What are the different types of nbn connections?

The nbn network rollout was complete in late 2020. You might have noticed that that houses are connected to the nbn network in a number of different ways. The nbn network was distributed like this because of the vast land mass of Australia – some people live in rural areas, where it wouldn’t be feasible to connect every home directly to the nbn network in the same way, while others live in massive apartment blocks in the middle of large cities.

In order to make sure that every single home and business in Australia was connected to the nbn network, it was distributed using seven different connection types – Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), Fibre to the Node (FTTN), Fibre to the Building (FTTB), Fibre to the Curb (FTTC), Hybrid-Fibre Coaxial (HFC), Fixed Wireless and Sky Muster satellite. All of these connections will have an effect on the performance of your internet, so if you want to learn more about how the nbn network is connected to your home or business, don’t worry, MATE has you covered. Simply enter your home or business address into our online checker, and we’ll be able to tell you if you’re connected and how you’re connected to the nbn network.

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), also known as fibre to the home, is the one of the best ways that the nbn network can be connected to your home. It uses fibre optic cables to connect your home directly to the nbn network, rather than having to be connected to a distribution unit, or use a different type of cabling/connection when it gets to your home. This means that you’re getting the most consistent delivery of high-speed internet; an advantage that you don’t have to pay a cent extra for. Because the nbn network is relatively new, this type of connection is primarily being done for new homes in metro areas.

Although you get the best possible type of connection to the nbn network, your home still has to be connected to the nbn network, which means that you may receive a visit from an nbn technician, who will install the nbn connection box in a location of your choice. But this location needs to meet certain requirements, such as needing to be close to a power point, needing to be away from areas where it can easily be damaged and needing to be a cool, dry area, so that the nbn connection box doesn’t get damaged by moisture. If you’re unsure about where in your home the nbn connection box should be, talk to your nbn technician on the day of the installation to find the perfect spot.

What are the benefits of having the nbn network?

Source: NBN

Fibre to the Node (FTTN)

Fibre to the Node (FTTN) is one of the most common nbn connection types. Instead of using fibre optic cables all the way up to your home, a Fibre to the Node connection uses fibre up to a node, which will be a “hub” somewhere in your street where all the cables run into. From this point, existing copper telephone lines are used to connect homes to the nbn network. Unlike direct fibre optic cabling that’s been rolled out with FTTP, the copper cabling used in the old telephony infrastructure was not initially built to work with high-speed internet, as copper cabling can handle less bandwidth. As a result, if you have an FTTN connection, you may expect slower download and upload speeds than those that you would get from having an FTTP connection. But how does an FTTN connection work? An FTTN connection works similar to an ADSL connection. However, your internet provider will need to provide you with a new VDSL modem that’s ready for the FTTN nbn network, or you can purchase your own BYO VDSL modem, depending on your provider. After you’ve received this modem, simply connect it to the telephone wall socket and the power and you’ll be good to go. At MATE, we’ve got the TP-Link VX230v Wi-Fi modem router, a high-quality VDSL modem that’s pre-configured for your network, making it easy to install. If you’d like to learn more about how you can get this modem with our nbn plans, check out our website, or give us a call on 13 14 13 today.

fttn diagram

Source: NBN

Fibre to the Building (FTTB)

If you live in an apartment building or your business is in an office block, you’ll most likely be connected to the nbn network via a Fibre to the Building (FTTB) connection. How an FTTB connection works is that fibre optic cable from outside is run to a fibre node that is set up in your building’s connection room, usually in a cabinet in order to prevent vandalism and other forms of damage. Once this node has been set up in your building, the fibre node will be connected to a VDSL modem using any existing copper telephone line infrastructure in the building, similar to how the nbn network is brought to buildings using an FTTN connection.

Because of the similarities between FTTB and FTTN connections, before your connection to the nbn network can be complete, you’ll need to have an VDSL modem to connect to it. Thankfully, you can rely on the pre-configured TP-Link VX230v Wi-Fi modem router brought to you by MATE. If you’d like to learn more about this modem or any of our nbn plans, check out our website, or call our friendly team on 13 14 13 today.

What are the benefits of having the nbn network?

The main benefit of the nbn network is a far quicker and far more consistent internet connection than what can be achieved than on the old copper and cable infrastructure. This provides a lot of immediate benefits, as faster downloads, gaming and streaming.

The presence of faster internet also brings a range of other benefits, such as improved quality of healthcare and education. The introduction of the nbn network also allows us to compete more in national and international business, allowing the nation to improve its economy.

Benefits fo having nbn network

Fibre to the Curb (FTTC)

A Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) connection is something of a hybrid between an FTTP connection and an FTTN connection. As a result, an FTTC connection provides a better connection that what’s provided through an FTTN connection without having the installation requirements that are needed in order to have an FTTP connection.

But how does an FTTC connection work? Fibre optic cable is connected to a Distribution Point Unit (DPU), which can normally be found in a pit on the street, allowing it to be connected to every home in the vicinity. Once the DPU has been set up in your area, the nbn network will be brought to your home or business via the existing copper telephone line connecting to the DPU.

From here, the copper telephone line will be connected to your nbn connection box via a standard telephone wall socket. Although this box will normally be set up by an nbn ™ technician on the date of installation, there are many instances where you will be able to perform a self-installation of the nbn connection box yourself. Once the nbn connection box has been set up, you’ll be able to connect to your modem or router, and you’ll be ready to go.

fibre to the curb (FTTC)

Source: NBN

Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC)

If you have some type of cable connection in your home, such as a cable tv connection, or a Telstra or Optus cable internet service, then it’s likely that your home will be serviced by a Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC). A HFC connection works by having a coaxial cable run through to a splitter, which allows the connection to be split, with one coaxial cable running to your cable TV (if applicable) and the other coaxial cable running to your nbn connection box. You then plug your modem or router into this device, allowing you to take advantage of the nbn network.

However, before all of this can begin, your home or business will need an nbn access network device, which needs to be installed by an nbn technician. In order to have your nbn access network device installed, simply book an appointment with an approved nbn installer or with an internet service provider. Thankfully, MATE is one of those providers, and we’re all about making sure that you can get the most out of the nbn network. If you’re looking get more out of your internet connection, check out our nbn plans or give us a call on 13 14 13 and ask about the installations necessary for a Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial connection.

hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC)

Source: NBN

Fixed Wireless connection

One of two wireless connections available to access the nbn network, Fixed Wireless is designed to reach the people who don’t live in capital cities or regional cities, instead living in more rural areas. The Fixed Wireless connection is designed to reach the 500,000 premises in these areas, establishing the nbn network in these areas through the use of over 2,500 transmission towers, to make sure that adequate internet service is spread out amongst the rural areas.

From the transmission towers, a fixed wireless connection is made by using a satellite to receive the transmissions sent by the tower that covers its area and this transmission is sent from the satellite to the nbn connection box, providing you with access to the nbn network. Because the connection is effectively using a wireless signal, there are many different factors which can determine how well your connection to the nbn network performs, such as distance from the transmission towers, if you use it during typical busy periods, such as weekends or evenings, reception, the quality of your equipment and many other factors including the weather.

If you need a Fixed Wireless connection in order to access the nbn network, you’ll need both a nbn connection box inside and an nbn satellite dish outside on your roof. Once these will need to be installed by an approved nbn installer which your internet service provider will organise on your behalf. At MATE, we take pride in being one of an internet service providers that can help streamline the process of setting up your Fixed Wireless connection. If you’re looking to set up your Fixed Wireless connection with us, simply look at our range of quality nbn plans or give us a call on 13 14 13 to discuss your requirements for the nbn network.

Sky Muster satellite connection

A Sky Muster satellite connection works in a similar way to many other satellites, with two satellites (NBN-Co 1A and NBN-Co 1B) delivering the nbn network to homes and businesses in remote areas, which receive the nbn network via satellite, which then feeds through to a modem that’s been supplied by nbn.

But like other wirelessly connected technology, the effectiveness of the Sky Muster satellite connection can be affected by a number of different things, including location of the satellite, weather, typical busy periods and a whole range of other factors. Unfortunately, MATE is unable to offer nbn services that use the Sky Muster technology.

Sky Muster satellite connection

Source: NBN

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Other Frequently Asked Questions about the nbn

How does the nbn installation into my home or business work?

The installation of the nbn network into your home or business is designed to be as efficient and comfortable as possible. If you’re having the nbn network installed directly into your home for the first time, you will more than likely need to have someone over the age of 18 to invite the installer into the home and sign off on the installation work that they do.

In most cases, you’ll need to work with the installer based on standard installation requirements in order to find the best spot for your device to be installed (if applicable) – an area that’s easy for you to access as well as an area where the technician can easily connect your device to the premises connection device outside. Depending on the connection type, if no physical device is required (such as for an FTTN/FTTB connection) the nbn network will be established via a standard telephone wall socket.

What nbn plan is right for me?

At MATE, we have a number of nbn plans that are designed to suit a range of different lifestyles. Do you have a small family? Try out our Crikey 25/10 plan, offering a typical busy period download speed (7pm-11pm) of 25Mbps and designed for sending emails, browsing, streaming music and video content. Or are you looking for a high-speed plan with unlimited data? Then maybe our Fair Dinkum 250/25 plan designed for 6 or more people, with a typical busy period download speed of 202Mbps. No matter what you need the internet for, you can guarantee that MATE has the nbn plan to suit you.

One thing you’ll need to keep in mind is that not only is your internet speed affected by the type of plan that you have, it’ll also be affected by the type of connection that you have to the nbn network. For example, if you have a plan that provides you with a typical busy period download speed of 48Mbps (Mbps) but you’re connected to the nbn network via FTTN technology, your average internet speed may be slightly slower.

As well as this, there are many other factors that need to be taken into consideration when judging your internet speed. This can include location, distance from Fixed Wireless position (primarily applies to rural/inland internet users), quality of devices and many more factors. Please consider that these factors can have a significant impact on your overall impact speed, even if you’ve just purchased and have a high-speed nbn network connection to your home.

Who will be getting access to the nbn network?

Quite simply, the nbn network aims to give high-speed internet connections to every single home and business in Australia. nbn™ hopes to achieve this goal of providing quality internet across Australia, so you can utilise the entirety of the internet at high speed, no matter where you are in the country.

The government have completed most of the nbn rollout. So you should already have an active nbn connection, or it should be available for installation now. You’ll need to take into consideration how you’ll be receiving the nbn network, as there are a number of ways that you’ll be connected.

Who will be getting access to the nbn™ network?

If you want to know how you’re connected to the nbn network, there’s a very easy way to find out. On the MATE website, we have all the locations where the nbn network is available, and how it’s been made available. Before you select one of our many nbn plans, you’ll be asked to enter your address and see if your home or business is connected to the nbn network and how it’s been or will be connected to the nbn network. With this information, you’ll be able to determine what type of nbn plan will best suit your home or business.

What do I need to do to be prepared for the nbn network?

As the nbn network is rolled out, it has replaced the existing copper telephone infrastructure, which means that services that once existed on this infrastructure have been terminated. For any existing property, you shouldn’t need to make any changes to your home for nbn to install its infrastructure, most internal changes will be managed by nbn, with some exceptions. However, for a new property, you may need a private technician to provide trench & conduit for a technician to install fibre cabling.

Thankfully, preparing your phones and internet using appliances for the nbn network is incredibly easy. Simply call an nbn provider like MATE and talk to them about what plan would best suit your lifestyle. At MATE, we’re all about delivering value and connecting you smoothly. If you want your devices on the nbn network as soon as possible, check out our range of high-quality, high-speed nbn plans on our website, or you can live chat with us online or email us at [email protected].


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best plan for a small family (2-4 users)


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25 mbps *

typical busy period download speed

*speeds may be lower on FTTN/B, FTTC
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