling in and install a socket for the property. Another issue to look out for when ADSL is turned off is emergency phones in lifts. We needed to source a mobile phone plan for our lift as existing phone lines would be cut off and lifts,by law, require a phone in case of emergency and blackouts.

    Good Luck


    I had similar problems getting NBN installed in my GF apartment in a 25 year old 3 storey block. NBN guy came out and discovered there was no cabling into my apartment, other than old copper wires from a terminal block in the basement. He didn’t know where the NBN hub was located, and couldn’t find any trace of where it might have been. He just shrugged his shoulders and left. The next guy came a few weeks later and repeated the scenario. He did tell me they would have to run a cable from the hub(which he couldn’t find) and I would need the owners permission, I am the owner, so next they tell me i need OC permission because they will have to drill through CP walls and floors to get to me. So I asked for a plan so I could get OC approval. Waited a couple of weeks, and when I followed it up, they just another installation tech out. It was now 4 months since I lodged the application with my ISP.

    Then I saw some advertising for 4G wireless broadband (no 5G in my area yet). It was not as fast as a base NBN plan, but after seeing so many reports of how unreliable it was, figured I didn’t have much to lose. So I signed up with Optus, took a modem home from the shop, set it up in 10 minutes and it has been working quite adequately ever since. Cost is comparable with NBN plans too.


    I have been through this as both the landlord and chairman of an OC.

    NBN installation is a mess! The technicians who come to do the final installation or just contractors who have no association with NBN or the service provider. They do the best they can.

    To break this down.

    Your landlord under the new tenants regulations has to provide you with basic amenities. ie power,water, phone. If the phones are going to be disconnected then it’s his problem , or it will be in a few months time when the phones are disconnected.  Somehow you have to convince him that he needs to get involved. What happens if you leave? A new tenant comes along and they discover that there is no phone or internet service. Bad news for the landlord.

    If your building has cable TV then thats good news. It means that there is a terminal strip somewhere in the building. Probably in the roof cavity.

    With any luck there will be a diagram of the installation in the room where the phone lines terminate (the mdf room or board) . You may need the SM to provide a key to access this room.

    In a three story walk up building there will be a man hole. Usually located in the top landing of the stairwell. If not it could be in one of the top floor lots. You may need the SM to find it.

    (BTW installation of NBN is covered by the Telecommunications Act which gives the technician unlimited access to any part of the building).

    If you have a cable TV connection in your place (look where the TV antenna cable is) then its a simple matter for the technician to install a small device ate the termination strip and you have NBN.

    If you do not have a cable TV connection, then the technician will run a cable to your lot. If its down the wall cavity then no OC approval is required. If it need to be run in a conduit outside then OC approval would be required.

    Its in no ones interest to block installation of NBN. Its now a necessity of life and owners or strata that done have NBN connected would be devaluing their properties

    Good luck.

    Persistence will pay off.


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