THE Meander Valley Council will request a $10,000 refund from NBN, after a quote commissioned by the council into the cost of upgrading Hadspen, Westbury and Hagley to fibre to the premises NBN was handed back with scant detail.
For $10,000 the council received two, two-page reports, each with a map of the proposed connection area and a paragraph detailing the indicative estimate charge for upgrading the towns to fibre to the premises.
General information makes up the remainder of the two pages in each document, alongside a statement that the letter and estimated cost must be kept confidential.
Meander Valley mayor Craig Perkins said the council deemed the detail in NBN's letters to be insufficient, and had voted in Tuesday's council meeting to request the refund and release the documents.
"For the price that we had to pay it seems extremely unreasonable," Cr Perkins said.
"It should be quite clear how they came to that conclusion, so we can understand and explain it to our ratepayers, and that detail wasn't there."
Meander Valley councillor Andrew Connor said the information provided for the $10,000 application fee "could have been arrived at with publicly available information".
"We needed more substantive figures and supporting information to even consider progressing this upgrade," he said.
Connecting Westbury and Hagley's premises to fibre was estimated to cost between $2.7-$3.3 million including GST, or $2500-$3000 for each of the approximately 1100 premises.
Hadspen's quote was for between $2.2-$2.7 million for its 1000 premises, or between $2200 and $2500 per building.
Fairfax Media reported last February that direct fibre to premises connections were deemed by an internal NBN review to cost $4000 per premise.
Under the previous federal Labor government, direct fibre connections were estimated to cost between $2200 and $2500.
Cr Perkins said the council obtained the quotes in order to begin a process that may have led to council funding the upgrades, to ensure all townships in the municipality had access to the same technology.
An NBN spokesman said the company sought to cover costs when extra work was required.
"NBN charges a standard fee under our Area Switch program when we are asked to quote on changing the technology planned to be rolled out in multiple areas such as this," the spokesman said.
"These fees are detailed on the NBN's website."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.