With the announcement that NBN Co will vastly expand its fibre to the premises offering over the next three to four years, those who’ve paid NBN Co to provide this upgrade directly have been in limbo the past few weeks waiting for an update.
More recently, the Technology Choice program has been put on hiatus as NBN Co reviews the program, and for existing applicants, there’s now some clear guidance from NBN Co on what options are available:
In an email titled “An Important nbn Technology Choice Update“, NBN Co has advised technology choice applicants that:
As you may be aware, we recently announced our plans to upgrade the nbn™ Fixed Line network, enabling us to deliver highest peak wholesale speed tiers of 500 Mbps to close to 1 Gbps. This will be available on demand to an estimated 75 per cent of homes and businesses on the fixed-line network by 2023(wholesale speeds subject to access technology by which the service is supplied). These network upgrades will occur progressively, with the first areas anticipated to have the opportunity to order these higher speeds from mid 2021.
What does this mean for you?
At this time, we’re not yet able to confirm if these upgrades to the nbn™ Fixed Line footprint will be available in your area, and whether your premises specifically will be able to receive our highest wholesale speed tiers. We also don’t know how long it may take for these upgrades to rollout if they do become available in your area, and if these changes will be applicable to your premises.
With this in mind, you now have the option to either cancel your Technology Choice application (and receive a full refund on the quote fee) and wait to see if your premises is part of the announced rollout referred to above. Or, you can still progress with your Technology Choice application. If you progress, the upgrade to a fibre service will be independent of nbn’s rollout as announced on 23rd of September, and you will need to cover all the associated fees and charges.
What happens now?
If you would like to cancel your Technology Choice application, please advise us formally in writing by replying to this e-mail by 21st of October. Any invoices paid prior to the cancellation of your application (including application or construction fees) will be refunded in full through the same means by which the payment was made. If your application is cancelled and you have received an invoice that has not yet been paid, this invoice will also be cancelled.
If you would like to continue with your Technology Choice application, no further action is required.
As you can see, NBN Co is offering applicants two weeks (give or take) to elect for a refund, after which time applications will proceed normally, outside of the scope of the more recently announced fibre to the premises changes.
This means that those persuing a technology choice upgrade can expect their fibre upgrade to be done much sooner than 2023 – likely within the next couple of months – and this will continue at the already advised cost to each applicant.
Those applicants who’d like to wait and see if they’ll get a free connection in future can do so, but NBN Co explicitly states there’s no guarantees as to which properties will be included and which will not.
So, it’s now over to Technology Choice applicants to make a decision – opt for a refund and take the lucky dip approach, or opt to continue with the already-ordered upgrades (at cost) and end up with FTTP guaranteed at a much sooner date.
I know which option I’ll be taking, but for many applicants, there’ll be some tough decisions to be made.