The federal government business responsible for the National Broadband Network, NBN Co, today fended off claims that first release site residents will be charged for fibre optic cable-laying to their houses if they don’t sign up before the trial ends.
In response to a report in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph titled Join the NBN or you'll be digging deep, NBN Co released a statement saying residents will not be charged for cable-laying in first release sites like Kiama Downs, NSW.
“NBN Co today labelled as incorrect the suggestion that householders in the Kiama Downs first release site who ‘don’t sign up with an internet provider before the trial concludes’ could be charged part of the cost of laying cable to their homes,” according to NBN Co.
The Telegraph reported residents who don’t sign up to the NBN would be hit with part of the cable-laying cost at upwards of $900 per day of digging.
“Sadly this report is merely another in a long line of myths and misconceptions about the National Broadband Network. There is no cost to consumers for a standard installation in Kiama Downs, regardless of whether they have elected to have a line connected during the rollout or not,” the spokesperson said.
“Even those residents who have elected not to have a connection, but may wish to do so to when commercial services become available, can simply place an order with an appropriate telecommunications provider, and NBN will provide the connection – again at no cost for a standard installation.”
According to NBN Co, the only bills people on the network should expect to pay will be from phone companies and ISPs offering services over the NBN when commercial services are available.
“There is no charge to consumers from NBN Co for standard laying cables to their homes.”
Last year the NBN Co revealed retail service providers (RSPs) will pay $300 per premises connected to the NBN.
For first release sites, the NBN fibre connection is free to the door, but anything beyond that is the responsibility of the home owner or retail service provider.
A spokesperson for the NBN Co said the free connection is what the company is doing in first release sites "at present", but did not say whether connections to the premises will remain free when the network is out of its first release phase.
"But first release sites are about looking at what works, and this is working for us," the spokesperson said.
"It should be remembered that when the rollout is in full swing we will be forecasting locations we are going to so that RSPs will be marketing their offers and signing services in advance of NBN going there."
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