Prince Henry telecoms

This special page has been created because of the ongoing issues with Pivit, and concerns for the future security and effectiveness of Prince Henry's telecoms.

As you'll see, there’s a long list of telecoms ‘issues’ frustrating Prince Henry residents. The Community Association, together with its managing agent, is doing its very best to achieve a good outcome for Prince Henry residents now and into the future.

Regular updates will be published as information comes to hand.

If you have problems with Pivit's services, please contact Pivit or the Telecoms Industry Ombudsman (TIO) directly to get the matter resolved.

If you have knowledge and / or experience to share on telecoms issues, please provide details using the feedback form below.


 Telstra's proposal to install mobile phone towers on the roof of Moran at Little Bay

On 20 March 2018 the CA's managing agent emailed all Prince Henry lot owners and their representatives with details of Telstra's proposal to install equipment on the roof of the Moran at Little Bay building, and asking for feedback on the proposal.

Telstra has advised that, should the proposal be approved and proceed per their plans, mobile phone reception for Telstra users at Prince Henry will be significantly improved.

The Community Association appointed an independent consultant to review Telstra's proposal. Following consultation, Telstra amended its proposal to minimise the visual impact from street level and from neighbouring properties within the Community Association.

Having received a letter of recommendation from its consultant, the CA undertook not to object to the proposal subject to:

  • Feedback from Prince Henry lot owners and their representatives being carefully considered 
  • Heritage Council approval being granted in writing 
  • Randwick City Council ensuring that the intentions of the Prince Henry Master Plan, Design Guidelines, and the DCP are considered before Council approval to proceed is granted.

View the documents related to Telstra's proposal

 Response received from Andrew Penn, CEO, Telstra | September 2017

Andrew Penn's response is a detailed and respectful explanation of why Telstra will not provide its services to most Prince Henry residents. In a nutshell, Telstra has chosen not to enter into commercial arrangements with Pivit and is unlikey to build its own network to duplicate infrastructure in an estate that the Minister has determined to be 'adequately served'. Read Andrew Penn's letter.

 Response received from Mitch Fifield's office | September 2017

Another disappointing and incomplete response from the Department of Communications.  Read the letter.

Local MP Matt Thistlethwaite has kindly offered to make representations to Senator Fifield on behalf of Prince Henry residents. The CA is hoping he'll have better luck than it has had so far, and will continue to pursue this issue.

 Lawyer's letter to Mitch Fifield's office | September 2017

 Letters to CEOs of Telstra, Optus, and TPG | September, October 2017

Read the letters to the CEOs of Telstra, Optus and TPG requesting a formal response to the CA's request that each of them considers taking customers on at a retail level in the Prince Henry area, as it does in other parts of Little Bay and neighbouring suburbs:

 Meeting with Matt Thistlethwaite | 27 July 2017

On 27 July, the CA Executive met with Matt Thistlethwaite and his team to discuss the prevailing telecoms issues at Prince Henry. The main issue being lack of choice for many Prince Henry residents. Matt suggested the CA should write formally to the CEOs of the major providers, being Telstra, Optus and TPG.

The aim of writing to the CEOs was twofold: (i) to encourage each of them to try harder to provide an alternative service, and (ii) to obtain a formal refusal from each of them which can be used in further negotiations with Mitch Fifield's office. Matt's team kindly provided some words which the CA was able to adapt for use in those letters. A big thanks to Matt and his team for their time and assistance. 

 Response from Mitch Fifield's office | April 2017

In April 2017 the CA received a rather disappointing response from Mitch Fifield's office (the Australian Government Department of Communications and the Arts). The CA EC will determine its next course of action over the coming weeks. Read the response from Mitch Fifield's office.

Have your say

In the meantime, if you have personal concerns regarding the lack of choice here at Prince Henry you could consider writing to the Minister, cc to our local federal MP Matt Thistlethwaite, the Community Association and possibly also the Telecoms Industry Ombudsman (TIO), cc Matt Thistlethwaite and the Community Association. Details as follows:

IMPORTANT NOTE: Don't forget to cc the Community Association so that your feed back can be factored into the CA's future submissions to the minister.

 Letter to Mitch Fifield regarding lack of choice for many Prince Henry residents | February 2017

In February 2017, the EC instructed Dynamic to write to Senator Mitch Fifield, the Federal Minister for Communications, seeking guidance, clarification and assistance in regard to obtaining fair and equitable access to competitive telephone and internet services for all Prince Henry residents. The letter was CCd to Matt Thistlethwaite, Federal Member for Kingsford Smith, requesting support and action on our behalf. Read the letter.

 Unredacted Network Management Services Agreement received | January 2017

After a long delay, in January 2017, Urban Growth finally provided an unredacted copy of the Network Management Services Agreement on a strictly confidential basis. This means that the CA is not permitted to disclose to any third party the content without first obtaining Urban Growth’s prior written consent to any proposed disclosure. Therefore, we cannot publish a copy of the unredacted NMSA on the website.

It will now be possible for the executive committee to determine whether or not the CA should accept an assignment of UrbanGrowth NSW’s interests in the NMSA and become a party to the agreement with the associated direct contractual relationship with Pivit. However, the minutes of the October 2016 EC meeting clearly indicate that the general feeling was that it would not be in the CA's best interests to enter into an agreement with Pivit. It's unlikely that the additional information now available in the unredacted NMSA will change that general feeling, and a formal decision will be made at the next EC meeting (11 April 2017).

 Web feedback submission re Pivit| November 2016

The web team received a feedback submission on 15 November, and a subsequent email on 17 November from a resident of a large community located at Brisbane's Kelvin Grove. That community is also frustrated that its only telecoms provider is Pivit.

Website feedback submission | 15 November 2016

'I'm a resident in a large community in Kelvin Grove, Brisbane. We too are forced to use the Pivit monopoly for internet and even "free" to air TV. All because of our state government's decision when our community was created.

I came across your community's issues after doing a bit of research with ACCC. You may wish to have your legal team have a read of: 

I hope this helps your community.'

Subsequent email | 17 November 2016

'I also read about your issues with Pivit and the HD Foxtel antenna. Pivit won't even maintain the TV antenna which is rusted and at risk of coming off a 7 level building during a storm. 

We found our state government is actually on the side of Pivit. They used their position within our principle body corporate to sell our privately owned fibre network to Pivit for the grand sum of $1. The state government are just as responsible. 

From my reading of that ACCC document it appears that the ACCC are going after these "vertically integrated" aka monopoly broadband providers especially as the federal government have decided not to roll out NBN to places like ours since Pivit got federal government approval to declare that they "adequately service" the area. 

It looks like ACCC will force companies like Pivit to provide wholesale access to their networks, which would hopefully mean we get choice of retailer. 

If I find out anything, I'll pass it on.'

CA EC proposed action

The web team forwarded this information to the CA EC, and it was decided that it would be best to await the ACCC's final verdict before taking further action. At that stage the new rules will presumably be set in stone, and it will be up to the alternative retail service providers to approach Pivit and others like it to obtain access to the existing infrastructure and provide choice to current users. We can live in hope!

 Telstra's HFC Network update | October 2016

Two strata schemes have had Telstra NBN ready cabling installed, and a further six have indicated they have accepted quotes for installation. Owners in some smaller strata schemes, neighbourhood associations and individual houses have voiced their disappointment with Telstra seemingly applying a very low priority to these dwellings for quotes and installation.

The EC has asked managing agent, Dynamic to write again to all strata managers reminding them of the opportunity for their strata schemes.

 Legal letter sent to Urban Growth requesting an unredacted copy of the NMSA | October 2016

A legal letter was sent to Urban Growth on 10 October 2016. You'll see the letter expressed disappointment at Urban Growth's lack of interest and refusal to act in response to Pivit's clear breaches of it obligations under the Network Management Services Agreement, and requested an unredacted copy of the NMSA.

Urban Growth subsequently advised it will write to Pivit requesting it to provide an unredacted copy of the NMSA to the CA for review. 

 Telstra | Proposal to extend HFC Network to Prince Henry at Little Bay | August 2016 

Well done to the residents of Breeze apartments in Harvey Street. For some months they have been negotiating with Telstra to extend its HFC network to Prince Henry, and are finally seeing some progress.

The CA's letter dated 10 August 2016 was emailed or mailed to all strata schemes, neighbourhood associations and individual lot owners explaining Telstra's intentions. 

letter dated 11 August 2016 from the CA's lawyer was also emailed or mailed to all strata schemes, neighbourhood associations and individual lot owners. The lawyer's letter outlined some of Telstra's requirements and clearly stated that the responsibility for accepting Telstra's proposal lies squarely with strata schemes, neighbourhood associations and individual lot owners.

It's important to note that: 

  • the CA is not able to become involved in private arrangements made between individual Prince Henry lot owners or subsidiary bodies and Telstra
  • any works affecting the external appearance of building must comply with the Prince Henry Design Guidelines, and appropriate written approvals received before works commence
  • any work carried out by Telstra to pavements must be approved by Randwick City Council and the approved concrete mix used to reinstate those pavements on completion of the works

Telstra has advised that as at mid-September: 

  • Telstra is focusing on signing up MDUs in the short term
  • Negotiations have been finalised with two apartment blocks
  • Six apartment blocks are at design | negotiation stage
  • Individual houses and town houses may be considered down the track should the numbers stack up in accordance with Telstra’s business plan

 Urban Growth responds to CA's legal letter dated 10 June 2016  | 29 July 2016

A letter from UrbanGrowth dated 29 July 2016 responded to the CA lawyer's letter dated 10 June 2016 outlining CA concerns with the services provided by Pivit.

To summarise:

  • Urban Growth does not want to get involved in the dispute between the CA and Pivit and suggests that the CA engages directly with Pivit, and the Network Management Services Agreement be transferred from UrbanGrowth to the CA.
  • Urban Growth intends to forward the 10 June letter to Pivit unless requested not to.
  • The lawyer advised that, on balance, he believes the CA should allow UrbanGrowth to send the letter to Pivit because Pivit may pay more attention to the CA's concerns knowing that UrbanGrowth is (somewhat) involved.*
    * Note: The 10 June letter has been publicly available on this website for some months. It's therefore highly likely that Pivit has already read the letter.
  • The lawyer does not believe there is any point in organising a meeting between the CA and Urban Growth because Urban Growth has made it clear that it does not want to get involved in the dispute between the CA and Pivit.
  • The lawyer does believe there is merit in pursuing Urban Growth’s suggestion for it to transfer the NMSA to the CA because doing so will give the CA a contractual relationship with Pivit and, therefore, give the CA the right to enforce the terms of the agreement against Pivit.
  • The CA's lawyer has previously advised the CA on the merits of Urban Growth transferring the NMSA to it – see letter of advice dated 11 May 2016.

A major issue is, of course, the lack of availability of choice of provider for Prince Henry residents. Clause 6 of the NSMA: 'Third Party Service Providers' clearly states that Pivit:

  • '...will provide wholesale access to third party service providers of Wholesale Customer Connection Services'
  • 'will not impose a fee or charge for access to the Network to any third party provider of Wholesale Connection Services'

In addition, the federal governments 'Adequately served policy', which applies to Prince Henry, states 'Households can still choose their own retail service provider'. This is clearly not happening. 

The CA EC has been liaising with Pivit and Urban Growth for some considerable time, both directly and through its lawyer, and has tried in vain to find out:

  • why Pivit is not meeting the terms of the NMSA in respect of third party service providers
  • why Urban Growth is not insisting on Pivit meeting its contractual obligations. 
The CA Executive Committee has instructed its lawyer to request Urban Growth to provide an unredacted copy of the NMSA. This will enable the EC to determine the merits of the Urban Growth proposal to transfer or novate its interests in that Agreement to the CA. The lawyer will also request a meeting be arranged for the CA EC to discuss its concerns with Urban Growth as well as the potential transfer or novation of the Agreement to the CA.

The EC will then consider the facts, discuss the options and present its recommendation for discussion and determination at the annual general meeting on 13 December 2016.

 Legal letter sent to Urban Growth following meeting with lawyer | 10 June 2016

At a meeting with the CA's lawyer on 26 May, the EC agreed on the following action plan: 

  • Lawyer to write to Urban Growth regarding perceived breaches of the Network Management Services Agreement between Landcom (the Principal — now Urban Growth) and Pivit (the Operator). 
  • It was agreed that, as clearly stated a number of times in the NMSA, Prince Henry's telecommunications infrastructure (installed, owned and operated by Pivit) should become available for access by any other telecommunications providers that may wish to use the infrastructure to provide services to residents. 
  • It was also agreed that, subject to the existing infrastructure meeting current technological requirements, it should not be necessary for any other provider wishing to provide services to residents to install additional infrastructure. 
  • The EC determined therefore that the CA should not become involved in any move by residents to appoint another service provider to install additional infrastructure. However, at this time, the CA will not discourage residents from making their own enquiries. It's important to note that plans for any additional works must be submitted to the CA for review before lodging with the appropriate consent authority to obtain approval to proceed.
  • The EC will make enquiries with alternative ISPs to determine interest in exploring options to provide telecoms services to Prince Henry residents, using the existing infrastructure.

For details of the points discussed and agreed on at the CA's meeting with its lawyer, read the legal letter sent to Urban Growth on 10 June 2016

 Lawyer appointed to provide advice | 29 April 2016

The CA has appointed a lawyer to advise on what owners and residents can or can't do in respect of the very complex nature of telecoms provision here at Prince Henry. The CA is awaiting advice from its lawyer as to how much of the detailed legal brief can be made public right now. However, the below extract will give you an idea of what the CA is trying to achieve on behalf of all Prince Henry owners and residents. 

It's important that everyone's aware of the terms of the Network Management Services Agreement between Landcom (the Principal) and Pivit (the Operator). You can view or download the Agreement and other CA documents on the Community Association web page

Extract from the CA's brief to its lawyer: 

Legal brief

  • Review the Network Management Services Agreement in conjunction with the Prince Henry Community Association Management Statement and the Department of Communications stated position on Prince Henry being ‘adequately served...households able to choose their own retail service provider’.
  • Respond to the questions and comments relating to the Network Management Services Agreement
  • Advise the CA as to its rights and obligations in respect of the provision of telecoms to residents
  • Advise the CA as to any action that could or should be taken to achieve the desired outcome 

Desired outcome

In nutshell, Prince Henry users expect the same level of services and same level of choice as its neighbours:

  • We're advised that the NBN will be available to all residences in the neighbouring new development on Anzac Parade, Little Bay Cove
  • Other residences with 2036 postcode, including the rest of Little Bay, either have or will be getting the NBN with choice of a number of ISPs

To achieve this expectation, the following changes will need to take place:

  • Installation of the NBN to Prince Henry
  • Choice of ISP for all Prince Henry residents 

In the event that these changes are not possible, the Principal named in the Network Management Services Agreement would need to be far more hands on and communicative — actually ensuring that the Operator is adhering to the terms of the Agreement and communicating with the CA on a regular basis (say quarterly).

 Copy of missing Schedule 9, Minimum Operator Service Levels, received | 7 April 2016

Urban Growth has advised that important missing section, Schedule 9: Minimum Operator Service Levels, was redacted from the Network Management Services Agreement in error. A copy of Schedule 9 was provided and received on 7 April 2016. 

You can view or download the Network Management Services Agreement and Schedule 9 in the Community Association web section under the heading Important documents. The document will be reviewed by the EC and discussed at its meeting on 12 April, when any action will be determined.

 Network Management Services Agreement received | 17 March 2016

A copy of the Network Management Services Agreement between Landcom (now Urban Growth) and Pivit was received on 17 March 2016. Content that Pivit considered ‘commercial in confidence’ was redacted. The document, as received, is available to view or download in the Prince Henry Community Association web section under the heading Important documents. The term is for 25 years from the commencement date, being 1 May 2007, the execution date.

A very important schedule, Schedule 9: Minimum Operator Service Levels, was excluded from the document provided. The EC believes this schedule may have been deleted in error. Dynamic, the CA's managing agent, has requested a copy of the schedule.

You can view or download the Network Management Services Agreement in the Community Association web section under the heading Important documents. The document will be reviewed by the EC and discussed at its meeting on 12 April, when any action will be determined. All lot owners are welcome to attend that meeting as observers. However, observers may speak only if invited to do so by the Executive Committee.

 Response to the CA's GIPA submission | January 2016

Urban Growth has advised that it has decided to release some but not all information in relation to the original contract with Pivit. Urban Growth's Notice of Decision indicates that the information that will not be released includes that of the cost of the contract for commercial in confidence purposes.

On receipt of the Prince Henry Community Associaition's application, Urban Growth consulted with Pivit. Initially, Pivit objected to the decision to release information on the contract to the CA. However, Urban Growth while acknowledging Pivit's concerns stated that it is in the public interest that this information be released.

Urban Growth has to allow Pivit 40 days to object to the information being released. And so, subject to the current Decision standing, the CA we will receive information in relation to the Pivit contract no earlier than 14 March 2016.

Once the information is available, the CA can determine whether or not to contact the Telecoms Industry Ombudsman (TIO).

 Very slow internet | December 2015

Is anyone experiencing painfully slow internet problems since the Foxtel upgrade around 17 December?

Seems many Prince Henry residents have been advised that they've exceeded their monthly data allocation, triggering 'speed shaping', which effectively means the internet slows to a snail's pace. Many residents we spoke with had not been advised that they'd exceeded their data allocation in the past − some have lived at Prince Henry for more than seven years. Many have upgraded their plans, of course increasing their monthly payment.

We received a call from an IT person looking after one of the residents who was astounded that with a monthly allowance of 500GB there were enough waking hours for his client to exceed the limit. Strange indeed. They're trying to get Pivit to investigate.

Is this a coincidence? Or is there a technical issue that Pivit is unaware of?

If you've had a problem with slow internet. we'd suggest your best option would be to contact Pivit and ask them to investigate.

 Pivit | Foxtel | Urban Growth | Prince Henry CA | 14 December 2015

An informal meeting was held on Monday 14 December 2015 to establish and understand the position of each of the parties attending the meeting in relation to infrastructure upgrades, and to achieve a resolution. A representative from each of Pivit, Foxtel, Urban Growth (formerly Landcom), and Dynamic Property Services, as well as two Community Association Executive Committee members attended the meeting.

At the end of the meeting, no resolution had been reached, with the positions of the parties as follows: 

  • Pivit owns the infrastructure and are responsible for updating and maintaining it. However, Pivit believes this arrangement is no longer commercially viable for them and has requested Foxtel to pay for the most recently required upgade. Pivit indicated that it would have to shut down that part of the system that delivers Foxtel if the upgrade work was not carried out at Foxtel's cost.
  • Foxtel indicated it could not upgrade infrastructure that is owned by another party due to legal, commercial, and liability concerns that may arise at Little Bay and other similar sites. Foxtel's contract with Pivit states that the owner of the infrastructure must maintain and update the infrastructure as necessary. Foxtel also indicated it may enforce that particular clause of the contract with Pivit, as the owner of the infrastructure and therefore responsible for that work.
  • The Community Association (CA) stated its clear position of having no interest in levying Prince Henry owners to fund infrastructure upgrades and maintenance, and could not do this in any case as the infrastructure is not CA property. The CA also made clear it has no interest in accepting all or part ownership of the telecommunications infrastructure for the following reasons:

    (a) the CA has no expertise in this area and therefore no desire to own and be responsible for telecoms infrastructure 
    (b) an amendment to the Management Statement would be necessary, which would be require a series of general meetings and special resolutions. 

The CA has stated it will continue its efforts to encourage Pivit to carry out its contracted responsibilities to Prince Henry residents by liaising with local and state members of parliament, as well as with Urban Growth (formerly Landcom). 

 Meetings with our state and federal parliament local members | December 2015

Many thanks to Michael Daley and Matt Thistlethwaite for meeting with EC members at short notice at such a busy time of year.

EC members met with Michael Daley on 2 December. At the meeting, Michael expressed his surprise at Prince Henry having a sole provider for telecoms and that the sole provider was removing its email service and dragging the chain on infrastructure upgrades. He undertook to help with the Pivit issue and with other ongoing CA issues, the latter being less urgent and something to look forward to in 2016!

On 7 December, EC members met with Matt Thistlethwaite. He too was surprised at Prince Henry's sole provider and no email predicament. He said he'd write to Pivit and also to the Telecoms Industry Ombudsman if necessary, as well as speak with his Federal Government colleagues.

On 22 December, EC members met again with Matt Thistlethwaite, who advised that he'd written to Pivit seeking a meeting to discuss issues raised by the residents of Prince Henry. During a telephone meeting, Pivit had advised among other things that:

  • the Foxtel infrastructure upgrade had been completed and consequently there should be no longer be pixelation on Foxtel's HD channels (it's interesting to note that the CA has received no formal notification from Pivit of this upgrade)
  • it would not consider resuming an email service ¹ 
  • it was trying to negotiate an amended contract with Urban Growth (formerly Landcom) ²
  1. The five services included in the original contract between Pivit and Landcom were: Free-to-air TV, Pay-TV, Internet, Email and telephone
  2. The EC has submitted an application under the GIPA Act to acquire a copy of the original contract between Landcom and Pivit. It is expecting to receive a determination on 15 January 2016.

 Pivit and Foxtel | August 2015

We received a call from a Pivit officer some weeks ago bemoaning the fact that some Prince Henry residents seem to be under the impression that Pivit is responsible for the delivery of the Foxtel service. However, as the officer advised, despite Pivit owning the satellite that provides Prince Henry residents with the means to receive the Foxtel service, Pivit is not responsible for maintaining or upgrading Foxtel's infrastructure. 

Over the past few months, Pivit has received several complaints from Prince Henry residents experiencing pixellation on some Foxtel channels. Pivit advised that this may be because the infrastructure needs upgrading to accommodate recent and not so recent technological advancements. 

In a nutshell, the customer's contract is with Foxtel, not Pivit. Therefore if there is any problem with the Foxtel service, Foxtel should be carrying out the problem solving or trouble shooting roll − not Pivit, Anecdotal evidence suggests that on a number of occasions Prince Henry Foxtel customers have called Foxtel to report a problem, only to be advised by Foxtel operatives that he | she should contact Pivit. Remember, you pay Foxtel for this particular service, not Pivit, so your contract is with Foxtel, and Foxtel should be helping you to resolve the problem you're experiencing with its service. 

Over the years, we're advised, Pivit has maintained its philosophy of trying to help Prince Henry's Foxtel customers resolve their problems wherever possible. And, Pivit has carried out minor repairs to Foxtel's infrastructure...because Pivit's maintenance team is often at Prince Henry. However, we're advised that major (potentially costly) infrastructure upgrades are Foxtel's responsibility. 

If you're experiencing pixellation or any other problem with your Foxtel service, Pivit suggests you contact Foxtel to sort out the problem. If the Foxtel operative suggests you call Pivit, then remind them that your contract is with Foxtel not Pivit. If you have no luck, then we've found that posting on Facebook can get results. 

Note: This article is not an opinion piece. It has been published to inform Prince Henry residents following a concerned call from Pivit. 


Feedback form

Please submit your comments on any or all of the articles on this page by completing the feedback form. Or share your knowledge and / or experience in respect of other Prince Henry telecoms issues.