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A complete guide to NBN Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)
Does your home qualify for a Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) National Broadband Network (NBN) connection? If the answer is yes, you’re in luck. It’s considered to be the fastest type of fixed line NBN technology currently available.
How does FTTP work?
A FTTP connection enables your house or business to be connected directly to the nbn network through a fibre optic cable. Because fibre optic cables make up the communication backbone of the NBN, FTTP is able to consistently deliver speeds as advertised – up to 100Mbps.
How does FTTP differ from other NBN types?
FTTP was the initial design for the NBN, proposed by the Australian Government in 2009. It would replace the country’s ageing copper-based network infrastructure with a network that would connect 93% of Australian premises. The remaining 7% would connect to wireless NBN solutions.
This plan was shelved in 2013 in favour of a Multi Technology Mix (MTM) platform (which is cheaper to implement). MTM retains the fixed wireless plans and some FTTP, but replaces much of the planned FTTP network with infrastructure that uses existing copper networks to connect NBN users. These are called Fibre to the Node (FTTN), Fibre to the Building and Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC).
How fast is FTTP?
The most common NBN plans offer maximum download speeds of up to 25Mbps, 50Mbps and 100Mbps. FTTP has the capacity to offer speeds of up to 1Gbps/400Mbps, but your actual speed will be limited by the internet plan you’ve purchased.
As FTTP connects directly to the wider NBN network through a fibre optic cable, you shouldn’t generally have trouble achieving the maximum download and upload speeds you’re paying for. Keep in mind, speed can still be affected by network congestion during peak times.
Who has access to FTTP?
FTTP will most likely be available in two location types. The first includes areas where the NBN infrastructure was installed prior to 2013. The second includes areas where copper or cable connections are not present, such as new housing estates. Three quarters of Australian premises will be able to access a service over the NBN network by the end of FY181.
What equipment is needed?
FTTP may require in-home cabling, a NBN utility box to be installed outside your home or business a NBN connection box (outside or inside) and a power supply unit (inside). These are provided free of charge 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 are in a Green Fields area – generally this includes new buildings or developments – you will need to pay a flat fee of $300 to connect to the NBN2.
Each connection box has two UNI-V phone ports3, allowing you to connect your existing phone and keep your existing phone number. Note that because the connection box draws on 240V power, you won’t be able to use the phone during a blackout4. The exception is if you have battery backup and a correctly connected corded phone; a battery backup will keep the phone line active for up to five hours.
If FTTP is not available in your area, you can apply for an Individual Premises Switch5. These can be expensive, costing $660 for a build quote, and up to tens of thousands of dollars to install the infrastructure.
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