December 2016 New developments industry newsletter

Message from the GM of Build Partnerships

2016 has been a great year and I’d like to thank everyone in the construction industry for your valued support.

We have some good news for our large developers - nbn has just completed the testing and design phase for a new type of fibre known as “skinny fibre”. The key difference is that skinny fibre is quicker, simpler and less expensive to deploy. For developers it means there will be a reduction in space required to install connections to the nbn™ network, as we move from 9 pits to 6 pits and reduce the need for street cabinets. This was a key call out from industry and you can read more about skinny fibre below.

Other big news in the New Developments space is the introduction of the nbn™ Multi Technology Mix (MTM). MTM involves using best-fit technology and taking existing infrastructure into consideration when connecting new premises to the nbn™ network in a cost-efficient way.

In many circumstances Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) is expected to be the preferred technology, however in some developments with small numbers of premises it may be quicker and more cost effective to utilise the existing nbn™ network within the area. End users will still receive our fast nbn speed, with plans available from phone and internet service providers based on nbn's wholesale speed tiers.

We recently rolled out our ‘nbn™ ready’ campaign, aimed to raise awareness amongst the construction industry and home buyers about the value the nbn™ network brings to new homes. As part of this campaign we conducted research with and discovered that good broadband is a key consideration for 80 per cent of home buyers, with 65 per cent willing to pay a price premium for a home that could connect to the nbn™ network.

nbn is committed to innovation and continually improving our technology to meet the needs of the industry, serving your developments quickly and in the most cost effective way possible.

We look forward to continuing our work together in 2017 and wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.

New nbn construction contracts spur nbn™ Multi Technology Mix rollout in New Developments

nbn has signed a new contracting model that will connect homes and businesses with nbn™ Fibre to the Node, nbn™ Fibre to the Building or nbn™ Fibre to the Premises. For new developments this means a nbn™ Multi Technology Mix (MTM) can now be deployed.

nbn will assess the most cost effective technology in areas where the network has capacity. In most circumstances nbn™ Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) is expected to be the preferred technology, however in some developments with small numbers of premises in brownfield areas it may be quicker and more cost effective to utilise the existing network – such as nbn™ Fibre to the Node (FTTN).

How you prepare your property will vary depending on your technology type. Once you have applied, nbn will advise via your Developer Agreement the technology selected to most appropriately serve your development.

We encourage developers and builders to familiarise themselves with the new design guidelines and cabling guides, which outline the in home requirements for each multi-technology mix.

Read the media release to find out more

Read more about the new guidelines to support MTM in new developments below

Introducing Skinny Fibre (MT-LFN)

nbn is set to launch “skinny fibre” in New Developments, a new and more cost efficient type of fibre.

MT-LFN or skinny fibre as it is commonly known, is made using thinner optical fibres instead of the thicker fibres currently in use, making it quicker, simpler and less expensive to deploy.

For developers this means that there will be a reduction in costs and space required to install connections to the nbn™ network, as we move from 9 pits to 6 pits.

In addition, nbn will no longer require Fibre Distribution Hubs (street cabinets) which require public open space. This also represents a saving for developers and is set to provide more flexibility when it comes to designing your telecommunications.

We expect that nbn will be in a position to deploy skinny fibre in April-May 2017 and developers will be advised during the application process. Designing for MTM can start now, using the new guidelines below.

Read more about the new guidelines to support MTM in new developments below

New guidelines released to support nbn™ Multi Technology Mix in New Developments

With the introduction of the nbn™ Multi Technology Mix (MTM) for New Developments, nbn has reviewed its guidelines for the installation of pit and pipe and pathways, as well as in home preparation.

To download the latest guides, please follow the links below:

The updated guidelines can be utilised immediately. Any new designs received on or after Monday 13 February 2017 will be required to meet the updated guidelines.

Any recently submitted designs or designs currently in progress with nbn will not be affected by the new guidelines.

If you have any questions, please contact your nbn New Developments team or email

Updates to nbn’s Assisted Drafting Tool

The Assisted Drafting Tool (ADT) is designed to assist developers in creating nbn™ pit and pipe designs and to audit designs to ensure compatibility with nbn™ CAD and database requirements.

Following engagement with our industry design consultants, nbn has implemented a number of fixes to improve the tool including:

  • Reported silent crashing issue has been addressed.
  • Improved templates and quality control to ensure the latest template is being used. 
  • Introduction of type 6 pit in the pit selection to accommodate skinny fibre.
  • Improved commands for ducts and boundaries.
  • Use of true north for more accurate translation of data.
  • Ability to update duct length and type (DCTUPD) command.
  • Additional information on Geo-referencing

Download the new tool including guidelines and checklists.

The ADT and AutoCAD Template must be used when you create and before you submit new development pit and pipe designs. Developers and/or their pit and pipe contractors need to adhere to these CAD Standards and Symbols Specifications when drafting pit and pipe designs, by reading, accepting and complying with the terms and conditions when downloading and using the Assisted Drafting Tool (ADT).

Note: When designing Pit and Pipe or Pathways; nbn does not require excessive cadastre detail. The Cadastre layer should only include line work, such as lot boundaries, roads, roundabouts, footpaths, driveways, road reserve and parking bays.

Additional details that outline utilities (such as gas, water, power, sewer and street lighting) and/or dwelling details (such as car outlines, internal dwelling layout and lighting plan etc) need to be switched off in the layer prior to submission to nbn.

New cabling guidelines are now available

With increasing demand for smart homes, and as we prepare sites for a variety of different technologies being deployed, it’s important for builders and cablers to become familiar with new technologies and cabling requirements for the nbn™ network - not only to stay up to date with the industry, but to avoid delays or additional fees that can occur when installation isn’t done right the first time.

When commencing work at a new development, cablers should speak with builders to determine the type of nbn™ network technology being installed, and visit to download specific cabling guidelines. These guides outline how to set up the premises to complete the connection to the nbn™ network, including internal and external conduit paths and utility box separations.

It’s also important to speak with home owners about the telecommunications services they may want to access in their new homes. Asking questions such as where they will be using home computers, if they are installing home security, or whether they will be using smart energy and kitchen systems, will all help inform where nbn™ supplied equipment, phone and data outlets should be located.

Some builders and cablers may be asked to complete pit and pipe or lead in conduit installation on behalf of the developer. If this is the case, it’s important to follow nbn’s guidelines to avoid remediation, delays or fees.

View the latest guidelines for the build process