Getting set up on the NBN with a new apartment


More Aussies than ever before are choosing the apartment-living life! The number of occupied apartments in comparison to houses has risen from one in seven in 1991, to one in five in 2016.

If you’re moving into a new apartment, or you’re currently living in an apartment complex, it’s important to understand how you can get your NBN™ service connected and check if your new home is NBN™-ready.

We’ve included the must-know information to keep in mind for when it comes time to move and get the NBN™ connected at your apartment.

First things first, if you’re not sure when the NBN™ is available in your area, visit our address checker and pop your address into the box to see your expected ready-for-service date.

I’m building a new apartment

Apartment and unit blocks generally require more extensive internal cabling, so nbn co will need to engage with the body corporate or building owner in order to successfully connect the property to the NBN™. The first thing you’ll need to do is ensure that buildings and apartment blocks are registered with nbn co’s Building Register.

If you own an apartment within a complex, you don’t need to worry about this step. The building owner, strata manager, body corporate or owners’ corporation will register your building with nbn co’s Building Register. If this is you, don’t forget to gather details such as the address, the name and contact details of the building owner or authorised representative, the number of units, offices, and shops tenanted, and a list of any fire alarms or lift emergency phones.

It’s important that you start to plan the installation of the NBN™ broadband access network at least six months before your required service date, so make sure you start planning the installation early in the building process. To make sure your new development is NBN™-ready, follow these three steps when you are looking into building.

I’m renting an apartment

If you’re a renter, you’re not alone. In fact, over 30% of Aussies are currently renting their homes. When renting, it’s important for all parties to understand what’s needed from both the tenant and the landlord when it’s time to connect to the NBN™.

There’s a lot to do when you’re moving in to a new place, but thanks to the iiNet Movers Team it’s now easier, cheaper and more flexible for you to change your address and relocate your ‘net. If you’re moving house you can refresh your contract at your new address with no contract break fees on your existing broadband service, and if applicable, you’ll also receive discounts on new line connections.

Help me relocate my ‘net!

What equipment will I need?

The equipment you will need for your NBN technology at your apartment is listed below. If you’re not sure which technology is available in your area, check your address here to find out.

  • FibretothePremise (FTTP)

You’ll have an NBN™ Utility Box on the outside of the property and a connection box on the inside of the premises. nbn co will supply the equipment required on installation so you just need to get an NBN™ compatible router through your Internet Service Provider and then you’ll be ready to connect.

While nbn co will choose where the external box needs to be installed, you or the landlord will get to choose where the internal equipment, the NBN™ Connection Box, is installed in your home. Be sure to consider where this will be installed carefully as it can take up quite a lot of space and isn’t very homely!

  • Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN) and Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB)

Typically, no on-site installations are necessary for these technologies and most work to convert your existing phone line will be completed outside of the premises by nbn co. Copper cabling will connect from the node to a wall socket inside your premises. You’ll be able to use the same wall socket that you previously used for traditional copper phone handsets and/or ADSL broadband. All you need to do is get a VDSL2-enabled modem-router through your ISP and then you’ll be ready to connect. Keep in mind that if you get FTTN technology, nbn co may need to install new copper wiring to the wall socket in your premisis.

  • Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC)

Most work to convert your existing telephone line will be completed outside of the premises by nbn co and no on-site installations should be required for this technology. Your NBN™ Connection Box will plug into the same wall socket that you previously used for traditional copper phone handsets and/or ADSL broadband. You can connect your iiNet modem to your NBN™ Connection Box to set up your home WiFi network.

  • Hybrid-Fibre-Coaxial (HFC)

You’ll have an NBN™ Utility Box on the outside of the property that will lead in to a wall socket inside your premises. Internal coaxial wiring will run from your Premises Connection Device to a wall socket inside your premises. You’ll be able to use the same wall socket that you previously used for a Cable broadband or Pay TV service. If you have a Pay TV service which uses cable, the wall socket will be fitted with a Cable splitter which will give one port for your NBN™ Connection Box and one port for your Pay TV service. You can connect your iiNet Cable Gateway to your NBN™ Connection Box to set up your home WiFi network.

nbn co will supply the equipment required on installation so you just need to get an NBN™ compatible router through your Internet Service Provider and then you’ll be ready to connect.

When it comes to the equipment, start thinking about where you want it to be located. Given that the units aren’t very glamorous it’s important to plan their installation to ensure they don’t become an eye-sore or get in the way. You can find out more about the equipment and what it looks like in our blog Building a new home and looking to get NBN™.

Once your application is submitted, if your ISP advises you that you require to be home to connect your NBN, be sure to speak to your landlord or agent ahead of the scheduled appointment to discuss the requirements and get consent from the owner and preferred installation locations.

Select your plan and apply now!

If you’re moving into an NBN™- ready apartment or building a new apartment and have any additional questions, ask us in the comments.


  1. Les Moore says:

    Even most of the USA regards the “kerb” as the “kerb”, and regard the use of “curb”, when used to describe the edge of a pavement, as what it is – a mistake in the use of language but, fortunately for most English users, a mistake which is only found in the USA.

    It arises because some folk in the USA cannot distinguish between “curb” and “kerb”. The difference is abundantly clear to the vast majority of English speakers around the world, and we should avoid being dragged into the depths of language misuse required to regard them as synonyms.

    “Kerb” is an English language term to describe the stone or concrete separation between a pavement (known in the USA as a “sidewalk”) and a roadway.

    “Curb” is a check or restraint on something. It can, in North America only, also get away with being used as an incorrect spelling for “Kerb”.

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Les,

      Ultimately, FTTC is the designated international standard for this connection type, hence the use of the C for curb, instead of K for kerb.

      – Leo

  2. Hemayet says:

    As for my address, NBN is providing FTTC. So, my apartment building will be connected to the FTTC at the main road through the existing underground copper cable and then again through the existing copper cable in the apartment building to my unit. This long copper cable connection is going to be a bottleneck and will affect the internet speed.

    NBN should have provided at least FTTB for apartments housing many families.

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Hemayet,

      It make be worth having a chat to your building manager or strata manager about this, as it may be more cost effective for NBN to install an FTTB unit. They can work with the appropriate people to make a determination on if this is possible.

      – Leo

  3. Mark Matheson says:

    HFC advice appears to be incomplete!

    An HFC termination box has been installed on the outside of my townhouse. I have no prior cable install, only ADSL over copper line.

    This requires more than just me to plug in a modem from my RSP as I do not have an internal cable point. So who comes to install the cable run from the outside to the inside and provide the internal termination point?
    How is this arranged?
    And will it be arranged with the Body Corporate or directly with the owner/resident?
    P.s. we had issues re receipt of ealier advice from the NBN re design, and nil advice they were turning up on site until the day they started the external works. Hopefully the next stage is direct with each owner and not via the BC?

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Mark,

      Great question!

      In your case, if the termination box is already on the outside, NBN will need to attend to complete the install. This can be arranged via a standard application, as NBN will have records indicating what service class your premises should be and is arranged with the resident.

      – Leo

  4. Joanne Zafirakos says:

    Hi there

    My apartment block will use HFC technology. I understand that “You’ll be able to use the same wall socket that you previously used for a Cable broadband or Pay TV service.”

    Our apartment does not have cable/pay tv connectivity.

    What now?


    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Joanne,

      Thanks for the question. As there is no socket installed, NBN will arrange for the install to be completed, with a socket put in place and connections run back to the network.

      – Leo

  5. Lindsay Doig says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice to have had a choice? In our tower, we were given about 3 weeks’ notice by NBN who simply said we had to make alternative arrangements for phone and internet because on the specified date, all existing services would cease and we would have NOTHING unless we could organise a suitable NBN service in time. So much for democracy.

  6. Brett says:

    Unfortunately this leaves out the $300 charge for being the first idiot wanting to connect to nbn in an apartment.
    I have fibre to the premises here going to waste and using my phone as a mobile hotspot because apartment owners do not want to pay the $300 that nbn say is mandatory for the 1st person now they are trying to slow the revenue drain. Even bigger drain not being a customer I would think but thats big business with monopolies in Australia for you.
    Whole nbn system is a sick joke.

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Brett,

      The New Development Fee is an NBN charge, partially put in place to recover some of the cost incurred with rolling out the FTTP network. Having said that, we my be able to help, so have a chat to Westnet Sales on 13 19 60 – we may be able to do something for you.

      – Leo

  7. Andry says:

    Hi there,

    Ive got nbn box in my apartment installed, and it says nbn ready, do i still need to pay the $300 instalation fee?


    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Andry!

      Great question!

      If the NBN has never been activated at your apartment, then you will be paying the $300 fee. NBN charges this on first service activation so they can recoup some of the costs of rolling out these connections. If the service has already been activated and used previously, then the fee isn’t payable.

      – Leo

  8. Lesley says:

    Does this apply to retirement villages or any multiple residential units on a single land title? I assume the single utility box will be installed at the front gate and then connected to the existing wiring?

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Lesley,

      Mostly, yes, this will also apply.

      We do encourage developers to contact NBN, as they’ll be able to decide what setup and connection type may work best for the complex.

      – Leo

  9. james nolan says:

    Hi Leo, In an area designated for HFC, I own and live in an apartment in a small block (12 units + 3-4 small offices). Each apartment has multiple outlets for Free to Air and Foxtel TV signals (coax). However the Foxtel signal is run from a roof mounted dish. Will the NBN team patch into the currently copper wired circuit at the junction board or, will they run ugly new wiring up the stairwell to each apartment? Thus making the existing cicuit and outlets extinct.

    • Josh McKenzie says:

      Hi James, Cheers for the comment! How NBN intend on delivering the connection to individual apartments will be at NBN’s discretion. While your area may be designated for HFC they have allocated Fibre to the Basement (FTTB) for the apartment block.

      I’d suspect either way that the infrastructure will be patched in to the currently installed cabling in the complex in order to avoid running additional cabling to each individual unit.

      – Josh

  10. Edwin says:

    I live in an apartment.

    How do they install the socket into the wall ?

    Do you actually drill into the wall or use this existing telephony socket?

    Also how is the cable fed thru to the socket, do you need access above the ceiling?

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Edwin,

      Great question! This is dependent on what NBN type you’re going to be able to receive. Technicians will use existing infrastructure where possible, but where it doesn’t exist, they may need to install the appropriate socket or connection, which will require drilling and the like. Each premise is different, so the NBN technicians will be able to advise on their course of action when they attend.

      – Leo

  11. Claudia says:

    I living in a big house and I am renting. My landlord is also living at the same address. So fare we both had our on phone landline. I am an existing iinet customer and my landlord would also like to sign up with iinet. When I asked this question i was told this is not possible, my landlord needs to have a different nbn provider. My landlord and I are still confused about this remark. So does that mean every household in a complex needs to have a different nbn provider? Please help this to clarify.

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Claudia,

      Great question as this is a bit more complex than what you’d believe. You have a couple of options:

      * Have one single NBN connection in the premises that you both share, like you do with your current service, or;
      * Arrange for the premises to have two separate services installed – one for you and one for your landlord (more expensive)

      You can both have the same ISP in the second case, so they can both be with us if you like, though, the first option is much simpler!

      – Leo