These days, every home buyer expects their new property to have a reliable internet connection—and there are federal standards in place to ensure this happens.
In Victoria, you need to submit the relevant telecommunications documentation to council before they will issue a Statement of Compliance, and this is generally the responsibility of the builder, developer or surveyor. This means organising the paperwork and infrastructure for each property is an essential part of the construction process.
Seems simple enough? Well it can be when you allow enough time, know in advance the steps involved and have the right level of expertise and know-how to get it done. But if you’re unprepared, the whole experience can be a major stress and cause delays and added costs to your project.
So to help you avoid the latter, in this article we explain what you need to know about connecting your properties to the NBN.
As mentioned, the process can be a little daunting as it is complex. The ultimate outcome at the end of construction is a compliance certificate from council and working connections at each dwelling. It can be long and arduous, but we are here to help at every step of the way.
The first step is to submit an NBN New Developments Application. There are multiple potential tracks to follow and which one you adhere to depends on a number of factors. Every NBN application contains three separate parts in terms of how it rolls out: application, streetworks/network upgrade and connections. Most sites will need to be inspected, and two lot subdivisions or subdivisions that are street facing are the simplest to work through. To complete your NBN application, we will need all the relevant information on the development, as well as a site plan for the design of the underground network. The application process can take 3–6 months so don’t leave this to the last minute, because there will be additional parts to complete leading up to the onsite inspection. Where internal pits are required we will need your site plan in AutoCAD format.
Once your application has been assessed and the design approved, you will receive an invoice from NBN which needs to be paid immediately. Your documentation for council is issued once the provisioning letter is obtained and the provisioning letter is issued right at the end once any and all rectification from the site inspection are completed.
The process differs if you are selling as vacant or need to subdivide before you begin building (for two lots only). NBN will provide a provisioning letter in these instances and we can issue your documentation accordingly, but in these situations the documentation will be accepted at the discretion of your local city council. Once you have received street allocations from council, these details will need to be provided to NBN for internet service providers to gain access to setup connections.
Once your application process has started, you can organise the installation of internal infrastructure. The installation of all works inside the property boundary are the responsibility of the land owner, so you must make sure these works are included in your contract and completed exactly as shown on the design plan. Works will include open trenches, pit and pipe network installations and extension of conduits to the nature strip ready for future connections by the network provider. Ideally for peace of mind these works are completed by MCS Connect and bundling our services with council documentation provides excellent value for money. The ready for connection date is automatically set by NBN at 12 weeks from build completion, so if your application is made after lockup, you will still have a minimum 12 week wait once the entire process has been followed. Be sure to factor this into your timings.
External street works are mobilised by NBN and issued to a contractor once all NBN criteria are met and concrete on your site is down. Each site will be provisioned differently depending on the location of your internal infrastructure, external network connections and the features of the land.
In 2013, VC81 Telecommunications Compliance Documentation was introduced as part of an amendment to the Victorian Planning Provisions and this triggered some key changes in the telecommunications industry. As part of their approvals process, councils in Victoria must now receive VC81 Compliance Documentation for all sub-divisions before they will release a Statement of Compliance. To obtain the VC81 Documentation you will need to show that each lot will include the appropriate telecommunications services (including fibre-ready facilities) and that you have the plans and expertise in place to complete the work.
As mentioned above, it is generally the builder, developer or surveyor who is responsible for organising the requirements necessary to complete and submit the documentation. However, as telecommunications is a specialised and rapidly evolving field, the process and requirements can be challenging and complicated if it’s not your area of expertise! That’s why many people choose to hire a telecommunications contractor to get it done. At MCS Connect we can handle either the VC81 compliance paperwork alone, or the entire process, from the drafting of plans and installation, right through to obtaining the necessary paperwork for compliance.
When you know the steps and get the right help, connecting your sub-division to the NBN can be smooth sailing. If you have the time and knowledge, you can organise each step yourself—however, if you want the peace of mind that it has been done right the first time and every step of the process has been taken care of, you can organise a telecommunications contractor to handle the entire process (or parts of it) for you.
If you have a question about connecting your sub-division to the NBN, or would like to find out more about working with us, please get in touch with our team on 03 8592 8100 anytime for an obligation-free chat about your project.