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Expert Opinion piece – Stephen Raff, CEO of Ace Body Corporate Management.

Attention apartment and unit owners,
if you haven’t marked down
the NBN’s arrival date in your area,
do so immediately.

June, 2017
By Stephen Raff

There’s concern that countless Australians will ‘go dark’ over the following months from failing to connect to the NBN, and it spells major disruption for strata communities. Failing to switch to the NBN has no legal ramifications for Australians, but with Internet connection part and parcel of 21st century living, it could bring communities to a standstill. Just ask the half a million Australians who found themselves disconnected from the internet after failing to switch to the NBN in the timeframe provided.

Strata communities need to act immediately and find out when the NBN is coming to their area, to avoid ‘going dark’.
In today’s world having access to fast, reliable internet is deemed as much of a necessity as electricity, gas and water and having a robust Wi-Fi system in place is imperative for any apartment building (new or old). For apartment blocks and unit blocks, the strata community or the building owner (depending on building type) will need to register their building with the NBN to connect these properties to the NBN network.

The strata community must provide their contact details to the NBN to streamline the installation process so that their buildings are connected as fast and efficiently as possible. The issue of so few communities being on target to get connected primarily comes back to ignorance, and strata communities must work to overcome that.

Whilst many people are excited about the NBN and the potential of faster, more reliable internet speeds, 37% of Aussies admit to not knowing anything about the NBN. What we’ve observed at a community level is that many people are assuming the NBN is a voluntary option and didn’t realise that failure to make the switch would result in them being cut off from the internet completely. This aspect of the service hasn’t been communicated well at all, and it’s up to strata communities to take control.

If apartment buildings wish to connect with the NBN they should do so in the rollout phase. If communities wait beyond the rollout phase and the property is passed over, free connection may no longer be an option and it may cost a considerable amount to connect to the NBN at a later date. It may also be more difficult to manage internal cabling arrangements within strata buildings.

Before existing services are disconnected, strata communities need to ensure that proper arrangements are made with the new service provider connecting on the NBN infrastructure, otherwise their building will be left without a connection.

Failing to come up with a connection plan for the building now, could expose owners to the risk of further costs in the future. As the rollout continues to ramp up, NBN Co. is projecting that almost 50 % of the 11.9 million planned premises will be able to switch to the network by the middle of this year, which means your region could be on the clock very soon.

Strata communities looking to register their buildings can do so by visiting www.nbnco.com.au

Ace Body Corporate Management
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.Ace Body Corporate Management offers this newsletter to clients to assist in updating them on company and industry news. The content within this newsletter is of a generic nature and may not be applicable to all owners corporations. Ace Body Corporate Management attempts to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information for our clients, however we strongly recommend that individuals and committees seek further advice before acting on any information in this newsletter.