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FTTB NBN Explained

Find out more about FTTB connections on the NBN, how they work and their potential speeds.

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, updated on February 13th, 2024       

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If you live in an apartment block or run your business in a large building and are looking for a connection to the National Broadband Network (NBN), chances are you’ll need a FTTB connection. Because of this, it’s important to understand how this connection type works to help you secure the best available plan for your needs.

You can find out all about FTTB connections on the NBN, including learning about how they work, how to install them and the sorts of speeds you can expect them to support, right here with Savvy in our comprehensive guide. Read more with us today!

What is a FTTB connection for the NBN and how does it work?

FTTB, which stands for Fibre to the Building (or Fibre to the Basement), is one of the seven connection types available on the NBN. It’s one of the more unique options, as it’s tailored to apartments and offices in buildings, rather than directly laying a connection to a single home or business. Like other connection types, such as Fibre to the Node (FTTN) and Fibre to the Curb (FTTC), it utilises the existing copper phone infrastructure in your area to establish a connection.

Here's how FTTC works:

  1. NBN Point of Interconnect: fibre optic cables running from the nearest NBN Point of Interconnect connect to a node close to your apartment building.
  2. Connection to the MDF: from the node, another fibre optic cable connects to the Main Distribution Frame (MDF), which is typically located in the basement or control room of apartment blocks.
  3. Connection to apartments: your building then connects each individual apartment to the NBN via the existing copper cables running to each premises.
  4. Data distribution: once the FTTB connection and other required equipment are set up, you can enjoy internet suitable for various online activities, including streaming, online gaming, video conferencing and more.

Although FTTN and FTTC connections can be replaced by FTTP connections in some cases to help homes achieve faster speeds and more reliable internet, this isn’t currently an option for those with a FTTB connection. However, upgrades could still come for this technology in the future.

How is my FTTB NBN connection installed and what equipment do I need?

The installation of an FTTB NBN connection in your apartment is very simple and typically only involves these steps:

  1. Modem router: all you'll need for a FTTB connection is a compatible modem router, namely one which supports VDSL2 connections. This can either be included for free or an additional charge by your provider or purchased independently (such as from a previous connection). You’ll need to connect this to a phone wall socket and its own power source to power it up.
  2. Activation: once the physical installation takes place and your modem router is turned on, your internet connection will be established shortly after. You'll receive instructions on how to set up your Wi-Fi network and devices.

The process is one of the easiest on the NBN, with all the work able to be done by you in a matter of minutes to ensure your connection is up and running before you know it.

How fast are FTTB NBN connections?

FTTB NBN connections can offer high-speed internet but are only capable of supporting speed tiers up to NBN 100, which is 100Mbps (megabits per second). This means FTTB connections are unable to provide you with access to higher speed tiers such as NBN 250 and NBN 1000, both of which can only be supported by FTTP and certain Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) connections.

There are several factors which can also impact the speeds delivered to your apartment or office, such as your service provider, network congestion and the amount and quality of copper cable used in your connection.

However, because a lesser portion of your overall physical connection is made up of copper lines, FTTB connections are often considered stronger than FTTN connections. To get the best performance from your FTTB NBN connection, consider selecting an NBN plan which aligns with your internet usage needs and ensure your Wi-Fi router can handle the maximum speed offered by your plan.

Common questions about FTTB NBN connections

What are my alternatives if I don’t want to connect to the NBN?

There are several other options available if you don’t wish to sign up for the NBN. These include:

  • Home wireless broadband: utilises mobile networks (either 4G or 5G) to establish an internet connection
  • Fibre internet: another fixed line broadband connection, but privately owned to run in competition with the NBN (although availability for this type of connection is much more limited)
  • Mobile broadband: works similarly to home wireless, but is designed more for on-the-go use than a stable connection
How much will my FTTB NBN plan cost?

The cost of an FTTB NBN plan can vary depending on a range of factors, with the main one being the speed tier you choose; the higher the maximum speed, the more you’re likely to spend. Additionally, plans may also vary in cost based on contract terms and any additional services or features included. Prices are typically outlined by your chosen provider, so it's worth comparing plans from different providers to help you find one which meets your needs and budget.

Can I still connect to the NBN via FTTB if I got rid of my landline phone?

Yes – as long as you still have a phone wall socket for your modem router to plug into, you can access the NBN through a FTTB connection. However, if your socket has been removed, you’ll likely have to pay for a professional to reinstall one in order to establish your connection.

What happens to my connection in an NBN outage?

During an NBN outage, your internet connection will be disrupted. The exact duration of the outage and the cause can vary. To address this:

  1. Check for outages in your area: use an online outage checker, look up your internet service provider's website and search their social media for outage information and updates.
  2. Restart your modem: to rule out the possibility of a modem issue, it’s worth resetting your modem and seeing if this restores your internet.
  3. Contact your provider: if the outage persists or if it's a widespread issue, contact your NBN service provider for assistance and updates on when service will be restored.
  4. Look for alternative connections: if you have a mobile data plan or a mobile hotspot, you can use your smartphone or mobile device to stay online. Alternatively, you may wish to move to a public Wi-Fi network.

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Compare internet plans with Savvy

Regardless of whether you're looking for an internet plan for a one-person household or for your medium to large business, you can compare a range of offers from leading Australian providers side by side with Savvy. Get started with a free, no-obligation quote today!

Disclaimer:

Savvy is partnered with Econnex Comparison (CIMET Sales Pty Ltd, ABN 72 620 395 726) to provide readers with a variety of internet plans to compare. We do not compare all retailers in the market, or all plans offered by all retailers. Savvy earns a commission from Econnex each time a customer buys an internet plan via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased directly, as all purchases are conducted via Econnex.

Any advice presented above is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an internet plan. For further information on the variety of internet plans compared by Econnex, or how their business works, you can visit their website.

$50 Woolworths eGift card terms and conditions
  • The Promoter is CIMET Sales Pty Ltd ABN 72 620 395 726. Level 18/570 George Street Sydney, NSW 2000. Econnex Comparison is powered by CIMET.
  • Promotion available on qualifying Broadband Plan purchases between 1st February 2024 to 31st July 2024 (“Promotional Period”) and may be withdrawn at any time by Econnex Econnex Comparison retains the right to change or alter the terms of this offer.
  • You (“Customer”) will receive $50 worth of Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards when you purchase a Broadband Plan via Econnex Comparison, subject to these Terms and Conditions.
  • Information on how to qualify to receive the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card forms part of these Terms and Conditions. Participation in this promotion is considered acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.
Eligibility requirements
  • To be eligible to receive the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards, you must purchase the Broadband Plan via the following link: https://app.econnex.com.au/broadband?rcCode=90709
  • You must switch to a new Broadband retailer. Customers who change plans via Econnex but remain with the same retailer will not be eligible.
  • Your Broadband Plan must be connected within 30 days from the date of purchase.
  • Eligible Recipients will receive the applicable Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards by email up to 120 days after purchasing the Broadband Plan.
  • Econnex Comparison is not liable if any Customer details supplied are incorrect.
  • Econnex Comparison is providing this offer in conjunction with the retail services offered on its platform.
  • Details of Econnex Comparison retailers can be found at the following link: https://www.econnex.com.au/approved-providers-list
  • You must be an Australian resident aged 18 or over. Econnex Comparison may request you to provide a copy of your valid ID for identification purposes.
  • The Promoter reserves the right, at any time, to verify the validity to receive the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards and Customer’s information (including the Customer’s identity, age and place of residence) and reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who the Promoter has reason to believe has breached any of these Terms and Conditions, tampered with the claim process, or engaged in any unlawful or other improper misconduct calculated to jeopardise fair and proper conduct of the promotion.
  • Errors and omissions may be accepted at the Promoter's discretion. Failure by the Promoter to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights.
  • When the request for a connection cannot be completed, is unsuccessful, or a request is made for the cancellation of your Broadband Plan within the first 30 days from the date of connection, you will not be eligible to receive any gift card.
  • Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card is subject to any issuer Terms and Conditions.
  • Any ancillary costs with redeeming the gift cards are not included.
  • No responsibility is taken for any lost or stolen Woolworths Store Bonus eGift Cards.
  • If the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards are unavailable, the Promoter reserves the right to substitute the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards to a card with equivalent value, subject to directions from a regulatory authority.
  • If the offer is not able to be conducted as reasonably anticipated, due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of the Promoter, including but not limited to: technical difficulties, unauthorised intervention or fraud, the Promoter reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to the extent permitted by law: a. to disqualify any individual; or b. to modify, suspend, terminate or cancel the promotion, as appropriate.
  • This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer from Econnex
Econnex Comparison Terms and Conditions.
  • Econnex Comparison will transfer your Broadband Plan request and details to the selected retailer.
  • Econnex Comparison may contact you to clarify any details or discrepancies in the information you provided for your Broadband Plan purchase.
  • To cancel your request, you will need to contact the Broadband Plan retailer and inform them of your decision.
  • Please note that we do not compare all brands in the market, or all products offered by all brands.
  • If you have any inquiries regarding your Broadband Plan purchase, you can contact us directly at 1800 013 000 or email us at [email protected]
  • Econnex Comparison Terms and Conditions: https://www.econnex.com.au/terms-and-conditions/
  • By participating in this promotion, the individual authorises the Promoter to collect, hold, use and disclose their personal information in accordance with Econnex’s privacy policy, including providing such information to third parties such as contractors, service providers, suppliers and where required or authorised by law. Econnex’s Privacy policy can be found at https://www.econnex.com.au/privacy-policy
  • Econnex may, unless the individual tells us not to, use the information to communicate with them by mail or electronically by, for example, email, phone, SMS to issue direct marketing and commercial communications telemarketing calls.
  • To opt out of direct marketing access, update, or correct personal information you may contact us at [email protected]
Other Information
  • Woolworths Group Ltd ABN 88 000 014 675 is the issuer of the Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card but is not the Promoter of the offer nor responsible for fulfillment of the offer terms.
  • Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards have a fixed term expiry as displayed on the front of the gift card and are redeemable in-store and online at Woolworths Supermarket stores only.
  • Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards are valid for 3 months from the issue date and Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards are not reloadable or redeemable for cash.
  • Econnex Comparison and Woolworths will not replace, expired, lost, stolen, or deleted Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Cards.
  • Check your Spam/junk email if you have not received a Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card in your inbox within 120 days after activation of your Energy, Electricity or Gas Plan.
  • Woolworths Store Bonus eGift Card is sent via email from [email protected] or [email protected]
  • For enquiries related to the application, gift cards, or adding or removing any details on the application, please contact the Econnex Comparison at 1800 013 000 or e-mail us at [email protected]
  • For the balance and transactions history on this Woolworths Bonus Store eGift Card and Woolworths Terms and Conditions visit https://woolworths.com.au/giftcards or call 1300 101 234.
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