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Can you get a free fibre NBN upgrade? Everything we know about FTTP upgrades

Update: NBN Co has begun sending out invites for the upgrade program, as well as releasing a list of suburbs and service providers that are participating in the first wave of upgrades.

Last year, NBN Co announced that over a million Aussie homes would have their NBN service upgraded for free, giving them the capability to access the fastest speeds available in Australia.

This would open these homes to a wider array of NBN plans, including the ultrafast NBN 1000 tier (or 'gigabit internet') as well as NBN 250, both of which are only available on certain connection types. 

To do this, NBN Co is spending AU$3.5 billion to upgrade almost 2 million premises around the country to FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) by the end of 2023 – a technology that involves no copper, only fibre.

Does your home qualify for the free upgrade?

Firstly, not all connection types are eligible for the free upgrade – FTTN (Fibre to the Node) households are being prioritised and form the bulk of the potential candidates to switch to FTTP.

Some FTTC (Fibre to the Curb) customers may also get the upgrade, although NBN Co states that these households "will need to order a plan based on wholesale speed tiers of 250/25 Mbps or higher to qualify for a full fibre upgrade".

At the moment, there's no way to check your specific address for eligibility – NBN Co said this functionality would be added to the 'check your address' function on the company's homepage by November 2021, but as of the time of writing this doesn't appear to have been implemented. 

NBN Co has begun sending out invites to the first wave of eligible premises as of  March 2022, including a list of participating service providers and suburbs in the first batch. You can register for updates from the company to stay in the loop.

Alternatively, you can wait for your telco to get in touch regarding the upgrade. It'll be in their interest to let you know as soon as your premise is eligible for an upgrade, as it allows you to sign up for a faster and more expensive plan.

Even if you can't know for sure if you'll be getting the upgrade, you can at least check the full list of suburbs that NBN Co has released to see if yours is among them.

Suburbs announced March 2022

NSW: Aberglasslyn, Bella Vista, Cameron Park, Canley Vale, Castle Hill, Cherrybrook, Chipping Norton, Croydon, Croydon Park, Darlinghurst, Edgeworth, Erina, Glenhaven, Green Valley, Hunterview, Kingswood, Kurnell, Melrose Park, Norwest, Pleasure Point, Rutherford, Singleton Heights, St Albans, St Clair, Terrigal, Thornton, Villawood, Voyager Point, Wattle Grove, West Pennant Hills, Woodlands

Victoria: Bayswater, Bayswater North, Braybrook, Cranbourne North, Hampton Park, Lynbrook, Lyndhurst, Narre Warren, Rowville, Sunshine, Sunshine North

Queensland: Burleigh Waters, Gilston, Highland Park, Mudgeeraba, Robina, Varsity Lakes, Worongary

South Australia: Ascot Park, Athol Park, Bowden, Burton, Clovelly Park, Dudley Park, Edwardstown, Ethelton, Greenwith, Mawson Lakes, Mitchell Park, Parafield Gardens, Paralowie, Renown Park, Semaphore, Semaphore Park, Semaphore South, South Plympton, West Lakes, West Lakes Shore, Woodville North

Western Australia: Alexander Heights, Beckenham, Doubleview, Gwelup, Innaloo, Karrinyup, Langford, Marangaroo, Thornlie

New South Wales

Announced in May 2021:

Alexandria, Albion Park, Austinmer, Balgownie, Bankstown, Barrack Heights, Barrack Point, Batemans Bay, Belmont, Bogangar, Byron Bay, Cabarita Beach, Camperdown, Charlestown, Claymore, Cordeaux Heights, Corlette, Davistown, Dubbo, East Albury, Erina, Erskineville, Ettalong Beach, Fairy Meadow, Fingal Bay, Forster, Gerringong, Glenfield Park, Glenmore Park, Gorokan, Horningsea, Hoxton Park, Hunters Hill, Huntleys Cove, Jerrabomberra, Kariong, Kellyville, Kincumber, Islington, Lake Illawarra, Maryville, Merewether Heights, Milton, Mount Annan, Mount Pleasant, Narellan, Nelson Bay, North Richmond, North Wollongong, Oak Flats, Old Bar, Prestons, Raymond Terrace, Salamander Bay, Seven Hills, Shoal Bay, Soldiers Point, St Georges Basin, Terrigal, Thirroul, Tuncurry, Tweed Heads, Ulladulla, Umina Beach, Warilla, Warners Bay, West Hoxton, Woodbine, Woolwich, Woonona, Worrigee, Woy Woy, Yattalunga.

Anounced in February 2021:

Bathurst, Campbelltown, Elderslie, Maitland, Narellan, New Lambton, Orange, Singleton, Tarro.

Anounced in October 2020:

Belmont North, Carramar, Castle Hill, Charlestown, Holsworthy, Liverpool, Toronto, Wetherill Park.

ACT

Announced in May 2021:

Banks, Campbell, Conder, Dickson, Gordon, Hume, Lyneham, O’Connor, Reid, Turner.

Victoria

Announced in May 2021:

Aireys Inlet, Albert Park, Alfredton, Barwon Heads, Belmont, Berwick, Caroline Springs, Cowes, Craigieburn, Deer Park (additional footprint), Delacombe, Derrimut, Echuca, Fairhaven, Geelong, Geelong West, Grovedale, Hampton Park, Hastings, Highton, Kalimna, Kangaroo Flat, Lakes Entrance, Leopold, Mernda, Mornington, Ocean Grove, Pakenham, Pearcedale, Rosebud, Sebastopol, Seymore, Somerville, Sunshine West, Tarneit, Torquay, Traralgon, Warrnambool, Waurn Ponds, West Wodonga, Wodonga.

Anounced in February 2021:

Berwick South, Cranbourne, Deer Park, additional areas of Narre Warren, Sydenham.

Anounced in October 2020:

Lyndhurst, Narre Warren.

Queensland

Announced in May 2021:

Alexandra Headland, Andergrove, Bargara, Bayview Heights, Beaconsfield, Bellara, Bentley Park, Blacks Beach, Brinsmead, Buderim, Bulimba, Burpengary, Burpengary East, Caboolture, Caboolture South, Cannonvale, Castaways Beach, Clifton Beach, Coolangatta, Coolum Beach, Cooroibah, Craiglie, Currimundi, Dolphin Heads, Earville, Edmonton, Eimeo, Forest Lake, Freshwater, Glenella, Griffin, Heathwood, Kawungan, Kewarra Beach, Lawnton, Meridan Plains, Monoora, Mooloolaba, Manunda, Marcoola, Marcus Beach, Maroochydore, Minyama, Mooroobool, Morayfield, Mount Coolum, Mount Pleasant, Mount Sheridan, Mountain Creek, Murrumba Downs, Newtown (4350), Noosa Heads, Noosaville, Ormeau, Pacific Paradise, Pacific Pines, Parrearra, Peregian Beach, Port Douglas, Proserpine, Redlynch, Rothwell, Seventeen Mile Rocks, Stratford, Sunrise Beach, Sunshine Beach, Tewantin, Trinity Beach, Twin Waters, Upper Coomera, Urraween, Victoria Point, Warana, White Rock, Woree.

Anounced in February 2021:

Albany Creek, Ashgrove, Bald Hills, Burleigh Heads, Ferny Hills, Robina, Townsville.

Anounced in October 2020:

Acacia Ridge, Browns Plains, Eight Mile Plains, Oxenford.

South Australia

Announced in May 2021:

Andrews Farm, Ascot Park, Edwardstown, Exeter, Glanville, Grange, Largs Bay, Munno Park West, New Port, Port Adelaide, Seaton, Semaphore, Tennyson, West Lakes, Woodville West.

Anounced in February 2021:

Elizabeth, Gepps Cross, Golden Grove, Salisbury.

Anounced in October 2020:

Osborne.

Western Australia

Announced in May 2021:

Ascot, Balcatta, Balga, Bayswater, Beaconsfield, Beckenham, Belmont, Bentley, Bicton, Cannington, City Beach, Cloverdale, Coogee, East Cannington, East Fremantle, Fremantle, Gosnells, Hamilton Hill, Highgate, Hilton, Huntingdale, Karawara, Karrinyup, Kewdale, Maylands, Midland, Morley, Mount Lawley, Nollamara, North Fremantle, North Perth, Osborne Park, Palmyra, Redcliffe, Riverton, Rivervale, Rossmoyne, Samson, Scarborough, Shelley, South Fremantle, Southern River, Spearwood, St James, Stirling, Tuart Hill, Waikiki, Waterford, Wembley Downs, Westminster, Yokine.

Anounced in February 2021:

Canning Vale, Girrawheen, Jandakot South, Kingsley, Wanneroo.

Anounced in October 2020:

Cannington, Double View.

Tasmania

Announced in May 2021:

Camdale, Cooee, Devonport, Howrah, Legana, Ocean Vista, Park Grove, Paklands, Sandy Bay, Shorewell Park, Tranmere.

Northern Territory

Announced in May 2021:

Alice Springs, Araluen, Braitling, Ciccone, Desert Springs, East Side, Gillen, Ilpara, Larapinta, Ross, Sadadeen, The Gap.

NBN 1000 plans compared



Source: TechRadar

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