- When the NBN network first rolled out, you didn’t get a choice on the type of connection you get. Instead, you get what is available to your location.
- While some addresses were fortunate to get fibre direct to their premises (FFTP), others had to settle with what was just within reach: fibre near their property (FTTN), at the curb (FTTC), or to nodes up the street.
- This would enable access to NBN Home Ultrafast—a plan that offers peak wholesale download speeds of 500 Mbps to close to 1Gbps.
When the NBN network first rolled out, you didn’t get a choice on the type of connection you get. Instead, you get what is available to your location.
While some addresses were fortunate to get fibre direct to their premises (FFTP), others had to settle with what was just within reach: fibre near their property (FTTN), at the curb (FTTC), or to nodes up the street.
Over the past two years, NBN has been aggressively launching new network coverages and upgrades as part of its $4.5 billion plan to bring faster internet speeds to Aussie homes. In its latest move, the government-owned network announced that more than 50,000 Fiber to the Node (FTTN) connections are already eligible to upgrade to FTTP. This would enable access to NBN Home Ultrafast—a plan that offers peak wholesale download speeds of 500 Mbps to close to 1Gbps. But does that include you? Here’s everything you need to know.
Are You Qualified for an FTTP Upgrade?
NBN has started sending out invitations for the upgrade program, giving more homes access to a wider range of NBN plans. These include the fastest Internet speeds in Australia—the NBN 1000 Ultrafast and NBN 250 Superfast plans, which are limited to just FTTP and some Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) connections.
However, not all connection types are eligible to switch to FTTP. NBN prioritises FTTN households, which form the bulk of the customers being offered a free upgrade to full-fibre. Some fibre to the curb (FFTC) connections may also get the upgrade, but they may have to order an NBN 250 plan or higher to qualify.
There are two ways to sign up for the upgrade. If you are part of a released area or zone, you will receive a notification from NBN, along with instructions on how to take up the offer. Otherwise, you can check your address in the list of suburbs included in the program. If you are an FTTN user, you can register your interest directly with NBN here.
The NBN providers participating in the FTTP upgrade include Telstra, Aussie Broadband, Superloop, and Exetel. Other major retailers like TPG, Telecom, Optus, and Vocus have yet to announce their participation in the program.
Why You Should Upgrade to FTTP Connection
As of this writing, over 8.5 million households are already on an NBN plan. About 1.5 million have a full-fibre internet connection, while the rest access NBN through part-fibre links, wireless satellite, or repurposed old cables.
While most households get by without a full-fibre connection, an upgrade may be sensible for people who require the highest speed tiers available. These include anyone working from home, dealing with frequent video calls, or into streaming and gaming. With a fibre upgrade to FTTP, you can do things that you would otherwise struggle with at lower speeds. The symmetrical nature of fibre allows you to download and upload data at equal speed—and with speeds that range from 500Mbps to 1Gbps, you can stream media without any buffers or loss of quality, run cloud applications smoothly, and ensure quality VoIP calls even on long distances.
Much of the benefits of an FTTP connection stem from its use of fibre optic—a material that harnesses light technology to deliver a more reliable and secure source of internet connection. It is resistant to electromagnetic interferences, meaning there is currently no way to interrupt data flow which is hardly the case with other internet services that use cable lines and other electron-based transmissions. Fibre optic is also more durable and not as vulnerable to damage. This delivers less downtime due to repairs and maintenance and more uptime for the users.
The fibre optic material is also long-lasting and future-proof. Whereas copper-based lines require updating every 5 years, fibre optic can last up to 40 years. Structure-wise, it is made to be scalable and customizable, allowing users to modify their speed on demand.
The Future of NBN
Plans based on the NBN Home Ultrafast speed are already available to 4.4 million premises in Australia. NBN targets to bring this number to 8 million by the end of 2023 by upgrading almost 2 million premises around the country to FTTP.
Looking to upgrade to an FTTP connection? Compare your options and find the right internet plan.