Sheer nonsense on NBN installation costs

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In the Sydney Morning Herald, this article suggests that it could cost $400 per room to wire for the NBN. The information came from network engineers who provided the SMH with a quote — in both senses of the word. Here is the thing: no it won’t. I know because I have done it. Back in 2002, we bought a new house and I decided that I wanted a shiny new network in it. We put in 28 connections — yes, 28 or at least 2 per room — with Cat-6 cabling. Why? Two reasons. First, the other adult in the house is a wireless telecommunications engineer and wanted a wired solution as she saw wireless as unsecure. Second, we wanted to use it for an in-house phone system. I’ll admit that it was complete overkill but since we were installing, it made sense to go all out. I was ‘future-proofing’ the house.

So what did the cables and installation cost back in 2002? $2,000. That’s not cheap but compare it to the SMH’s 2010 quote. We got that for $71 per point. I’m thinking that today, those costs on the cabling side at least would be a fraction of that. So you could probably get it down to $50 per connection if that was the way you wanted to go.

That said, we have had the fastest residential internet connection in the country. And you know what, a couple of years ago we went wireless and haven’t skipped a beat. That said, if we ever sell our house you can bet we will be putting in the point ‘NBN-ready’ on the sale doc. Maybe our agent can quote the SMH that such things add $11,200 in value to the house. And, on that score, maybe I shouldn’t be blogging on this!

So you can thank me for performing the ridiculously expensive experiment that at the same time tells you what you need to do.

7 Responses to "Sheer nonsense on NBN installation costs"
  1. Why are they discussing wiring each room, as opposed to wiring one connection to a wireless router? Even if wireless isn’t up to speed now, it surely will be in a year or three. Anyway, I just can’t imagine going back to wired now…

  2. We recently retro-fitted our apartment with Cat6 cabling to three different rooms and the total cost was $300, or $100 a point. The walls are solid concrete, we are on the third floor and the roof is hard to access, so I can’t imagine that there is any worse setup for a technician to have to tackle. The $400 per-point sounds ridiculous to me.

  3. Demand and supply – 90% fibre coverage to 11 million (or so) households is a lot of demand for rewiring. Technicians will be able to charge whatever they want!

  4. I did something similar in 2000 for a similar cost.  Unfortunately there was no ADSL in our (new) neighbourhood, so I had to put in ISDN to get reasonable speeds (128kbps).  Eventually I got ADSL at which point I put in a fast secure wireless router.  The wiring was never used.

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