Bylaw balks broadband bullies


See below for a link to the pro forma by-law

As the roll-out of NBN superfast broadband continues to apartment blocks, a plan has been evolved to prevent “broadband bullies” from effectively locking out faster, more efficient high-speed providers.

For the past two years, strata schemes have been receiving aggressive letters from some independent  internet service providers demanding access to roofs and basements.  The letters cite provisions in the Telecommunications Act originally intended to allow the spread of mobile phone services.

Some letters said they were coming to install their equipment in the block and the owners couldn’t stop them.  The problem is, when NBN gets to buildings that complied with the demands, the internal network has been compromised.  That can seriously affect their “vectoring” service which promises speeds up to 25 percent even higher than the basic fibre service.

“Vectoring works like noise-cancelling headphones,” NBN specialist Guy Richards told Flat Chat.  “Our equipment detects the electronic ‘noise’ on your wires then generates a negative wave to cancel it out.

“However, if another provider attaches their equipment to the same wires, we can’t cancel their noise so, instead of a much faster service, you often get a severely depleted one.”

Faced with this in several buildings, Paul Court, a strata manager with Bright and Duggan, contacted Grace Lawyers for help with a by-law that would allow NBN to install its vectoring technology unimpeded.

“We had noticed an increase in issues being raised by owners on the different technologies offered,” Colin Grace told Flat Chat. “So we worked with a few of those to develop some safeguards to ensure schemes get the best technology available”

The resulting by-law, pulling together strata and other laws, forbids owners from installing equipment that would degrade the telecommunications system in the building.  Since some non-NBN providers’ systems do exactly that, they can be shut out of blocks that adopt the by-law.

By the way, this is not anti-competitive –  far from it. NBN provides infrastructure that different ISPs can use to offer improved services.  It’s like building a new runway at an airport but not allowing cut-price airlines to clog it and slow everyone else down.

The anti-interference by-laws have to be accepted by 75 percent of owners voting at a general meeting and it may be worth asking your strata manager for a by-law specific to your building.

Are the broadband bullies bashing at your basement door? We  have a pro forma by-law available HERE.  Click on the link and scroll down to find it.  However, get advice from your strata manager or a strata lawyer before you do anything else with it.


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