The original promise of the NBN was fibre to just about everybody, but politicians of various persuasions saw to it that this didn’t quite happen.

Fortunately, now, there’s a plan for NBN Co to get fibre internet available to most Australians, whether they choose to take it up or not. With hundreds of thousands of Australian properties to be passed by fibre, most metropolitan and regional households will likely be able to upgrade to fibre merely by seeking a higher speed plan.

Despite this, the demand for fibre upgrade quotes has skyrocketed; ABC News reports that tens of thousands of Australians have sought fibre upgrade quotes last year, including 8,000 in the past week. That’s roughly one quote every 1.26 minutes.

With 1.5 million Australians already enjoying a full fibre connection, it’s not hard to see why more wouldn’t want the same experience. Unlike most other NBN connection technologies, fibre is reliable, works in a blackout, and isn’t generally affected by poor weather, degraded copper in the ground, or other nonsense.

Until recently – November last year, to be precise – even getting a quote for a fibre upgrade cost money, some $330. Thousands of people paid that fee and – like us – many of those went ahead with the paid upgrade pathway to full fibre to the premises.

However, since the quote became free in November, some 35,000 further Australians have sought quotes, but the colloquial experience is that the automated quotes provided by NBN Co are a little on the more expensive side for the same property.

Our neighbours, for example, should be able to take advantage of the fibre already hauled to the pit between our two driveways, and yet they were quoted many thousands to upgrade to fibre. This, when the hardware costs should be under a thousand dollars, and factoring in a little bit of labour to install the lead-in and internal cabling, the total cost should be no more than $2,000 or so. Instead, the quote was nearly double.

NBN Co reports that only around 1,250 households have gone through the entire fibre upgrade process over the last five years, and there are around 400 such builds in progress at the time of writing.

Some customers wait many months for their upgrade process to go through. We waited just three, from application in August to ready to use in early November. While we paid around $5,000 for the upgrade, many Australians are about to get that same service effectively for free.

Dozens of suburbs across Australia have been identified for a free fibre upgrade, provided that they pay for a higher speed plan that will actually use the capabilities provided by said fibre.

We understood – and ABC News has confirmed as much – that fibre is already being laid in streets in the eligible suburbs, and while it isn’t clear exactly how customers can seek an upgrade today, that process will soon be announced.

As we reported earlier this month, it’s likely to involve some form of minimum commitment to the higher cost / speed plans, or some sort of reimbursement fee if customers downgrade from higher speed plans within a certain time.

Are you in one of the suburbs to be upgraded? Let us know in the comments whether you’ll be opting for a higher speed plan.


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i need fibre optic

fttn is so shit

the australian government is treating whole nation like a second class citizens

some people got fibre for free and some people should pay for it

this is called discrimination in providing infrastructure


No. It’s _not_ discrimination. What it was, from as soon as the Liebrals were voted in, was playing politics by screwing over _EVERYTHING_ of any worth put in place by Labor. That included the Real FTTP NBN. Now, the Liebrals are running a different scam on their below third-world standard Notional Fraudbland Notwork. Pull a con job on the Ausfailian public, to get the Ausfailian public to pay for both quotes for, and installation of, the Real FTTP NBN, to individual properties on a totally piecemeal basis, to make a total dog’s breakfast of the upgrade to the NFN, solely… Read more »


Thanks to the Liberals cutting CVC from $20Mbps to $8Mbps and bundling CVC with 50Mbps AVC, In response rather than cut prices, RSPs moved customers from 25Mbps to 50Mbps plans to preserve revenue.


> i need fibre optic Typically the difference between need and want is taught in pre-school. If FTTP is high enough on your list of desires then move somewhere that has FTTP. People move all the time for schools, work, better lifestyle, etc. > this is called discrimination in providing infrastructure If NBNCo had flat rate pricing, then you might have a valid argument, but Labor added speed tiers to the network with the expectation that <1% would connect at 1Gbps in 2026. Reality is that today and for many years >80% cannot afford faster speeds on the NBN. This… Read more »


i applied for fttp last year and paid 330 AUD the quote was 15000 AUD i applied multiple times on the nbn TCP online tool and the quote came all the time 13320 AUD at the moment they didnt say which suburbs will get this free FTTn to FTTp upgrade in Canberra the ACT they didnt announce all the suburbs names we are still waiting for the full list of suburbs from each state they need to give the fibre for free when a customer wants 250mbps / 500mbps/ 1000 mbps plans they need to harry up or most of… Read more »


> they need to harry up or most of customers will swap to 5G

For low usage customers (<500GB month), mobile data makes perfect sense. Labor expected that due to cost of NBN plans (especially faster speed tiers) that 10-15% would opt for mobile data.

Almost everyone has a mobile phone and the cost of moving up to a plan with more data is significantly cheaper than even a slow 50Mbps NBN plan. With 5G, Labor’s speed tiers mean that the only advantage of the NBN is unlimited data.


Why do you continue to blame Labor for the NBN mess? Regardless of speed tiers, it was the decision of the Liberals to use sub standard technology (FTTN, FTTC, FTTB). 50/20 or even 25/5 on full fibre will perform much better than FTTN. If the Liberals had continued with Labor’s FTTP plans, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. About time you started to accept the mess is the making of Liberals and not Labor.


Sujayv, Matthew is a Liebral stooge. A shill.


False accusations are reasonable evidence that you lack the facts to dispute the facts.

> If the Liberals had continued with Labor’s FTTP plans, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.

I agree the conversation wouldn’t be occurring, but not because fast internet was widespread.

A few (about 10%) privileged people would be on 100Mbps and very few less than 1% would be on 1Gbps. Around 80% would be on 25Mbps, slower than currently most popular speed of 50Mbps.


> 35,000 further Australians have sought quotes

I’d consider 0.88% (35,000 of 4 million FTTN premises) to be a surprisingly small number. That percentage grows even smaller if you add FTTC, FTTB, HFC & Fixed Wireless. The conversion rate is likely to be even lower.

The numbers simply acknowledge that despite the fibre fanboi clamour, broad demand for faster speeds doesn’t really exist at current pricing.


NBNCo need to fast track fibre installations for those willing to sign up for 3 year contracts at 250Mbps or faster.

Unfortunately it appears that the bureaucratic inertia and risk to RSP profit from faster unlimited data plans are slowing this down.


Agreed. I for one am happy to sign up for a higher plan (say 250Mbps) and on a 3yr contract too if that would move me from FTTN to FTTP. Currently, my FTTN can provide a MAXIMUM of 48Mbps which is making it difficult to work from home using VPN or RDP.


I’d happily live with a 100mbps symmetrical, that didn’t feature the gremlins that plague my fttn connection (rain and heat degrade performance). This view of gigabit downloads being urgently needed doesn’t match most use cases – streaming, working and schooling.


Upload speeds are definitely more important with the current asymmetric plans.For video conferencing, 100/20Mbps isn’t going to deliver much real world benefit over 50/20Mbps. Labor identified this in their first NBNCo Corporate Plan were 100Mbps upload was identified as the minimum standard for eHealth, remote learning and similar activities.

Unfortunately the unlimited download votes won over the faster speeds votes.


Current monthly pricing, or current pricing of the individual premises upgrade to FTTP? I’d argue the latter, at routinely $4-20k to build public infrastructure to your house, turns off a considerable number of people who would otherwise be happy to pay a bit more for a faster internet connection that is unavailable with existing infrastructure.


Just like the demand for FTTP upgrades is significantly less than amount of noise, those willing to pay more for faster speeds is also not as large as many in IT think.

If you want to examine the data search for ACCC “NBN Wholesale Market Indicators Report”.