UPDATE: NBN Co has confirmed it will relocate the node cabinet originally planned for the verge of Lisa Allen’s home.
NBN Co WA corporate affairs manager Ebony Aitken said a revised location nearby had been identified that provided better network operability while also addressing the concerns raised by Mrs Allen.
“We regularly take on board feedback about nodes and will consider alternative locations where it can be achieved without compromising the integrity of the network,” Ms Aitken said.
“However, investigations for alternative locations can only be undertaken closer to construction.
“We always try to work with residents where practical to find outcomes that benefit both the community and NBN.”
AN Alfred Cove family is furious after only discovering NBN Co intends to install a node cabinet in the middle of their verge when workmen arrived to spraypaint its dimensions on their lawn.
Lisa Allen and Barry Cram are concerned the 1.1m wide by 1.2m high cabinet will drastically devalue the family home of more than a decade.
They also believe the cabinet is a safety hazard that will block the line of sight for cars reversing out of their driveway and that sound emitted by the equipment may negatively affect their family.
The Telecommunications Act 1997 gives NBN Co the right to install certain types of equipment without the express consent of the owner or occupier of the land.
However, the same Act requires NBN Co to provide notice of proposed telecommunications infrastructure, which Mrs Allen is adamant never occurred.
“Prior to the workmen turning up, not only had we not been advised that the NBN rollout was coming to our street, we had not been consulted with or advised that a significant piece of infrastructure was being installed on the verge in front of our property,” she said.
“NBN Co keeps saying it sent us advice but when I asked for a copy of the letter, they only emailed me (a generic) fact sheet.
“We have also spoken to our next door neighbours who likewise had no communication from NBN Co.”
Mrs Allen said NBN Co told her it was legally entitled to place node cabinets wherever it chooses on Crown land.
“They advised us that not even the City of Melville can contest the placement, unless it interferes with planned projects in the area which it doesn’t.”
“We noticed when we looked at surrounding suburbs that cabinets have been in positions that are discreet and have minimal impact on residents, like in front of commercial premises or properties that have solid walls or structures between the cabinet and the house.
“The proposed placement of our node cabinet is as obstructive and intrusive as possible.”
An NBN Co spokesperson said the position of nodes was determined following its network design rules, which include safety criteria, to allow the best possible internet and phone services to the surrounding community.
“In this case, the node has been placed on council land,” she said.
“We formally engage with the land owner (council) during the design phase and provide them formal notification of our intention to install infrastructure on their land.
“This provides Council with an opportunity to dispute the intended location, and as the landowner they are the only party able to formally object.
“However, as part of our commitment to community consultation, we drop flyers to local residents also.
“The City of Melville was formally notified of the proposed location on February 2 and the local residents and businesses received a flyer in their letterbox in the weeks prior to that.
“The flyer includes contact details for residents who have concerns.”
In response to questions about the sound emitted by the node cabinet, NBN Co said the nodes complied with Australian noise level standards.