Life Tech NBN: Your guide to different broadband network technologies

NBN: Your guide to different broadband network technologies

NBN is a high speed network designed to reach all Australian premises with a combination of fibre, fixed wireless and satellite.
NBN is a high speed network designed to reach all Australian premises with a combination of fibre, fixed wireless and satellite. Photo: Getty
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Australia’s different NBN technologies have caused controversy across the nation.

According to research by a respected engineer Professor Rodney Tucker, a worldwide tipping point has been reached.

Internationally, majority of connections are through FTTP however Australia is one of the very few countries using FTTN – showing poor results.

Here is a guide to the different NBN technologies, including benefits and downfalls.

Fibre to the home (FTTH)

FTTH refers to a direct optic fibre connection to your home. It runs from a central point directly to houses to provide high speed internet.

The benefit of FTTH is that the connection provides extremely fast broadband with the lowest latency.

Once installed, FTTH won’t require direct maintenance and could easily serve the needs of the user for at least 30 years.

FTTH, also known as fibre to the premises, is most appropriate for people who are employed or who run online businesses.

According to NBN’s 2017 corporate plan, between 17 per cent and 21 per cent of houses will be connected to the NBN over FTTH.

FTTH is more costly than the other broadband network technologies.
FTTH is more costly than the other broadband network technologies. Photo: NetComm 

Fibre to the curb (FTTC)

FTTC is the newest technology used in Australia’s NBN. A high speed fibre optic cable is run underground in each street.

The fibre connects with a small distribution point unit (DPU) that uses a existing copper phone line to deliver fast broadband.

The benefits of FTTC include no speed degradation – it will be able to achieve speeds ten times faster than the current maximum NBN speed.

Some Australians will be able to connect to the NBN over FTTC as of March 2018.
Some Australians will be able to connect to the NBN over FTTC as of March 2018. Photo: NetComm

Fibre to the node (FTTN)

FTTN is when a fibre optic cable is run to a common network box (node) in a street.

A house then connects to the node using an existing copper wiring that is used for a landline phone.

FTTN is considered to be a cheaper alternative to FTTP is faster to roll out.

However a downside to FTTN is that the download and upload speed will depend on how far you live from your node. It will also be determined by congestion during peak hours.

 FTTN doesn’t require big boxes to be installed on the inside and outside of your premises
FTTN doesn’t require big boxes to be installed on the inside and outside of your premises. Photo: iinet