PSA: You Can’t Get A Second NBN Connection (Even If You Pay For It)

PSA: You Can’t Get A Second NBN Connection (Even If You Pay For It)

It turns out that if you want two NBN connections (assuming you can even get one) there’s no way to do it – even if you’re prepared to pay for it. If you have a second building on your property, like a granny flat or home office that want to connect separately, there’s no way to do it according to NBN Co’s installation rules.

There’s an entire political argument going on about this with the Australian Greens’ NBN spokesperson and the communications minister sending letters to each other – I guess that’s the Senate equivalent of passing “you’re not my friend anymore” notes in class – but I don’t want to get into that. You can read about the specific rules here.

Back when I built my own home office, I wanted to have that space configured with its own connection so that I could keep my home and internet connections separate. I figured, at the time, that doing that would make things much neater from an expense tracking and tax point of view.

Given the high cost of housing today, it’s easy to imagine people adding secondary dwellings on their property either to house other family members – the good old “granny flat” or setting up a small residence that can be rented out. And, it would make sense to have those buildings established with their own infrastructure as much as possible.

When I built my office, I ran an Ethernet cable (in the appropriate conduits that were supplied and installed by a qualified professional) from the house to the office so that I could share the connection. Back then, I could not convince my current ISP at the time, nor any other, to install a second internet connection. And that was even though I had both Optus and Bigpond cable already drawn from the pole to the property.

Once I had the cable installed, it was a matter of setting up a second router in the office (with routing and NAT disabled) so that I could use the internet connection from the house.

For those running a second residence on their property, it seems that they only solution is to either ensure you can get a solid wireless signal to the second building – a weatherproof access point might do the trick – or run cable from the connection point to the second building. Then you need to agree on how to share the costs fairly if that’s an issue.

Does the “one connection per address” rule affect you? How would you work around it?


  • working for an isp and being a tech. I have connected 3 fttn connections over 3 different FNN services to a load balancing router.

    You need to have active FNN in place before FTTN or request to use a INACTIVE inplace.

    With FTTP, Carriers do not churn the existing UNIV port and create their own. Often carriers Will use port 1, make the change and 2 will be active.

    NBN provide very little information to any carrier. The techs LIE majority of the time when they have TESTED and TAGGED serivces for NEW connections and often faults are needed for ALL NEW CONNECTIONS.

  • As someone who works for a telco that sells NBN I just wanted to say: It’s not that cut and dry.

    The rules depend on technology (FTTx,FTTP,HFC,Satellite and Wireless) and on if your property is a classed by NBN Co as a single or multi-dwelling, and if it’s residential or commerical.

    Depending on all the things above, if you find an ISP who will work with you, you may find it _is_ possible to get a second Location ID created, and thus a second NBN NTD, even after the big, disinterested ISP’s have told you it’s not possible.

    … That said, as a general rule, you can very much get multiple internet services connected to your property – they will just all be delivered to the same place (ie. the NBN NTD) .. and there is one simple, easy, reliable … and expensive answer: Run Cat5e/Cat6 cable from where the Internet is delivered to where you want to use it.

    • Can you clarify about this; when you say two delivered to the same place. Does that mean (assuming you were in an FTTP area) you could have two 100MBit connections or you’d be effectively splitting your capacity, so two 50MBit or 4 25MBit?

      I’m wondering whether you actually get two ports and they run two sets of fibre to your house?

      Or for that matter, can they use the same fibre with two different providers at full 100MBit speeds?

      • I can’t speak for other connection types; but as for FTTP, you can have any combination of 4 plans from different isps.
        I currently have 2 FTTP accounts from two different isps connected at the moment.

      • With a FTTP installation you can get 4 different 100M/40M connections from 4 different ISP’s and each will have full access to 100M/40M (as determined by the oversubscription level of the given ISP).

        Those four different accounts can be in different people’s names.

        I expect the speed limitation between a fibre NTD and NBN Co is about 1GBit/s.

        With wireless, the backhaul is limited to around 70Mbit/s per NTD, so in that instance if you get 4 different 50M/20M plans from 4 different ISP’s, they will suffer contention at the NBN level.

        • Thanks for the information, and thanks JonSnow too. It’s very handy to know. I was (and still may) wind up with two of my sisters living with me and if that happens being able to have them on their own internet plans and not impacting mine would be a godsend.

  • That’s weird. My understanding is that the the fibre router that nbn installs can support up to six separate connections on the same fibre, hence why there are six RJ-45 connectors – one for each router you would need for each connection. I thought that you just needed to contact an ISP and make an account to activate another one.

    Of course, this doesn’t solve the problems the author points out with his use case (although it sounds like he already has an ethernet cable set up between his buildings, so he could use that).

    • If you look carefully, you’ll notice it’s actually 4 Data ports and 2 phone ports on a FTTP NTD. When an ISP provisions a voice service it actually makes one of the data ports unusable. So, each FTTP NTD can support 4x independent Data/Internet services OR 2x independent Data/Internet services and 2x independent voice services.

      When you reach the limit of one NTD, there is a process that can be followed to have a second, or third installed. It is often not cheap, but very possible and very common in commercial buildings.

        • It may be provider specific that the UNI-D and UNI-V must be associated with the same provider; but I can tell you it’s not uncommon to find a customer with 2x Data services and 2x Voice services – and a fully populated NTD. I guarantee you you cannot get 2x UNI-V services & 4x UNI-D services all from different providers on the same NTD. If you attempted to get all six services from the same provider, then it may very well be possible with some providers; since i personally haven’t seen any NBN Co official documentation on the rule (I can only talk from operational experience).

  • The magix fibre box supports multiple connections, get another one through that. You’ll still have to use your existing cabling, but you’ll have a separate internet connection. Why do you need to keep them separate? Huge usage requirements?

  • Ive been trying to move out of my current residence for months now. the reason i havent is the sky high costs of house anywhere thats actually withing 2-3 hours of the city for work.
    I have seen so many affordable Granny flat type residences that i just cannot move into because they cannot get their own internet connections. its a bloody stupid rule and they need to pull their head in.

    • If it’s a FTTP service area and the owner has run a network cable from the granny flat to their NBN NTD, you can in fact get a separate Internet service delivered to their NTD.

      If it’s a FTTN service area and there has been a phone line connected to the granny flat, you can use that line to have a separate FTTN Internet connection to the granny flat.

      Failing both of those options, you’re relegated to 4G or local wireless ISP’s.

  • When I swapped provider from iiNet to myrepublic, I was advised by myrepublic to leave my iiNet connection active until they activated theirs. Once the myrepublic connection was active, I checked and indeed had two seperate connections, one on port 1 and one on port 2. I checked with a load balancing capable modem and was getting just under 200Mbps. I cancelled the iiNet connection later that day, but I guess if I didn’t tell iiNet they’d be none the wiser.

  • I lived in Coffs Harbour in 2015, when separate FTTP was installed in both the house I was renting, and a granny flat rented separately on the same property. Perhaps FTTP connections were an exception?

  • When signing up with Aussie broadband I happened to mention the multiple houses on our property. All with different families in them. She promptly performed some magic and within 5 minutes my address was unit 2 at the address I gave them, giving the other two houses a chance to get separate connections when they’re ready. Just make sure you tell them. Wasn’t an issue with ABB

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