GUIDES & RESOURCES

Fibre to the Building (FTTB) NBN explained

So, here’s a story from F to B…. If you live in an apartment block with NBN access, there’s a chance you’ll have Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) connection available. But let’s dive a little deeper into FTTB and what it all means…
FTTB

*iSelect's partnered with CIMET to help you compare a range of internet plans and providers. Not all plans or providers in the market are compared and not all plans or special offers are available at all timesthrough all channels or in all areas. Not all plans available from CIMET's providers are compared and due to commercial arrangements, area or availability, not all plans compared will be available to all customers. Learn more

Written by

|

Edited by

Updated 22/09/2023
What changed?
Updated sources and added new FAQs including disruptions, fees and multiple users.
|
Fact checked
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.
|

Find out more about how we make money.

View our Privacy Policy.

Written by

Mel Basta

Updated 22/09/2023

What changed?

Updated sources and added new FAQs including disruptions, fees and multiple users.
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.

Compare NBN plans the easy way

Save time and effort by comparing a range of NBN plans and providers online*

What is Fibre to the Building?

Put simply, Fibre to the Building is the technology used to connect apartment blocks and larger office buildings to the NBN network.1 As its name suggests, FTTB does this using a combo of your buildings existing technology, and a fibre optic cable fed into the building.2  

How does Fibre to the Building (FTTB) actually work?

For the technically minded reader, here’s a slightly more detailed explanation of the ins-and-outs of FTTB: 

Inside your MDU (which stands for Multi Dwelling Unit, and is just a fancy way of saying ‘building’) there will be a communication room that houses an NBN-installed node.3 A fibre optic line runs to your building and connects to this node.4 From there, the system hooks up to your building’s existing communications cabling which then carries the NBN to each individual apartment or office where it pops out ready to connect you to the wonderful world of the web.5 

How is FTTB different from other NBN connections?

The NBN has taken a Multi Technology Mix (MTM) approach to connection methods.6 This is just a fancy way of saying that there’s lots of different ways to connect to the NBN.  Fibre to the Building (FTTB) shares the same technology with another option, Fibre to the Node (FTTN), which connects homes via street cabinets (or ‘nodes’).7  

However, FTTB goes the extra distance and brings the connection all the way to your building, which means there could be less chance of losing a signal due to things like line interference from a FTTN node. Ultimately, though, FTTN and FTTB are quite similar connections.8 

There’s also another major MTM technology called Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC). Unlike FTTB/FTTN, it uses coaxial copper cable traditionally used for digital pay TV services.9  

If you're lucky, you'll be in an area that has Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). FTTP uses fibre optic cables all the way to your premises10 (eliminating copper entirely, along with many of the speed and stability issues associated with it), giving you the ability to access speeds of up to 1Gbps!11 Now that’s fast! 

How fast is Fibre to the Building (FTTB)?

The NBN offers six different speed tiers, but the availability of these speed tiers will depend on the type of technology your premises is connected to, as well as the speed tiers on offer by your phone and/or internet provider.12 

There are a range of other factors that can affect the speed of your internet connection such as your building’s cabling, how your provider configures their network and manages their traffic etc.,13 but with FTTB, you could expect download speeds of up to 100Mbps.14 

What equipment do I need for an FTTB connection?

The only piece of equipment you'll need before connecting to the NBN with FTTB is a VDSL2 compatible modem.15 

If your existing modem is not compatible, a number of contracted FTTB NBN plans may come with a modem included (although there may be a delivery charge) while other providers may be able to offer a compatible modem at a cost.  

How do I get an FTTB connection set up?

If you haven’t already been connected to the NBN, you can check your address on the NBN website to see if the NBN network is available in your area, or if it will be available soon.16 

Once your area is connected to the NBN, an approved NBN technician may come to your home to test and activate the service in the building before you connect to the NBN with your modem.17 

If your home is already connected to the NBN, then you’ll need to get in touch with your preferred internet provider and find a suitable NBN plan for your household.18 

Will I be charged a fee for new line connections?

This depends on your internet provider, as well as where you live and the technology and infrastructure that needs to be installed.  

Perhaps you’re moving into a new development? In this case, some providers may charge you a new development fee when they have to install the NBN equipment from scratch.19 

Ultimately, it’s up to your provider. They may charge you with a new line connection fee to cover set up charges, as well as the modem and any applicable delivery fees. 

Will I experience any disruptions with FTTB?

Yes, you may experience some minor disruptions while your FTTB connection is being set up, but if you continue to experience disruptions after the connection is completed, get in touch with your provider to see if they can figure out what’s going on, as it’s possible that your provider could be having some issues, too!

Will it slow down my connection if multiple people in my building are using FTTB?

As mentioned earlier, your internet speed can be affected by many things, but if lots of people are using the internet in your building and you’re concerned about traffic in peak periods, then you may benefit from choosing a higher speed NBN plan.20 

How do I check what type of NBN connection I have?

You can enter your home or business address on the NBN website to see exactly what type of NBN connection you have. 

How do I compare internet plans?

Need help figuring out which NBN plan might be suitable for you? The good news is we’re here to help.  

iSelect have partnered with CIMET to help you compare a range of internet plans and providers.*  

To start comparing, you can hop online or call our friendly team on 13 19 20.


Sources:
1 NBN - Fibre to the Building explained (FTTB)
2 As above.
3 As above.
4 As above.
5 As above.
6 NBN - The technology that connects your premises
7 NBN - Fibre to the Node explained (FTTN)
8 Aussie Broadband - What is Fibre to the Node (FTTN) Broadband?
9 NBN- Hybrid Fibre Coaxial explained (HFC)
10 NBN - Fibre to the Premises explained (FTTP)
11 NBN - Upgrade to NBN’s fast fibre
12 NBN - You have a choice of speeds
13 NBN - Fibre to the Building explained (FTTB)

14 Dodo - NBN Speed Tiers
15 NBN Preparing for the NBN Broadband Access Network, NBN Fibre to the Building (FTTB), page 3.
16 NBN - Check your address

17 NBN - Preparing for the NBN Broadband Access Network, NBN Fibre to the Building (FTTB), page 3.
18 As above.
19 Aussie Broadband - Does Aussie Broadband charge any set-up fees?

20 NBN - Preparing for the NBN Broadband Access Network, NBN Fibre to the Building (FTTB), page 6. 

Feedback