NBN Co has outlined the details of its “Technology Choice” program, allowing individuals, local governments and communities to apply to upgrade their NBN service at an extra charge.Unveiling the details of its multi-technology rollout last year, confirming fibre-to-the-node would be the likely broadband technology for communities where other technologies are not already in place, NBN Co had additionally revealed a fibre-on-demand product was under consideration.
Outlining Technology Choice, NBN Co states “some individuals and communities may have specific needs for higher speed broadband”, with the program offering a number of technology upgrade options, encompassing an Individual Premises Switch or an Area Switch.
Under the Individual Premises Switch, individuals or a small group of premises can apply to fund a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) connection for their individual premises, while the Area Switch provides for organisations, such as local or state governments, to apply for a technology such as FTTP to be deployed to an area.
“The cost to change technology for Area Switch can range from tens of thousands of dollars to several millions of dollars,” NBN Co states. “The cost for Individual Premises Switch can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.”
NBN Co recommends the minimum size of an Area Switch is a whole node, encompassing 150-350 premises, or a whole multi-dwelling unit.
“As various factors will impact on the final cost to move to an alternate technology, NBN Co will assess every application individually so that these various factors can be taken into account and so that it can provide applicants with a high-level cost estimate,” NBN Co states.
An application fee of $300 will apply for individual premises, with a $300 design and quote fee.
An Area Switch application will consist of a fee of $1,000 per Fibre Distribution Area (FDA), with a single FDA generally containing up to 200 premises, with the design and quote fee to be determined upon application.
Further information on the Technology Choice program can be found here.