Lot owners from NSW are wondering about gaining access to install NBN and who pays for a fibre optic upgrade to individual units. Leanne Habib, Premium Strata provides the following responses.
Question: The owner of my neighbouring unit refuses to allow access to his roof space so I can install NBN to my apartment. Can he be forced to allow access?
I live in a strata estate of 26 townhouses. NBN technicians tell me that the only way to connect my townhouse to NBN is if they can enter my neighbour’s small front yard and lift the front row of tiles in their roof and connect to an existing cable that has been installed by NBN. No access to the inside of the residence is required. All units join on the side to each other.
The owner of that unit refuses to allow access. Can they be forced to allow the NBN technician to enter through their gate into their front yard and access their roof cavity to run a cable across to the adjoining property where they repeat the process and run the cable into my roof and down into my lounge room?
Answer: The NBN technician will know what statutory rights.
The NBN technician will know what statutory rights to access he has for his carrier and whether or not he is permitted to access your neighbour’s land in the circumstances (which varies from property to property).
What is interesting in your scenario is that the roof tiles and the roof void will likely be common property (but you will need to confirm), in which case, if you can find an alternative access point (ie other than the front courtyard and perhaps use a eg scissor lift instead from your own property), it is possible that you will only need the authorisation of the Owners Corporation as the cables are running through the common property (not private property).
This post appears in Strata News #294.
Question: Where will the financial responsibility lie for the fibre optic upgrade to individual units, assuming a majority of the owners corporation want direct fibre to their home?
Many owners in our strata are enthusiastically anticipating the arrival of the NBN this financial year, and their individual opportunity to update their communications infrastructure.
We are led to believe that NBN Co will be providing Fibre to the Building (FTTB) to service our 10 townhouses. However, NBN Co has yet to confirm FTTB, leaving the less desirable Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) as a possibility.
Regardless of what NBN delivers the final connection to each townhouse will be via our existing copper phone lines. The copper runs exclusively through common property.
Our Strata Committee is keen to upgrade all copper phone lines so that all residents can take full advantage of the NBN’s increased data capacity, plus enjoy their increased property value when equipped with high-speed internet access.
Our question is, where will financial responsibility lie for the fibre optic upgrade to individual units, (assuming a majority of the owners corporation want direct fibre to their home)?
Answer: When it comes to the fibre optic upgrade, there is no hard and fast rule.
There is no hard and fast rule, however, before considering costing, your building will need to consent to the NBN. Then, your building will decide how it will be financed.
Clearly, economies of scale dictate that the individual access will be cheaper if organised and paid for by the Owners Corporation. Problems could arise where individual lots do not wish to subscribe to the NBN.
You and/or your building will need legal advice to implement the NBN and create relevant by-laws.
This post appears in Strata News #202.
Have a question or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
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This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.
Looking for strata law specialists? Search within our Strata Services Directory in the category Legal Services NSW for the best list of contacts available.