NBN Installation Checklist

How to get the NBN connected via Fibre-to-the-Node (FttN) to your new house on a previously vacant block

In South Australia, there is no requirement (for Class 1A homes) for what is known as a Certificate of Occupancy (CoA) where in other states the certificate must be completed before your builder can claim the final payment for your new house. In other states the CoA includes the provisioning of the NBN service whether you plan to connect to the NBN or not.

NBNco will bang on ad infinitum about what your builder/developer is supposed to do with regard to your FttN connection but it is largely impossible to wade through the hot mess of web pages, links and documents to work out who is supposed to do what let alone when.

This checklist will help you through the process, we strongly recommend you keep a diary of every conversation and activity

Step 1: Get the trench dug and the conduit laid in preparation for the installation of what is known as a Lead-in Cable

    • Get this done early, you don't want to be digging up your new driveway later!
    • Here is the Key Information for Builders document which describes how the conduit should be laid
    • Discuss this with your builder or your electrician as to who will do what and when
    • Many NBN Service Providers refer to the provisioning of the "Lead-in Cable" where they should be talking about the trench & conduit
      • You will notice in the document above that even NBNco refers to the conduit as the "Lead-in conduit" confusing much?
      • The Lead-in Cable itself will be connected later by an NBN contractor (see Step 11a)

Step 2: Plan your internal Internet cabling

    • Here is the Homeowners & Builders Guide document which will guide you as to what you need to consider
    • By all means talk to your builder about this, but your electrician or cable installer is more likely to do this for you
    • You will need to decide where your NBN modem will be located and whether you need data points elsewhere in your home
      • Think Wi-Fi hotspot location, Smart TV, games console, solar inverter and maybe even the fridge! And computer/tablet/phone

Step 3: Choose an NBN Internet Service Provider

    • Note that there is no provider who can get a new home on a previously vacant block connected easily
      • Just to confirm, they are all hopeless at this process
      • It's hard to tell whether they don't try hard enough, or NBNco does not try hard enough, or both!
    • But you have to start somewhere....
    • If you are happy with your current (ADSL) Internet provider get an NBN proposal out of them
    • If you are happy with their proposal, the choosing part is done and dusted
    • If you are not happy with your present provider, or their proposal, you will need to find a suitable provider
    • We can help you connect to Aussie Broadband who have an excellent process for getting people connected
      • They also have tech support people based in Australia who are very good to deal with
    • We also rate Internode, iiNet and Activ8me who are also good to deal with

Step 4: Start the order process

    • This is the tricky bit because you are not yet in the NBN database and nobody knows your house exists yet
      • The best you can hope for is to submit a "pre-order" if your provider will let you
        • You don't have an NBN Location ID yet so it is difficult to lodge the application
      • Your provider will probably just tell you it is not available yet and won't give you an ETA except for a vague reference to 2020....
        • They should try a lot harder but this is 100% normal behaviour
      • Hopefully they will record your order and progress your connection when all of these steps are completed
    • Chances are you will need to jump straight to Step 5

Step 5: Submit a "New Development" application with NBNco

    • Yes, I agree, it's not necessarily a new development but there is no process for a "New Premises" application
    • This application will get your property into the NBN database
      • Note that the fees quoted are for developers and builders
      • It remains unclear what the proper price for a home owner should be
    • Note also the "six months before your required service date" on the New Property Developments page
      • Telstra used to be able to get you connected within a couple of weeks
      • Do not accept the 6 months time frame, 5.9 months of that time relates to your application sitting in someone's Inbox @ NBNco
      • Note the advice to start this process early, the day the foundations get laid will be an ideal start time
        • If you wait until the day you move in, you won't have the NBN until a lot later
    • Out of this process you will be given a reference number which will be important along the way

Step 6: Wait for a while

    • We don't know how long this step takes
    • You will need to keep on it though so you don't end up at the bottom of somebody's Inbox
    • Try and get an ETA in a world where it will get done when it gets done

Step 7: Call NBNco with your reference number

    • The general enquiries phone number is 1800 687 626
    • Keep detailed notes in your diary
    • Get an ETA
      • This will be problematic unless you happen to talk to someone who knows what is happening with your application

Step 8: Plan B

    • If you get nowhere with steps 5, 6 & 7 we have a solution
    • We can put you in touch with a very capable Customer Delivery Manager @ NBNco
    • We can also put you in touch with the head of NBN Local in South Australia if warranted
    • You will need to let them know the aforementioned reference number together with your location details
    • They will work out what the hold up is and give you advice as to what should happen and when

Step 9: Celebrate your new Location ID

    • Out of the application process your premises will now be officially known to NBNco and all of the Service providers
    • You will have a shiny new Location ID
      • You may or may not be advised what your Location ID is but that is not important right now

Step 10: Contact your Internet Service provider

    • Follow up your previous conversation and or pre-order
    • Confirm that your New Development Application has been successful
    • They will check to see if your property is now registered with NBNco
    • If it is, they should be able to progress your order subject to Step 11
    • They will place an order on your behalf with NBNco

Step 11: Confirm your Service Class

    • All NBN connections have a Service Class (or category) attached depending on the status of the NBN connection
    • For FttN connections there are 4 possible service classes
      • Service Class 10: You cannot connect yet and nobody knows when, it's like you are in an alternative NBN universe
      • Service Class 11: FttN is available at your address and you just need the Lead-in cable installed (see Step 11a)
        • You may need to re-confirm that the trench & conduit is in place as per the NBN specifications above
        • Your provider may refer to the trench and conduit as the lead-in cable which is not helpful
        • The lead-in cable cannot be installed until the provider places the order for your connection
      • Service Class 12: So close now, there is virtually nothing which can stop you now!
      • Service Class 13: Woohoo! You are connected to the NBN

Step 11a: An NBN contractor will install the Lead-in Cable

Step 12: Plug in your NBN modem

    • This is the easy bit if everyone above has done their job properly
    • In theory you can plug the modem in yourself and it will work
      • In practice, sometimes the connection does not work for one reason or another
        • Contact your provider for further advice
        • It might be your provider's fault, or it might be NBNco's fault
          • They will initially blame each other, this is why you need that diary!
    • Some providers will offer an on-site connection service
      • It might be included as part of the package
      • It might cost extra, watch out for the $10 per month sneaky trick, that's $240 over two years
    • You may prefer to have your regular IT support people come on-site to connect all of your devices

And that's all there is to it, how hard could it be?

Lincoln Computer Centre offers a range of services around this whole process

  • We can assist you with the whole process or part thereof
  • We can liaise with your builder, your electrician, your provider, or NBNco as needed
  • We can help you connect everything from your TV to your solar panels and everything in between!