Dear Lifehacker, I’m about to go through the dreaded process of moving once again. As renters we’ve applied and been approved for a nice apartment which we’ll move into next week. When going through the process of moving the utilities, I noticed that the area is NBN-enabled according to the NBN Co website. I contacted my ISP, who told me that the NBN is not yet available at that property.
After a bit of digging, it looks as though the owners corporation haven’t elected to have the property connected. My previous experience with real estate agents is that they don’t really care about telecommunications to the property, and I don’t have the authority to contact the body corporate on my own. If I just sign up for an ADSL service, I’ll be signing a contract, which might muddy my options when it comes to switch to the NBN if it is connected at some time in the future. What’s the best approach in this situation?
Picture: Stephan Ridgway
Look on the bright side — you could easily be moving into an area where the NBN wasn’t even a choice. Given the current uncertainty, anyone with potential NBN access is lucky. Your challenge is twofold: trying to ensure the NBN is eventually connected to the building, and not being tied to an unwanted service for too long.
The second problem is actually fairly straightforward: sign up to an ADSL plan which doesn’t involve a contract. ISPs will try and persuade you to sign up for a 24-month deal, but there are options out there for no-contract deals as well. You’ll have to pay more money up-front for setup fees (and router hardware if you need it), but you’ll be in the position to switch quickly to the NBN if it does come to your building.
To make that happen, we’d suggest two things. Firstly, ask the estate agent what the situation is, and ask them to pass on your feedback that you’d be keen to see the NBN available. While it’s true that you might encounter indifference, it’s still a sensible step.
Secondly, become friendly with your neighbours. Some of them are likely to be owners, not renters, which means they can directly influence body corporate decisions. They might not even be aware that the NBN is available to the building. If you can explain the benefits to them, they’ll become an advocate for the cause.
We’d love to hear from readers who have been in similar situations with any additional advice. Good luck!
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