The NBN™ consists of a fibre optic backbone that provides fast internet to most areas of Australia. A mix of technologies including fibre to the premise, fibre to the building, fibre to the node, HFC cable, fixed wireless and high speed satellite services are then used to connect your house to this fast NBN backbone.
Different technologies are better suited to different areas and you don’t get to choose which technology is used to connect your home to the NBN. NBN Co will connect you to the best technology based on the infrastructure that is available in your area.
For example, in urban areas it is cost effective to install fibre optic cables in most streets so fibre to the node/curb or fibre to the premises will most likely be available to houses in these areas but in rural areas this is simply not possible. Some rural areas will be connected to the NBN via satellite or fixed wireless technologies.
The following types of NBN connections are described below:
- Fibre to the premises (FTTP)
- Fibre to the building (FTTB)
- Fibre to the node (FTTN)
- HFC cable (coaxial cable)
- Fixed wireless
- High speed satellite (Sky Muster)
Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)
Fibre optic cable is installed all the way to your home. This is the fastest and most reliable type of NBN connection. FTTP is available in speeds up to 1000Mbps.
Fibre to the Curb (FTTC)
Fibre optic cable is installed to a NBN distribution point located in your kerb or driveway which then connects to your house or business via existing copper phone lines. The length of the copper cable in FFTC is often quite small so very fast internet speeds are often achieved. FTTC is available in speeds up to 100Mbs.
Fibre to the Node (FTTN)
Fibre optic cable is installed to a central NBN cabinet or node in your street or neighbourhood which then then connects to your house or business using the existing copper phone line. Maximum internet speed will depend on how far you are way from the NBN node ie the length of the copper cable used. FTTN is available in speeds up to 100Mbs but your actual maximum speed will be dependent on how far you are away from the node.
Fibre to the Building (FTTB)
This only applies to apartment buildings. Fibre optic cable is installed to a central point in the apartment complex which then connects to each apartment via existing copper phone line. FTTC is available in speeds up to 100Mbs.
Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) uses existing coaxial cables such as pay TV or Foxtel cables to deliver internet to your home. Fibre optic cable is installed to a NBN node located on the street which then connects to your house via the existing coaxial cable. HFC is typically faster than FTTN or FTTC as it doesn’t use any copper. HFC NBN connections are available in speeds of up to 100Mbs.
NBN internet is delivered via a dedicated 4G mobile signal similar to the technology that your mobile phone uses. The signal is broadcast from a NBN transmission tower and is received by a special antenna mounted on your roof. It requires direct line of site from your house to the transmission tower. This type of NBN is available in areas where it isn’t practical to install fibre optic cables in the street. NBN fixed wireless is currently available in speeds up to 50Mbps.
Australians in regional and remote areas can connect to the internet via NBN’s Sky Muster satellite service. There are currently two Sky Muster satellites that provide internet to remote parts of Australia. A satellite dish must be installed on your house so you can receive the signal from the satellite. Satellite connections are much slower than the other NBN connections but the technology is improving all the time. Satellite NBN is available in speeds up to 25Mbps.
Find a NBN plan to suit your needs.
This article is the part of our ultimate guide to NBN, wireless and broadband internet in Australia. Other articles in this series are:
- The ultimate guide to NBN, wireless and broadband internet in Australia
- Types of Internet and broadband in Australia
- How to choose a broadband internet plan
- How do I connect to the NBN?
- How to read and compare NBN plans?
- What internet speed do I need for working from home?
- What internet speed do I need to watch Netflix or Stan?