Quick guide to the different NBN connection types: what’s best?

Samuel Howieson
Samuel Howieson

With over $51 billion already invested in the NBN, the rollout has yet to be completed across the country. And some people still have no idea what it’s all about. In case you’ve yet to be affected by the ISDN disconnection and shift to the NBN, here’s everything you need to know about it as well as the different NBN connection types. Plus, what’s the best NBN connection type?

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. Plus, the NBN connection varies from one area to another. 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.

  1. 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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 distance from the node and the quality of the copper wires.

Alltel NBN Plan to Get You Connected

Avoid interruptions to your internet connection and start the switch to NBN today with Alltel. We offer unlimited NBN plans that fit your home and office needs. If you’re unsure if the NBN has rolled out in your area and the NBN connection types available, then we can help. Call us at 1300 ALLTEL or visit www.alltel.com.au for more info.

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