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How to set up internet in a new apartment

Installing the NBN in your apartment isn't as hard as you think. In fact, the NBN technician handles most of the work.

If you're moving into an apartment and need to set up an NBN plan with a new provider or you're starting from scratch because it's never been connected to the NBN, we're here to help.

The 4 main steps to getting the internet set up in a new apartment are:

  1. Compare internet plans to find an internet service provider (ISP)
  2. Install any necessary equipment
  3. Set up your home Wi-Fi
  4. Connect your devices to the internet

We recommend starting the first 2 steps before you move in so you've got plenty of time to set up. All you need to know to start planning your set-up is your new address.

Step 1: Compare internet plans to find an ISP

First off, you'll want to find an internet provider to sign up to. If you'd like to keep your current provider, just let it know you'll be moving address and set up a date to transfer your service over.

However, if you haven't switched internet providers for a while, now is the perfect time to compare your options and see whether there's a better deal for you out there.

You can input your new apartment address below to see what NBN plans are available in the area.


Select the exact address from the list:

Does your apartment already have an NBN connection?

If you're moving into an already existing apartment, it's likely that you'll already have the NBN set up from the previous tenants. Then all that's needed is to compare plans and find one you're happy with.

If it's a brand new apartment block that you're moving into, there'll be a couple more steps involved in setting up the internet at home, including chatting to your landlord if you're renting.

It's important to know what NBN connection type you'll have access to at your new apartment:

  • If you have Fibre to the Basement (FTTB), nothing else should be required.
  • If you have another connection type, the NBN may have been installed at your building but not necessarily in your apartment. In that case, you may have to arrange an extra installation step with your internet provider – call it to see if this is needed.

If this is the case and extra installation is needed, you might want to check exactly what has to be done as you may need to speak to your landlord. Some installations will require the technician to drill holes in your wall so it's a good idea to check that it's OK to do so with your landlord.

Find out more about first time NBN set-up

Finder survey: How hard do Australians find it to switch internet plans?

Response75+ yrs65-74 yrs55-64 yrs45-54 yrs35-44 yrs25-34 yrs18-24 yrs
Somewhat difficult43.18%39.53%46.58%36.69%47.03%48.42%50.59%
Very difficult11.36%11.63%16.15%17.16%9.73%11.05%14.12%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1006 Australians, December 2023

Step 2: Install any necessary equipment

If the NBN is already set up in your apartment, you should already have any NBN utility boxes needed to get you connected. But if you don't, your internet provider should alert you whether you're missing anything.

If you're bringing your own modem along, make sure it's compatible with your new internet plan.

Where is my NBN box?

If you're in an apartment, your NBN box will likely be attached to the wall near an existing telephone jack or power point (since your connection box will need power to work).

It's common to find your NBN box inside a cupboard or wardrobe in apartments, but this isn't always the case.

Step 3: Set up your home Wi-Fi

You'll need a modem/router to get the internet set up in your apartment. If you ordered one from your internet provider during the sign-up process, it'll likely come with detailed instructions on how to set it up.

If you're bringing your own modem, your provider may still send you some instructions, but you might also need to call or use its live chat for any further support.

Step 4: Connect your devices

Once your Wi-Fi is up and running, the final step is to connect your personal devices to the internet.

Your wireless network name and password should all have been set up in the previous step. Simply search for your Wi-Fi name and log in using the password to get connected to the internet.

How long does it take for NBN installation?

This depends on how much work needs to be done at your property. A regular install can take up to 2 hours if there aren't many extra cables that have to be connected. Complex installations can take anywhere from 4–8 hours.

Keep in mind that it might also take a couple of days for a technician to make it out to your address to start the installation.

I'm renting my apartment, do I need to ask the landlord to set up NBN?

You only need to chat to your landlord if the NBN has never been set up in your apartment before.

If you're setting it up for the first time ever, you might have to run any changes to the property past the owner to get their consent. Depending on what connection type is being installed at your property, you'll need permission for NBN Co to put in the following hardware:

  • Fixed wireless or satellite NBN. An external antenna and a utility box on the outside of the property, plus a connection box on the inside.
  • Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). An external utility box and a connection box on the inside.
  • Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC). An NBN network device on the outside of the property.
  • Fibre to the Curb (FTTC). A connection box on the inside of the property.
  • Fibre to the Node (FTTN), Fibre to the Basement (FTTB). No hardware required.

Make sure you get any consent in writing before commencing the installation to avoid future problems. Also, the equipment installed by the NBN is part of the property and you can't take it with you when you leave.

Finally, the technicians doing the installation may need access to indoor or outdoor areas during the process and may need to drill holes in your wall for cable connections.

Who pays for NBN installation: Tenant or landlord?

The NBN New Development Charge is a $300 fee that has to be paid for the first internet or phone activation at a newly developed property. New properties are generally those built after 2016, when the fee was implemented, but not always.

Because the fee is a one-off, some see it as an improvement to the property, which would normally be the owner's responsibility. But in Australia, the internet is not classified as an essential service in the same way power and water are, so the legislation is silent on who's actually responsible for it.

Your best bet as a tenant would be to ask your landlord or property manager if they'll cover the bill or split it with you. When you sign your lease contract, check whether the NBN is mentioned in any way and ask about it if it isn't.

What if I don't own my internet account?

Depending on your tenant situation, your internet account may be under the name of your landlord or property manager. In this case, you won't be able to choose your own provider or plan.

With this kind of situation, you should either look to have the account transferred to your own name or arrange with the account holder to sign up to a plan that works for you.

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