Fibre To The Node (FTTN)

You’re probably familiar with the NBN and how it’s changed the way Aussies get online. But you may not know that there are several ways NBN providers can connect your home to the network. Keep reading to learn more about Fibre to the Node.
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What is Fibre to the Node?

Fibre to the Node, or FTTN, is one example of a fixed line connection, where a physical line runs between a home and the NBN hub. In this case, the existing copper network is used in addition to fibre optic lines established by the NBN.

How does FTTN work?

Navigating the NBN can be tricky, especially if you’re unfamiliar with techie terminology like ‘fibre’ and ‘node.’ Luckily, a Fibre to the Node connection is quite simple and is one of the more common NBN connections out there. Let’s break it down: The NBN is made up of fibre optic cables that stretch out across the country some which run into centralised hubs, which are called fibre nodes.

‘Node’ may sound a bit out of this world, but you’ve probably seen the street cabinets around. These get the NBN much closer to your home, but don’t quite allow the signal to reach you. For the final step, copper line that was already being used for your existing phone or internet network is run between your house and the node. And voila...your home is connected to the NBN!

Who can access Fibre to the Node?

If you’re new to researching the NBN, it’s important to understand that how you connect to the NBN will mostly depend on where you live and the technology available at your address. If you have access to an existing copper line, you'll most likely be provided access to the NBN through FTTN. If you’re keen to switch to an alternative NBN technology like FTTN, you can apply for an Individual Premises Switch however this can be expensive.

How fast is FTTN?

NBN studies have shown that your actual speed may be impacted by how close you are to the fibre node (reminder: this is the street cabinet your house is connected to). Other factors can also impact your NBN speed, such as:

  • Quality of the copper line;
  • Equipment used on the premises;
  • Signal quality;
  • Modem and cabling;
  • Your service provider's configuration and management of their own network.

Of course, the internet plan you choose will also impact speed. The NBN offers six tiers of speed:

Home Basic I

The first tier is sufficient for making phone calls and sending emails, but not much else.

Home Basic II

With this tier, a one or two person household should be able to make calls, send emails, stream music and standard definition video, and browse the web.

Home Standard

Designed for households with a number of users and devices, this tier is usually suitable for working from home, streaming high-definition video, downloading files, and playing video games.

Home Fast

This tier is designed for households with a number of users and devices online at the same time and is recommended for streaming 4K video and downloading files.

Home Superfast

Five or more users can be online at once, and HD video can be streamed concurrently. Users will also experience faster downloading and a slightly better gaming experience than on Home Fast.

Home Ultrafast

The top NBN tier, Home Ultrafast offers the best possible internet experience and prepares your household for new and developing technologies.

How does FTTN work?

How is FTTN different from other connection types?

The NBN Technology Mix includes all the different NBN access network connection types, including FTTN. Generally, there are two ways to get access to the NBN:

  • Fixed line connections: FTTN use a physical line to connect your home to the NBN. The difference between an FTTN connection and another fixed line connection will be exactly how the fixed line is set up. For example, with a Fibre to the Premises connection, a fibre optic line is run directly between your home and a nearby fibre node and doesn’t require that extra piece of copper network at the end. This connection type may require more equipment than the FTTN connection or may not be available to you.
  • Sky Muster satellite services: This connection type is mainly for rural or remote parts of Australia. Two satellites beam the NBN signal across mainland Australia, Tasmania, and even to remote outreaches like Norfolk Island so that more people can access it.

What equipment do I need?

With a FTTN connection, your internet provider should provide a VDSL2 compatible modem. If you already had a modem, then you need to ensure it’s VDSL2 compatible in order to access the NBN. No other equipment should be required, unless you require a wall socket to be installed on your premises which allows your modem to connect to the copper wiring.

Compare Internet Plans with iSelect

While you don’t have much choice when it comes to how your home is connected to the NBN, you can choose your own provider. With iSelect you can compare NBN plans on offer from our range of providers, and select the one which suits you. Get started comparing plans online, or give us a call on 13 19 20.


Last updated: 24/06/2021