Summary of the issue

When fibre is installed to a particular property (house or business for example), the fibre optic cable needs to terminate somewhere on that property. That terminal is known as the Optical Network Terminal or ONT.

Copper wire then runs from the ONT to all other wired services in the building, such as individual phone lines, computers or alarms. Costs for getting that copper wire from the services to the ONT will normally sit with the Customer.

TDR has received complaints from customers dissatisfied with where the ONT is placed on their property, or costs for other work required to get the other services operating.

Usual positions of the parties

The Customer may consider the ONT was placed in the wrong location in the property, or that they should not carry the cost for any additional work required to get the other services working.

The Scheme Member would normally submit that the ONT placement was discussed first with the Customer, who approved the location. If additional costs are incurred to get other services on the property functioning, then the Scheme Member will normally advise that is the Customer’s liability.

TDR’s view of the issue

All landline services must physically enter the property at some point. The location of that point of entry will depend on a number of factors, particularly the physical structures on and around the property (for example walls, driveways, rights of way, etc).

TDR would expect the installer to communicate with the owner or lessee of the property, to discuss and agree on the location for the ONT. That discussion should include the practical options for location, but ultimately installation should not commence until agreement is reached.

Provided there is discussion and agreement on the location of the ONT, then TDR is unlikely to uphold a complaint regarding ONT placement location.

In relation to additional costs of internal wiring of the property so other services work from the ONT, normally Customers are liable for all internal wiring costs. Therefore TDR will likely find any additional wiring costs must sit with the Customer.