NBN apartment installation

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

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Whether 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.

We've listed three steps to follow, which we recommend starting before you move in so you've got plenty of time to set up. All you need to start planning is your new address.

Step #1: See if your apartment has the NBN

You can find out if the NBN is already connected at your apartment by entering your address into our NBN tracker.

If the NBN has not been installed, go to step 2, but if it has, check what technology has been used.

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 them up 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.

If the NBN is available and already set up at your new address, you won't need to chat to your landlord at all. All you'll need to do is bring a modem and get an NBN plan. Skip to step 3 to compare Internet plans and pick one that suits you.

Step #2: Get permission from your landlord

When you're renting, 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.

    Step #3: Compare Internet plans

    With all the NBN hardware installed, you're ready to go. To get online, all you need to do is:

    • Choose an Internet provider
    • Get your hands on a modem (either from the provider or bought separately)
    • Plug it all in.
    • If, for some reason, you don't already have all your NBN gear in order, the provider you sign up with should see this in their system and notify you of any additional installations that are necessary.

      You can compare NBN plans below or see our picks for the best NBN plans in the Finder database if you don't know where to start.

      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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