How the type of NBN you get matters

Apr 05, 2017

NBN InternetThe NBN has become a little confusing since it’s humble roll out to Australia.  As the network has matured, it has branched into a number of different technologies it was never going to use in the beginning.  

Here is a quick reference to show you the different types of NBN, and why it matters to the performance of your internet for home or business;

Fibre to the premise (FTTP)

FTTP is considered the best NBN connection you can get, and is a fibre connection to your house. Because the glass connection is to your home this type of internet has the lowest latency (or ping/lag) and the highest potential for download and upload transfer speeds (now and into the future).

Current speeds: Up to 100 Mbps download, and 40 Mbps upload.

If your home doesn’t have FTTP you can apply for it to be upgraded (here) however this can come with a huge price tag.

This is also the preferred type of NBN we try and get for our clients where possible at Tropical Communications.

Fibre to the Node (FTTN)

FTTN is fibre installed to the end of a street (a fibre node); and the “last mile” to the home is delivered by existing copper from that node.

FTTN’s use of the existing copper infrastructure, which isn’t capable of higher bandwidths, means the FTTN option gives a much lower potential for upload & download speeds resulting in a slower connection regardless of the plan you have signed up for.

Current speeds: Average maximum (Download) 46 Mbps, theoretical up to 100 Mbps

Fibre to the basement (FTTB)

FTTB is delivered to an apartment buildings telecommunications room, and from there distributed to each apartment using whatever cabling is existing in the building (most often copper).

FTTB is placed in-between FTTP and FTTN in terms of speed & latency. Apartments can apply to switch from FTTB to FTTP here

Current Speeds: up to 100 Mbps (limited only by infrastructure of the building).

Fibre to the Driveway (FTTC, FTTDP, FTTD)

Fibre to the distribution point is fibre installed to the curb or driveway, from there the closest point at which it can connect to the existing copper telephone cable a distribution point is connected. Essentially a “last 10 meters” instead of the last mile (FTTN). Because the network has only 10 metres of copper, the performance is better.

Current Speeds depends on distance from the distribution point, up to 100 Mbps.

Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC)

This is the oldest technology component of Australia’s’ mixed bag communication technology networks, HFC is the old cable you would have used in the past to get subscription TV such as Foxtel.

It has poor upload speeds and performance will decrease at peak periods (afternoons after work, etc).

HFC is mostly, thankfully, only in Redcliffe QLD.

Fixed Wireless

Fixed wireless is a technology used to connect rural and regional properties to the NBN. Fixed Wireless NBN is basically 4G technology, similar to what your mobile phone uses.

You can expect a maximum download speed of 25MB and upload speed of 5MB.

Satellite (Sky Muster)

Sky Muster is the slowest of all the other NBN options, and is meant for properties not covered by any of the above other technologies.

Category: Communications

Daniel Ladlow


Director at Tropical Business Solutions