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The National Broadband Network (NBN): Who should cover its costs?

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is aimed to provide us with fast and reliable internet connection and  is funded by the Federal Government. Some areas were being connected for free, however, that’s no longer the case now.

A lot of builders and developers have now been fitting out properties with NBN router boxes to be ready for NBN. Then again, a $300 initial activation fee is being charged by the NBN in order to connect. If NBN has not been rolled out to your suburb, internet connections will remain ADSL or cable, requiring a telephone landline.

Here’s how a copper-based connection works. Internal phone points are installed in the property but there is no active phone line running from the house/unit to the substation.  On top of an additional general connection fee paid by the tenant, there is also a $299 fee charged for this connection and is usually invoiced on their first telephone bill.

So now the question is — Who is going to pay for all of these charges, both connection and activation? Who pays for the initial activation fee of $300 and who pays for the connection fee of $299 for telephone line connection?

The direct answer to these questions is still pretty vague and it varies per situation. What makes it even more confusing is when the property has another option for internet other than NBN. If so, is it a better option than NBN or not?

If there is a choice, landlords and tenants can negotiate and decide on who will shoulder the initial connection cost of installing NBN. Then again, as the connection will remain a feature of the property permanently, more often than not, landlords opt to pay for the connection cost.

You can apply to the RTA for a dispute resolution if disputes arise regarding the NBN installation. If the issue is not resolved, it will be forwarded to QCAT  for determination. If you wish to learn more regarding this matter, you may review the QCAT rulings at the Supreme Court Library Queensland – http://www.sclqld.org.au/caselaw/QCAT.