FTTP NBN Explained

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

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, updated on September 19th, 2023       

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FTTP is the most powerful of the various connection types available on the National Broadband Network (NBN), offering high-speed internet connectivity to homes and businesses across Australia. If you have FTTP at your location, it's worth understanding how it works and its benefits.

You can find out what you need to know about this NBN technology right here in Savvy, helpful guide. Learn about how it differs from other NBN technologies and gain insights into potential speeds and reliability. Dive deeper into the world of FTTP with us today to make an informed decision for your internet needs.

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

FTTP, or Fibre to the Premises, is the most advanced technology employed by the NBN and is used to provide high-speed internet to homes and businesses in Australia. It represents one of the most advanced and efficient methods of delivering internet connectivity.

Here's how FTTP works:

  1. Fibre connection to and from node: FTTP begins with a dedicated fibre optic cable running directly from your premises to a node in your area, which in turn uses fibre optic cables to connect to a local Point of Interconnect (POI).
  2. Network Termination Device (NTD): to bridge the gap between the external fibre optic cable and your in-home network, a NTD (or Connection Box) is installed within your premises. This device is the interface through which the fibre connection is established and transformed into a format suitable for your devices.
  3. Connection distribution: once inside your premises, the NTD can connect to your devices through either Ethernet cables or Wi-Fi, depending on your specific network setup. You'll usually need a router to distribute the internet connection to multiple devices and enable Wi-Fi connectivity.
  4. Data transmission: when you send a request, such as loading a webpage, streaming a video or downloading an online game, the data travels as light signals through the fibre optic cable from your premises to the local POI. This direct optical connection ensures minimal signal loss and fast data transmission.

In summary, FTTP NBN is a cutting-edge technology which uses fibre optic cables to deliver high-speed internet directly to your premises. This results in better overall performance than connections using copper cables, low latency and more reliable connectivity, making it an excellent choice for households and businesses with demanding internet needs.

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

The installation of an FTTP NBN connection typically involves these steps:

  1. NBN Connection Box: an NBN technician will visit your premises to install an NBN Connection Box, which acts as the interface between the NBN network and your home. This box is usually installed within your home or business premises, plugging into an existing coaxial outlet.
  2. NBN Utility Box: you’ll also need a Utility Box to be installed if you’re accessing the NBN via a FTTP connection. This is placed on the outside of your home or business.
  3. Connecting the router: with the Connection Box typically serving as the modem, you'll need a compatible wireless router to connect to it in order to distribute your connection to your various devices. 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 the Connection Box via an Ethernet cable and to its own power source.
  4. Activation: after the physical installation, your service provider will activate your NBN connection, which may take a few hours to a day. You'll receive instructions on how to set up your Wi-Fi network and devices.

The process is relatively straightforward, with NBN technicians usually responsible for the installation to ensure everything is set up correctly.

How fast are FTTP NBN connections?

FTTP NBN connections are known for their high-speed capabilities. Alongside Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) connections, they’re the only connection type which can comfortably support speeds beyond NBN 100, meaning you may be able to choose an NBN 250 or NBN 1000 plan if you have this type.

It's important to note that the actual speeds you experience can vary due to factors like network congestion and your service provider. To access the best speeds, ensure you choose an appropriate plan and have a capable Wi-Fi router to handle the speed offered by your plan. If you have an NBN 1000 plan, you’re more likely to experience maximum speeds of around 600Mbps to 700Mbps.

In summary, FTTP NBN connections can offer fast and reliable internet speeds, making them suitable for a wide and diverse range of online activities from a large household or medium to large business of simultaneous users (if you choose an NBN 1000 plan).

Common questions about FTTP NBN connections

How do I upgrade my current NBN connection to FTTP?

Some Australians may be eligible for a free upgrade from an existing Fibre to the Node (FTTN) or Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) connection to FTTP through NBN Co. In most cases, you’ll need to upgrade to a higher-speed plan through your provider as part of this process. However, if you aren’t eligible for a free upgrade, you still may be able to do so at a potentially high cost.

Is FTTP available at my home or business?

To check if FTTP is available at your home or business, you can visit the official NBN Co website or contact your provider. Through these channels, you can obtain information on the NBN technologies available in your area and whether FTTP is an option.

How much will my FTTP NBN plan cost?

The cost of an FTTP 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.

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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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.