We're not to blame for high wiring costs: NBN Co

Homeowners need to be wary of excessive charges by construction companies for making residences NBN-ready

NBN Co has sought to distance itself from claims by builders that making a home NBN-ready requires sophisticated and potentially expensive internal wiring. The comments follow reports that some families have been charged up to $1000 to have their residences wired up.

According to an NBN Co spokesperson, the company responsible for delivering the NBN does not require “expensive” home wiring to make homes in new developments NBN compliant.

Instead, NBN Co has a “minimum requirement” relating to an NBN lead-in conduit and the power point needed to power a Network Termination Device (NTD).

According to the spokesperson, in a new development the minimum requirement for ‘standard’ NBN connections was the installation of the NTD at the point where the owner/builder has installed the lead-in conduit.

Computerworld Australia NBN news.

“NBN Co will run the fibre through the conduit from the street to a premises connection device (PCD) on an external wall, and from the PCD to the NTD,” the spokesperson said. “NBN Co will also provide the power supply unit that houses the back-up battery, and is connected to the power socket. “In order to do this, NBN Co’s minimum requirement is a lead-in conduit from the street to the side wall of the premise through which the NBN fibre lead-in will later be run, and an internal conduit of the same size to run internally from the wall to where the home-owner wants the network terminating device installed.

“NBN Co also requires a power point to plug in the power supply unit connected to the network terminating device.” The spokesperson declined to comment on potential costs to home owners of non-standard installations, but said "non-standard" generally refers to installations at brownfields site where installers are working with existing buildings.

“A non-standard installation shouldn’t occur in a new build if a builder has followed the minimum requirements and run the lead-in conduit to a point where the homeowner wants their installation,” the spokesperson said.

“NBN Co needs the lead-in conduit installed through which to run the fibre and install the NTD, plus a power point to plug it in. The extent of internal wiring from that point is a choice of the home-owner.” The spokesperson declined to comment on specific measures the NBN Co was carrying out to protect consumers being taken advantage of by unscrupulous operators, but said it had taken action to educate the construction industry.

“NBN Co has been running seminars for builders, cablers and developers to advise them of the minimum requirements for the NBN — though home owners may choose to wire their homes more extensively to maximise use of broadband services and applications,” the spokesperson said.

The concern over the cost to consumers of NBN services follows joint committee hearings into the NBN in Sydney last week.

During the hearings, Internode warned that access to broadband services in regional areas may actually decrease under the NBN due to NBN Co's charges for retail service providers (RSPs) that supply services.

Optus said it was waiting on more clarity before publishing retail prices for services it will offer on the National Broadband Network (NBN). The company also said anti-disparagement provisions included in its agreement with NBN Co will not restrict the telco's ability to market wireless products and services.

Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) said it believed the NBN could deliver an increase in business for the company. However, it was wary of potential customer lock-in behaviour from competitors.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has been contacted for comment.

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"claims by builders that making a home NBN-ready requires sophisticated and potentially expensive internal wiring."

Such dumb asses its unbelievable..... Yes installing a single GPO and a few Cat6 outlets is such rocket science!

But I am sure if there was another government rebate gravy train, I mean Scheme. Builders would be climbing hand over foot to do the work and preach otherwise.....



There's a markup here. Basic rollout of CAT6+ sockets and patch panels before the plaster is up? Possibly an hour's work?

Was there a similar controversy when they introduced electricity/gas/sewags?




Oh and forgot ... PR value in saying a new house is up to date and Internet ready as opposed to not?

Can't believe that builders still believe that wiring up a house is an option ..... again ..... electricity/gas/sewage?

This is the 21st century, right?



Yep, let's jump on the gravy train and shift the blame on to the Federal Government. After we we all know it was entirely the Government to blame for the "disastrous pink batt fiasco" or the "overpriced school halls", don't we? It couldn't possibly be the greedy builders turning a fast buck, could it? No - they are all entirely ethical - truth and sweetness and light and butter wouldn't melt etc......... It's all that rotten Government's fault you have to pay thousands of dollars for an extra power point and a piece of conduit!

Cynical? Me? Never.........

Tim Lohman



Does anyone think there's a danger of another home insulation scheme bubble?

Francis Young


NBNCo has long since published at nbnco.com.au technical documents for the installation requirements, and the cabling comprises getting optical fibre to one reasonably accessible internal location nominated by the owner, one blank panel for the fibre to emerge and an adjacent power outlet.

Let's see an investigative journalist talk to some developers and find out whether a more elaborate "smart house" type setup is offered to buyers as an option or is being forced upon them.

Some developers will undoubtedly try to screw taxpayers for cash to upgrade the installations beyond the NBNCo spec, and we should sadly expect to see the coalition fuel the fire - it would be interesting to know whether Malcolm Turnbull or Paul Fletcher already knew about this sneakiness. Whether or not they did, this potential rort needs to be stamped on now.

NBNCo is mandated only to deliver without cost to the occupant the stated equipment. Greenfields homebuyers and owners of existing homes should be able to make an informed decision whether they wish to upsize it at their own expense, and precisely what they wish to add, without being bullied by developers.

Perhaps the Housing Industry Association could develop some education material in collaboration with NBNCo and the DBCDE?



@Francis, sadly it seems that the only thing investigative journos want to investigate, at least those working for one news corporation, is how they can conduct an interview in such a way as to be able to extract three sentences out of context.

It seems that the developers in question have decided to surf the wave of opposition criticism of NBN by using the FUD to charge for something that should be a standard fitment, as George above rightly says.

Redneck Tony


Tim Lohman: Was Quigley in charge of the home insulation scheme??


Bubble popped mate...

Next question that is pretty irrelevant to the article please...

(Some builders and electrical installation companies have been speaking of $3000 to wire a house for high speed data. Mine cost $200 plus a good quality wireless router, and I have a 6 node network here... Some serious chain yanking going on there...)

Who Dunnit


I work in the industry and what gets me is that 99.99% of this cabling is done by unlicensed cablers!
Lost count of how many faults I attend that turn out to be cowboy cabling!
Bring in some sort of inspections for these new builds to weed out the dreamers!

K Deem


Recently had 4 points and cat 6 in stalled in a 4 bedroomed house, old large open plan design so fair amount of cable, $410+GST, but I had considered 1 point and wireless which was way way cheaper.

If people cant shop around and research a good company to install then why is this article shedding tears for their lack of intelligence, of course a new build installer is going to chance their arm at ripping you off, they do it for the kitchens,lighting and blinds.

NEVER NEVER use a new build housing contractor, wait till you have taken ownership and shop around, these guys play apon your desire for a fast move in with everything up and running,and you will pay 3 times the rate for the pleasure.



Ohh nooo. gubbermint forces me to think when some cabling needs to be done - I can't handle the crushing imposition - ban all gubbermints!

I'm glad my Nigerian investments are due to arrive soon - after all I transferred the deposit the other day - so I can pay for my expensive data installation........

Signed, typical Aussie.



We got told by our builder that if we didnt install the NBN in the home we are building we wouldnt get our certificate of occupancy....oh and that it would cost us over $2300. Obviously total crap, so now im quite concerned about the job they are doing of our house if this is the sort of scams they try to pull :(

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