Communications Minister Stephen Conroy today visited the new 'Art on the Park' 36-storey apartment complex on William street in Melbourne, announcing that the 376 units will each be able to connect to the NBN when residents move in, in June.
It hasn't all been smooth sailing to this point however, as connecting MDUs to the NBN has been a problematic process for NBN Co and its contractors.
Just last year NBN Co said it had not fully determinded how to best connect apartments to the NBN, as each MDU was unique.
NBN Co classifies an MDU as a premise where two or more homes are joined by a common wall or property boundary and managed by a body corporate, while MDUs account for about one-third of the premises to receive the NBN via its fibre-to-the-premises plan.
"Unlike the Coalition, Labor's NBN will deliver fibre all the way to all apartments in Australia for free," he said.
"The Coalition's inadequate broadband policy ignores people living in flats and apartments, leaving them to rely on the ageing copper for their broadband."
Opposition spokesperson Malcolm Turnbull quickly returned fire however, via a typically combatative blog post.
"Stephen Conroy once more is misrepresenting the Coalition’s broadband policy," he said.
"Of course this is precisely the type of greenfield development where,it is cost effective to install fibre to the premise – as described in our Broadband Policy and once again misrepresented by Senator Conroy. It is pretty obvious why. The developer can install all the appropriate conduits and the cost difference between installing fibre and, say Cat 5 copper, at the construction stage is not material. In other words “Art on the Park” would have FTTP installed under our policy as well.
"As to existing apartment buildings, Conroy claims the NBN Co is going to deliver fibre to all of those premises – battling with body corporates, drilling holes in apartment walls, nailing conduit to the side of the building if there is no room in the riser….oh it will be a fun old time running FTTP into every apartment in Australia."