Horsham resident Andrew Pillekers thought he’d “won nodelotto” when he found a crew spraying markings on the nature strip out the front of his house to indicate the placement of a node for NBN Co's FTTN network.
Pillekers had originally been destined for a fibre connection, but was switched to the FTTN footprint following the 2013 election. He was rezoned again to a fixed wireless connection two months ago.
So when he spotted the NBN Co crew outlining the location of an FTTN cabinet just metres away from his house in late September, he thought he'd struck gold.
“I could have taken three steps from my driveway onto the nature strip and kicked the thing. I thought I’d finally had a win," Pillekers told iTnews.
However, after calling NBN Co to see if he could switch to the cabinet instead of his assigned fixed wireless, Pillekers was told "policy" prevented NBN Co from being able to change his prescribed connection.
“Which I found just a bit irritating as my copper phone line literally went under where the node was going to be placed [and then up the street to its pillar],” he said. “I felt that this was bloody stupid.”
Pillekers turned to his local MP, who suggested contacting the federal member for his area. He received a response a month later from NBN Co via the federal MP's office.
"We understand he remains unhappy with being allocated fixed wireless, especially given his proximity to a node; however, the boundaries are determined based on a number of factors, including construction and technological constraints, and the existing Telstra exchange boundaries," the statement, sighted by iTnews, read.
"We have also explained that he will have the option of upgrading at his own cost, via our technology choice program.”
Despite the knockback, Pillekers continued to lobby NBN Co to let him connect to the node out the front of his house.
But rather than agree to the request, NBN Co decided to move the node cabinet out of view, 120 metres down the road.
“NBN seem to have decided that my problem was not that myself and 60 or so other houses in the area had been dumped from FTTN to fixed wireless, but that I had the node on my nature strip,” he said.
An NBN Co spokesperson told iTnews the original node location had been "chosen to provide FTTN to nearby premises" after placement elsewhere was initially considered unsafe.
"This was the nearest, best location," the spokesperson said.
“We have since identified a better placement for the FTTN cabinet – inside the FTTN service area - and as a result [NBN Co] does not plan to continue construction of the cabinet in the original location."