The NBN Technology Choice Program

Sick of slow speeds on your NBN connection? You might be eligible to apply for an upgrade if you live in a standalone house.

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In most cases, you don't get to choose what NBN connection you have at home - you're forced to play with the hand you're dealt. But depending on what type of property you live in, you might be eligible to apply for an upgrade through the NBN Technology Choice program.

There is a catch though: this upgrade isn't free and could cost you several thousands of dollars. It's important to know all the details before you decide whether you want to commit to an NBN upgrade.

Optimise your connection before considering an upgrade

Make sure you're getting the fastest speed with your current connection before considering a costly upgrade. Try some of our common Internet speed fixes, or compare faster NBN plans.

How does the NBN Technology Choice program work?

Want to get your property's connection upgraded? Here's how it works.

  1. Apply for a quote online. You can check your address with NBNCo online and see whether you're eligible for an upgrade, and, if so, how much it might cost.
  2. Sign the upgrade contract. The contract will include the exact terms of the upgrade, as well as the price. Payment will be due at this time.
  3. Construction begins. The building project to upgrade your connection will start. The process takes roughly six months, but can stretch longer.
  4. Order a faster plan. Once the upgrade has been completed, you should be able to order a faster NBN plan, all the way up to NBN1000.

What application types does NBNCo offer?

Previously, NBNCo had three separate application types:

  • Individual Premises Switch: A single property that's 'ready to connect' and also hasn't been deemed too complex.
  • Group Switch: You and others nearby share the costs of a mass upgrade to your properties.
  • Area Switch: An entire area (e.g. a suburb) gets upgraded at once, with one person acting as its representative.

However, NBNCo is no longer accepting anything other than Individual Premises applications, due to "intricacies involved in generating and processing quotes for complex premises".

How much will it cost to upgrade?

The exact cost of an upgrade depends on the following factors:

  • How close the property is to existing NBN infrastructure.
  • How complex the installation is.
  • What technology you're upgrading from.
  • How remote the location is.

According to data collected by user forum Whirlpool, the cost of an upgrade will always be at least a couple of thousand dollars, but often over $10,000 depending on the technology involved. Some quotes for HFC or FTTN upgrades were in excess of $30,000.

Luckily, NBNCo has removed the application fee for requesting a quote, so you can always inquire and make a decision based on the value quoted.

Some suburbs may eventually be upgraded for free

Even if you can't afford to upgrade your connection or don't want to right now, the good news is you could receive an upgrade for free in the near future.

NBNCo's 2021 Corporate Plan aims to make sure that 75% of homes and businesses have access to the fastest NBN plans by 2023. There are a couple of parts to this:

  • HFC investment. 2.5 million HFC properties will be upgraded to NBN1000 capabilities.
  • FTTC improvement. All current FTTC properties will be improved to have access to gigabit Internet speeds.
  • Fibre network expansion. FTTN connections will be improved by extending the existing fibre network, shortening the amount of copper cables between properties and the node.

What suburbs will be upgraded first?

NBNCo is starting its fibre expansion with roughly 200,000 premises across Australia. Customers in these areas will be able to order NBN250 or NBN1000 plans, and NBNCo will expand the fibre network to their house.

Here are the suburbs that NBNCo is currently targeting with fibre expansions:

NSWBathurst, Belmont North, Campbelltown, Carramar, Castle Hill, Charlestown, Elderslie, Holsworthy, Liverpool, Maitland, Narellan, New Lambton, Orange, Singleton, Tarro, Toronto, Wetherill Park
QLDAcacia Ridge, Albany Creek, Ashgrove, Bald Hills, Browns Plains, Burleigh Heads, Eight Mile Plains, Ferny Hills, Oxenford, Robina, Townsville
SAElizabeth, Gepps Cross, Golden Grove, Osborne, Salisbury
VICBerwick South, Cranbourne, Deer Park, Lyndhurst, Narre Warren, Sydenham
WACannington, Canning Vale, Double View, Girrawheen, Jandakot South, Kingsley, Wanneroo

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