There’s been a lot of publicity about the NBN this year. But along with all the hype, there has also been a lot of confusion. So what is the NBN and what do you need to do to connect to it?
What is the NBN?
NBN stands for the National Broadband Network. It’s a Federal Government funded initiative designed to bring a faster, more reliable internet connection to all homes and businesses. The idea is to bring Australia’s outdated infrastructure into the present and future with high-speed access available across all premises.
Should I connect to the NBN?
Eventually, the NBN network will replace the entirety of the old phone and broadband network so you will have to make the switch at some point. Once your address has been declared ‘ready for service’ you will have 18 months to make the change and connect to the NBN.
Will the NBN cost more?
The Government is controlling wholesale pricing across the NBN to ensure that everyone has access to reasonably priced internet connection. So depending on the speed you opt for, it shouldn’t cost much more (or any more) than your current connection.
If you are switching to the NBN before the end of your contract with your current supplier, you may be required to pay a fee or continue to pay until the contract ends. There may also be other fees depending on the supplier aside for the NBN connection itself.
How does the NBN work?
There are a few different ways a premises can be connected to the NBN but the most common three are:
Fibre to the premises (FTTP)
This is connected to your home via fibre and terminated on a device called the Network Termination Device which is supplied by NBN. With this connection you can have two different phone service providers and four data providers.
In new builds, fibre will be the only technology installed but in older buildings, fibre will be installed to work in conjunction with the existing copper telephone network.
Fibre to the building (FTTB)
This refers to fibre installed to a building or apartment complex. It then arrives at a node that converts the optical signal so that it’s compatible with the existing copper cable. This then extends the broadband service across all units in the building.
Fibre to the node (FTTN)
This is very similar to FTTB except that the node is installed outside the premises which allows the service to reach multiple buildings. The technology that allows this to occur is referred to as VDSL. In basic terms, VDSL is very similar to ADSL broadband but is a faster version.
How to connect to the NBN
The plan is for every home, school and work place across the country to have access to the NBN within the next ten years. Many areas already have access to this service. To find out if your home or office have access, you can check by inputing your address on the NBN website.
The NBN will install the technology required to run the service and once you’re declared ‘ready for service’, you’ll need to select a service provider. You can stick to the same provider you have now or opt for a different one depending on your preference. The service provider will then help you connect their device (such as a modem or router) to the network.