GUIDES & RESOURCES

NBN Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)

There are a bunch of different ways that you can get NBN broadband delivered to your home or business. One of the fastest connections is called Fibre to the Premises (FTTP).
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Updated 24/10/2023
What changed?
Updated sourcing and new information about how to upgrade to FTTP.
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Written by

Francis Taylor

Updated 24/10/2023

What changed?

Updated sourcing and new information about how to upgrade to FTTP.
Our aim is to help you make better informed decisions. That’s why iSelect’s content is produced in accordance with our fact-checking and editorial guidelines.

Edited by

Laura Crowden

Find out more about how we make money.

View our Privacy Policy.

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What is Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)?

Let’s start with the obvious: FTTP is a type of internet connection. It uses fibre-optic cables to connect your home directly to the NBN network.1 This direct connection is also part of what makes FTTP so fast—in fact, it’s currently considered the fastest and most efficient connection type in Australia, faster than both fibre-to-the-node and fibre-to-the-curb.2 (We’ll explain what all this jargon means shortly!)

 

How fast is FTTP?

Okay, so we’ve mentioned that FTTP is fast, but we haven’t explained just how fast it is.

FTTP internet connections can reach maximum download speeds that are just under 1000Mbps (megabits per second).3 For some people, that might sound like a bunch of techno-babble but trust us—it’s fast. Based on the average download rate for very high-speed internet services, it wouldn’t take long to pull through any of the large files below:

Activity Estimated File Size Estimated Download Time4
Adobe Photoshop (32-bit) 1.26 GB5 12.78 Seconds
2-Hour 4K Movie (Netflix) 14 GB6 2 minutes 22 seconds
Forza Horizon 5 110 GB7 18 minutes and 36 seconds

Now, keep in mind this will also depend on the type of internet plan you have with your provider. FTTP and Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) are among the only connections that can handle NBN1000 plans, which deliver an average speed of 788.6Mbps.8

On plans that exist on a lower ‘speed tier’—anywhere from NBN12 to NBN500—an FTTP connection won’t hit nearly the same download rates. However, they still deliver consistently higher speeds on these plans than any other type of connection.9

How does FTTP work?

Another big reason why FTTP is so efficient is that it only uses fibre-optic cables.

The NBN network uses these cables to deliver high-speed internet, but not every home has the same, direct connection that FTTP uses. For other connection types, the fibre network generally runs to a local hub where it’s delivered to individual customers via a slower, existing medium, like copper. Unlike fibre optic, copper can negatively affect the internet speed you receive, depending on how far your house is from the hub.

Remember, an FTTP line connects your home or business directly to the NBN network through a fibre optic cable. Because fibre optic cables make up the backbone of the NBN, FTTP connections can more consistently deliver high-speed internet.

How does FTTP differ from other NBN connections?

FTTP is only one type of NBN connection and Australia actually uses a range of different connection types and technologies in their broadband network.10 This approach to getting Aussies connected is known as the ‘Multi Technology Mix’. Like FTTP, there are a variety of ‘fixed line’ internet connections that use cables to connect people to the NBN network. These include:

On top of ‘fixed line’ connections, there is also Fixed Wireless NBN. This is particularly handy for remote homes which may not be close to any fibre supply. NBN’s ‘Sky Muster’ satellite service can also provide internet to remote or regional homes, though it won’t provide anything close to the max speeds that FTTP can reach.11 FTTP is different to all other methods as it is the only one which carries the network directly to your premises along the fibre cable.

Who can access FTTP?

Currently, at least 2 million homes and businesses have access or can upgrade their existing broadband connections to FTTP.12 Given how many people live in Australia, that might not seem like such a big number. However, a rollout of full fibre internet is also underway, and selected homes and businesses currently on an FTTC network will be able to upgrade to FTTP.13

The endgame here is to ensure up to 90% of Australian homes and businesses will have access to high-speed internet through FTTP or other connection types.14

What equipment do I need?

FTTP may require in-home cabling, an NBN utility box to be installed outside your home or business, an NBN connection box (outside or inside) and a power supply unit (inside).15

These are provided as part of the NBN rollout. The only equipment you'll need to supply is a wireless router that plugs into the NBN connection box via an ethernet cable. However, if you’re in a new building or development – you may need to pay a flat fee of $300 to connect to the NBN.16 Each connection box has two UNI-V phone ports, allowing you to connect your existing phone and keep your existing phone number.

Because the connection box draws on 240V power, you won't be able to use the phone during a power outage. However, there is one exception: if you have battery backup and a correctly connected corded phone; a battery backup could keep the phone line active for up to five hours.17

How can I upgrade to FTTP?

First things first. You’ll want to check whether your address is eligible for an FTTP connection or upgrade. You can do this through the comparison service that we provide with our partners at CIMET.* Or you can head over to the NBN Co website and enter your address there.18

From there, you’ll need to speak with your existing internet provider; or, if you’re changing, your new internet provider. You might be eligible for the FTTP upgrade if you’re switching to (or if you already have) one of the following plans:19,20

  • Home Ultrafast
  • Home Superfast
  • Home Fast

These plans correspond with speed tiers ranging from NBN100 to NBN1000.21,22,23 However, before committing to anything, you’ll want to check with your provider and make sure that your plan of choice comes with the FTTP upgrade.

The provider will also outline what kind of costs might be involved in the installation.24 They will also help manage the installation process for you and organise an appointment for a technician to set up the FTTP connection at your home or business.25

How do I compare internet plans?

We’ve got some good news. If you’re looking for an NBN plan that suits your budget and lifestyle, iSelect and CIMET can help. With us, you can start comparing NBN plans from a range of plans and providers today.* Even better? Most of our providers participate in the FTTP upgrade initiative.26 How’s that for extra value!


Sources:
1 NBN Co - nbn® Fibre to the Premises explained (FTTP)
2 Australian Competition & Consumer Commission - Broadband performance data
3 NBN Co - Upgrade to nbn's fast fibre
4 Support Small Business Australia - Internet Explained; 1 megabyte is the equivalent of 8 megabits, estimated download time is based on the average download time of 788.6Mbps which translates to 98.575 MB/s.
5 Adobe - Installer file size | Creative Cloud and CS6 apps
6 Netflix - How to control how much data Netflix uses
7 Steam - Forza Horizon 5
8 Australian Competition & Consumer Commission - Measuring Broadband Australia Program | Report 21 Appendix, June 2023 (Page 18)
9 Australian Competition & Consumer Commission - Broadband performance data
10 NBN Co - The technology that connects your premises
11 NBN Co - Our premier satellite service for homes and small businesses
12 The Hon Michelle Rowland MP | Minister for Communications - NBN fibre upgrades hits two million premises milestone
13 NBN Co - Upgrade to nbn's fast fibre
14 NBN Co - One million additional homes and businesses to become eligible for full fibre
15 NBN Co - nbn® Fibre to the Premises explained (FTTP)
16 NBN Co - Government policy for new developments
17 NBN Co - Your FTTP User Guide (Page 19)
18 NBN Co - Check your address
19 NBN Co - One million additional homes and businesses to become eligible for full fibre

20 NBN Co - You have a choice of speeds
21 NBN Co - You have a choice of speeds (Home Fast)
22 NBN Co - You have a choice of speeds (Home Superfast)
23 Aussie Broadband - Connect to Home Ultrafast
24 NBN Co - Upgrade to nbn's fast fibre (Will it cost anything to upgrade?)
25 NBN Co - nbn® Fibre to the Premises explained (FTTP)
26 NBN Co - Find a participating provider

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