In September 2022, nbn announced that it was introducing a program called Fibre Connect, to upgrade fibre to the node (FTTN) and fibre to the curb (FTTC) addresses to fibre to the premise (FTTP) with $0 cost installation.
Subsequent announcements have extended the program, meaning that by the end of 2025 nbn expects 5 million homes and businesses will be able to utilise Fibre Connect for $0 cost installation.
Despite the $0 installation, the upgrade isn’t without commitments. It requires those choosing to upgrade to commit to either a 100Mbps/20Mbps (or faster) plan on FTTN or 250Mbps/25Mbps (or faster) plan on FTTC for 12 months.
The question you may be asking if you currently have FTTN and FTTC is, why should I upgrade to Fibre?
What is fibre?
To answer this question, it’s important to understand what fibre is, and why it is the optimal choice.
Fibre is shorthand for optical fibre, a flexible transparent fibre made of glass (silica) or plastic. It is slightly thicker than human hair and it forms the backbone of how data is transmitted on the internet.
Optical fibre transmits at the speed of light and unlike metal wires (such as copper wires), Fibre is not subject to transmission loss or electrical interference.
Optical fibre can therefore carry data more efficiently, at greater bandwidths and with enhanced reliability over other transmission types such as copper wires and wireless/satellite transmission.
What is the difference between FTTP & FTTN/C?
Originally, the entire nbn network in non-rural & regional areas was going to be FTTP. However, there was a shift in government policy which resulted in the introduction of a multi-technology-mix (MTM).
Under this framework to reduce the time and cost of the nbn rollout, nbn was required to utilise pre-existing infrastructure – the copper telephone network operated by Telstra.
While this may have reduced the time and cost to deploy the nbn, it reduced the quality and long-term viability of portions of the MTM.
If you’re on FTTN/C, your internet connection relies on this copper telephone network for the last portion of your home to the nbn node/curb device.
This means that part of your nbn connection on FTTN/C is more likely to experience transmission loss and electrical interference, resulting in dropouts and variable performance. Furthermore, copper wiring can’t match the bandwidth capabilities of fibre over distance, limiting the speeds available to customers on FTTN/C.
In the short-term speeds up to 100Mbps may be sufficient (not all FTTN/C connections can achieve this), but bandwidth demands have been increasing by 30% year on year, so faster speeds will be necessary sooner than we think.
What will my experience on FTTP be like?
What then should you expect on FTTP? In simple terms, you will experience enhanced reliability, with far fewer (if any) dropouts.
On FTTN/C nbn has defined 4 dropouts or less per day as an acceptable standard, because it cannot guarantee a dropout-free experience.
On FTTP, nbn has end-to-end diagnostic capability over the fibre connection and can remotely identify if there is a defect with their network. This means if you are having dropouts due to the nbn network they can and will be able to resolve the issue.
Upgrading to FTTP will also open up the full range of nbn speed plans. Presently nbn provides plans up to 1000Mbps (1Gbps) on FTTP, but if you’re on FTTN/C, the maximum available plan is 100Mbps.
Fibre is also upgradeable. In the future as customers want and need faster speeds, nbn can enable greater speeds without having to run new fibre optic cabling.
In an FTTP world, internet applications are no longer limited by the cable that connects your house to the internet.
Please note – this program is only rolling out in nbn service areas.
How can I sign-up?
You can find some great information, including how to sign-up to this program, on Leaptel’s Fibre Connect Page.
There has never been a better time to get fibre, so leap in today with Leaptel, your Fibre Connect experts!