While yesterday’s NBN news was mostly good news for all users of Australia’s National Broadband Network, there were a number of changes to be found in the finer print after the Minister Paul Fletcher gave his speech to the national press club earlier in the day.

One of those changes will be welcomed by those who aren’t in the FTTN areas which are likely to see an uplift to Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) connections at – effectively – no cost. For those in Fibre to the Curb and HFC areas, a fibre upgrade is far from assured, with NBN Co promising to deliver gigabit speeds to those users using existing connection technologies.

If they want a fibre upgrade, though, they’re going to have to rely on NBN’s existing Technology Choice program. This allows customers to request a fibre upgrade on a “user pays” model, but it’s not perfect; to date, customers have had to request the upgrade, pay a $330 quote fee to receive a more detailed build quote, and then pay that fee in order to commence the build process.

As someone who’s going through precisely that process right now, I can tell you it’s a frustrating process beset by delays that really shouldn’t be present. It’s been around 7 weeks since we applied and during that time about all we’ve achieved is paying a quote fee, receiving a detailed quote and invoice, and paying that. Nothing much else has happened.

IT News reports that changes to the Technology Choice program will waive that initial $330 “quote fee” and produce automated build quotes instantly, online. This will remove a few weeks from the current process, and – with more build activities taking place in the NBN footprint – we hope the overall process will be much faster, too.

It isn’t clear when this change will be implemented, but as part of yesterday’s announcements, it’s likely the change will take effect within coming weeks.

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I wonder if requesting fibre via Technology Change Program is a way to jump to the front of the queue for free FTTP transition or you’ll be pushed to the back of the queue in the hope of contributing to NBNCo’s coffers.

Adam M

You’ll probably stay near the front of the queue so you can pay for the fibre all along your street, that NBN then won’t need to pay for, but won’t qualify for the “free” transition.