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abn. 78 010 589 661
rpeq. 1546 (Robin Russell)
204/6 Babarra St
Stafford QLD 4053
p. (07) 3872-5555
f. (07) 3872-5566
e. rr@robrus.com.au

contact us

abn. 78 010 589 661
rpeq. 1546 (Robin Russell)
204/6 Babarra St
Stafford QLD 4053
p. (07) 3872-5555
f. (07) 3872-5566
e. rr@robrus.com.au

NBN/Telstra

Telecommunications in Community Titles Developments

Telstra ceased installing conduits and pits at Telstra's expense. Now developers must pay the full cost. So what does this mean for community titles developments?

NBN will install fibre immediately in qualifying greenfield developments. To qualify, a development must intend to produce at least 100 new residential dwellings in the next 3 years. For those (smaller) developments which do not qualify for immediate NBN fibre, Telstra will provide telephone services under its Universal Service Obligation, until such time as NBN Co rolls out its fibre into "brownfield" areas. That may take several years.

Greenfield (Large) Installations

Greenfield installations require NBN-compliant conduits and pits. Each unit requires an individual NBN service drop. The design must be submitted to NBN Co for approval. RRA can design and supervise installation of NBN-compliant conduits and pits.

Brownfield (Smaller) Installations

The situation here is more complex, but with the help of advice from Telstra, this is the story. There are two possible configurations of telecommunications wiring in community titles developments, which would generally be served by Telstra in the immediate term:

  1. For units arranged in separate buildings - all at ground level ("lateral" developments), Telstra to provide an individual service to each unit, or to an MDF (a Main Distribution Frame - the equivalent of an electrical switchboard) at each building, with private wiring running between the MDF and each unit within the building,
  2. For units under the same roof ("vertical" developments), Telstra to provide service to one MDF, from which private wiring serves each unit.

Note: Wiring between the MDF and the units will likely become redundant for the supply of public network services under proposed NBN arrangements, because the NBN fibre will run to each individual unit, bypassing the MDF and the existing wiring.

Lateral Developments (Any size)

1. Individual Service to Each Unit or Building

This is our recommended option. Individual conduit to each unit is recommended (rather than to an MDF at the building) for the reason stated in the above Note. The conduit and pit installation should be NBN-compliant. The installation would then be "fibre ready" for the upcoming NBN brownfield rollout in a few years' time.

At present, we recommend that Telstra design and install the conduits. Telstra will require access to a shared trench, however. If the conduits and pits are designed and installed by other than Telstra, there is still some uncertainty about how Telstra will respond to its Universal Service Obligation.

2. Private Reticulation

If this option is selected, we strongly recommend that conduits and pits be NBN-compliant. In fact, local authorities will probably mandate this as a development condition very soon. Saving money on a cheaper installation now will certainly increase costs later, when NBN fibre is installed.

If the intention is to reticulate a lateral development of any size from an MDF located in a freestanding cabinet or located at a building detached from the other buildings, you need to be aware that this MDF is not a valid network boundary for any services in the detached buildings (under the legislation, the MDF must be in the same building as the end-user). For this reason, Telstra will generally refuse to connect its network to the MDF, to avoid service complications.

Additionally, if the radial distance between any two units is 500 metres or more, or the aggregate of the radial distances between all individual units exceeds 5 kilometres (equivalent to about 20 semi-detached units), the body corporate must obtain a Category 1 Carrier Licence under the Telecommunications Act 1997.

We advise against this approach.

If the intention is to use the private reticulation for non-NBN or non-Telstra purposes (e.g. operation of a PABX), the private wiring must be installed in separate conduit and pits to the conduit and pits to be used by Telstra or for the NBN.

Vertical Developments (Any Size)

For multi-storey units/apartments, the installation of an MDF in a common area and private wiring between the MDF and each individual unit is unavoidable, notwithstanding that the MDF and the private wiring is likely to become redundant for the supply of public network services post-NBN. Additional space needs to be set aside in a common area of the building for the NBN fibre distribution hub (FDH) and allowance made for the distribution of fibre between the FDH and each individual unit in a few years' time.

In the case of a vertical development, the MDF is a valid network boundary because it will invariably be in the same building as the end-user. For this reason, Telstra has not had any inhibitions about connecting its network to the MDF (as long as it complies with Telstra and ACMA requirements) and a Carrier Licence will not be required by the body corporate for the private wiring no matter how large the building is.

More Information

For more information about Telstra requirements, refer to the Telstra Smart Community web site http://www.telstra.com.au/smartcommunity/mybuilder.html" . (And thanks to Telstra for their valuable assistance in preparing these notes.)

For more information about NBN requirements, refer to the NBN Co. web site.

For more information about the Telecommunications Act 1997, refer to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy web site.

For more information about Carrier Licences, refer to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) web site.