• NBN announced that it will upgrade its NBN services for free, providing over a million Australian households access to the fastest internet speeds available today.
  • It means more and more homes will be eligible to sign up for a wider range of NBN plans, including the NBN 1000 Ultrafast plan and the NBN 250 Superfast plan, both of which are limited to specific connection types
  • Unfortunately, though, not all types of connections are eligible for the free upgrade.

NBN Connection Types: What’s the Difference?

 

Earlier this year, NBN announced that it will upgrade its NBN services for free, providing over a million Australian households access to the fastest internet speeds available today. 

It means more and more homes will be eligible to sign up for a wider range of NBN plans, including the NBN 1000 Ultrafast plan and the NBN 250 Superfast plan, both of which are limited to specific connection types. The government-owned network has earmarked over $3.5 billion to complete the upgrade to FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) by 2023. Unfortunately, though, not all types of connections are eligible for the free upgrade. 

Are You Qualified for the Free Upgrade? 

If you’re on FTTN (Fibre to the Node) connection, then you’re in for a treat as you will be prioritised to switch to FTTP—the same goes for FTTC (Fibre to the Curb) customers. But, in a statement, NBN said that households connected to the NBN via FTTC connection will have to order a plan with speed tiers of 250 Mbps or higher to qualify for a full-fibre upgrade. 

There’s currently no way to check whether your address is qualified for the upgrade. Nevertheless, your internet service provider will likely inform you of your eligibility for an upgrade and at the same time, invite you to sign up for a faster plan. The best you can do now is to know which type of NBN connection you have on your premises. Continue reading as we review all the NBN connection types available in Australia today. 

 

Overview of the NBN Connection Types

There are several types of technology available to get you connected to the NBN. The type of connection you have determines the type of plan available at your address. 

Different NBN connection types will have different configurations. For example, FTTP is distinct for having a box placed both inside and outside your premises. Meanwhile, other types of NBN will also have boxes—also called nodes—near your home, specifically in streets for FTTC and in larger areas for FTTN. 

In regional areas where households are most likely connected via Satellite NBN, there will be a radar dish on their properties or an antenna for those hooked via Fixed Wireless NBN. 

 

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)

FTTP uses a fibre-optic cable that runs from the nearest fibre distribution hub directly to your premises. Because each household has a dedicated fibre-optic cable, it can deliver consistent and high-speed internet. But, while it’s the fastest and the best type of NBN connection available, it can be the most expensive, too. This is particularly true for new installations that involve upgrading the current connection to an FTTP. 

Fibre to the Node (FTTN)

FTTN is a cheaper alternative to FTTP—it’s easier and faster to install, too. It’s common in high-density suburban areas because it uses existing copper wires that are connected to a central location, usually found at the end of the street. Although cheaper, FTTN comes with the downside of slower upload and download speeds. It’s also likely that its copper cables will eventually be replaced by fibre optic. 

Fibre to the Curb (FTTC)

FTTC is a type of connection that runs through an underground pit, closest to the connected premise. Compared to FTTN, FTTC is relatively faster. It’s also easier to install than FTTP. It’s basically a compromise between the two other types of NBN connections. 

Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) 

If you have an existing cable TV, then it’s most likely that you’re connected to the NBN via HFC. It’s the oldest among all types of NBN technology. However, its upload speeds are bad and download speeds are prone to slowing down during busy periods. 

Fibre to the Building (FTTB)

FTTB is the default type of connection used in multi-dwelling units like apartments and office blocks. It uses fibre optic cable that runs from the central location in the building. But, from there, the NBN is delivered to your apartment using an existing cable infrastructure whether that be copper or ethernet cables. 

Satellite NBN

Satellite connections are used in rural areas where there’s usually limited access to infrastructure. This service helps get more people onto the network and connected to the Internet. Sky Muster delivers satellite NBN to remote and regional parts of Australia. Although, data is somehow limited and speed is also a problem. 

Fixed Wireless

This type of connection uses similar technology to 4G where data is transmitted from a transmission tower to an NBN antenna that has been fitted to the premises. Its speed is largely dependent on the number of users connected in a specific area. 

 

What Type of NBN Connection Do You Have?  

The NBN connection type you have in your premise is a matter of availability. You don’t really get a choice with which you end up as it’s largely dependent on your location. Plus, each premise is often being provided with just one type and upgrades, if available, can be very expensive—that’s unless you’re eligible for a free upgrade that’s being rolled out. 

To check which NBN connection type is available in your area, you can use the official rollout map or visit our NBN plans page here.

 

Popular NBN Internet Plans

 

Internet Provider Internet Plan Speed Tier  
Belong Internet Provider NBN Unlimited Belong Standard Plus broadband plan on the NBN™ 50Mbps See Belong Internet Plans
Dodo Internet Provider NBN Standard Plus (nbn50) Unlimited Dodo broadband plan 50Mbps See Dodo Internet Plans
Uniti <a href=/wireless-broadband-plans/>Wireless Internet Plans</a> NBN The 50 (nbn50) Uniti Wireless NBN™ Broadband Plan 50Mbps See Uniti Wireless Internet Plans
Aussie Broadband <a href=/>Internet Plans</a> NBN 100GB Build your own nbn™ Aussie Broadband plan - Standard Plus Speed 50Mbps See Aussie Broadband Internet Plans
Optus <a href=/>Internet Plans</a> NBN Optus Internet Everyday NBN™ Bundle Plan 50Mbps See Optus Internet Plans