NBN National Broadband Network
What’s the NBN?
The NBN is an upgrade to the existing internet and phone infrastructure in Australia. Disconnection from the ISDN, which is the current internet infrastructure, has already started early September and is set for completion by 2022. With the slow shift from ISDN to NBN, this would explain why the internet speed of the country has fallen to 60th place according to Speedtest Global Index.
NBN Connection Types
Varied connection technologies have been rolled out by the NBN to cut down on costs and hasten the switch to the latest network. The NBN purchased Telstras copper network and have band-aided a solution that mixes all different type of technologies all as useless and slow as one another.
The connection type of the NBN will vary from Suburb to Suburb. New areas will have Fibre optic as the delivery method and other areas is a roll of a dice as to what technology is available. You can check what is available on your premises by going to Home | nbn (nbnco.com.au) and inserting your address and seeing what technology is available to you.
You won’t have a choice on the connection installed since the decision lies on NBN Co. but it is best to understand what the types of NBN are, as these can be confusing. You can also apply to change your technology with NBN by going to Technology Choice Program | nbn (nbnco.com.au) and applying for a quote to switch technologies. Be prepared for some overpriced quotes too.
Current Technologies for access to the National Broadband Network.
- Fixed Wireless
This in-between technology connects regional and rural areas to the NBN. Rather than a satellite wireless connection, it uses a ground-based station or Point to Point setup. A dish is installed on the roof and pointed towards the tower. It is similar to the wireless technology used by 4G networks such as Vodafone, Optus, and Telstra. A fixed wireless connection is optimised according to the total number of users in a certain area.
- Satellite (Sky Muster)
Remote and regional parts of Australia use this type of connection. A signal is broadcast from NBN Co. to a satellite dish before it is transmitted to the user’s home. Data is limited, especially for entry-level plans, and speed is also an issue on a satellite connection. This is by far the worst type.
- Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC)
If you’ve got cable TV, then it is highly likely you’ll be getting this connection. While it makes use of insulated wires to reduce interference, upload speeds on the HFC are bad. Download speeds are also likely to slow down during peak periods.
- Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)
FTTP is also referred to as FTTH, Fibre to the Home. In this setup, each house has a dedicated fibre-optic cable that runs from a fibre distribution hub closest to their area. It is considered the best type of connection since it is the fastest. Plus, there’s room for expansion in the future. Though it is the fastest and the best, it can also be the most expensive, especially for new installations that involve switching the current NBN connection to an FTTP.
- Fibre to the Node (FTTN)
An FTTN connection is a more affordable alternative than the FTTP. It is easier and faster to install in high-density suburban areas since it uses existing copper cables that are connected to a central location or node often found at the end of the street.
- Fibre to the Curb (FTTC)
Another term for FTTC is FTTDP or Fibre to the Distribution Point or Fibre to the Driveway. The fibre connection runs through an underground pit that is closest to the user’s home. Compared to FTTN, FTTC is better and faster.
- Fibre to the Basement (FTTB)
Lastly is FTTB, which is also known as Fibre to the Building. For those living in multi-dwelling units such as office blocks or apartments, FTTB is the default NBN connection. Fibre runs from the central location in the building, and the distance left uses copper wiring. So, the connection speed may depend on the distance from the node and the quality of the copper wires.
Modems recommended or required.
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