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NBN box outside cottage to cost homeowner thousands

Caroline Parks at the fence of her Maple Street, Cooroy investment property, with NBN infrastructure
Caroline Parks at the fence of her Maple Street, Cooroy investment property, with NBN infrastructure Alan Lander

A COOROY investment property owner has taken on the National Broadband Network to have new infrastructure relocated from the front of her rented-out cottage, which is claimed to have reduced the property's value by 10%.

Caroline Parks said she bought the Maple Street cottage last November, unaware NBN had planned to install a 1.5-metre box and node right in front of it, and has been told if she wants it moved, she will have to pay for it herself.

"NBN doesn't need permission from residents, as the equipment is placed on council land," Ms Parks said.

"It's so frustrating. It's so ugly, right in front of such a cute cottage.

"If I had known this was going to happen I would never have bought it.

"I don't want to restrict residents getting good broadband access, but there is open farmland 100 metres away, which would have been a much better location.

"I spoke to the real estate agent who sold me the property; he said it has been devalued by 10% as a result of this."

Ms Parks said she had contacted the council and state and federal politicians, and was about to contact the federal communications minister's office.

"I've been in touch with the Telecommunications Ombudsman, and was basically told 'it is what it is'," she said.

She has contacted NBN, who sent her a commercial- in-confidence response, which she felt was unsatisfactory.

An NBN spokeswoman said positioning the equipment involved rules "to allow the best possible internet and phone services to the surrounding community".

The company discusses and notifies location with councils, which generally own the affected land, and are "the only party formally able to object", however NBN dropped flyers last November to Cooroy residents, advising them of the installation, and how they could object.

"Ms Parks made her first complaint on June 15, 2017, and by this time, the node was already in place," she said.

"Therefore, if indeed moving the node was feasible, it would be at the cost of the resident.

"The Telecommunications Act 1997 provides all carriers, including NBN, with the right to install certain types of equipment without the express consent of the owner/occupier of the land. This includes NBN node cabinets," adding that positioning required meeting 30 criteria including safety.

Costs for relocation "would depend on a number of factors and would need to be individually assessed", the spokeswoman said.

She challenged the property de-valuation, saying "other real estate agents would argue that access to high speed broadband would increase the value of a premise".

"Generally speaking, the closer you are to a node, the faster the speeds you are able to get from your retail plan," she said.

Topics:  investment property nbn broadband rollout property values telecommunications industry


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