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Friday 30 June 2023 | 5 min read

How to check if your suburb can get a NBN FTTP upgrade

Written by Sarah Edwards, Communications Officer and Benjamin Millard, Communications Officer

A photo of a male and female looking at a laptop screen in a dark room. The female is looking over the male's shoulder and pointing at something on the laptop.

If you are one of many Australians who are stuck with a slow or unreliable internet connection, you might be considering upgrading to a faster, more reliable NBN Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) service. Read our blog about the different connection types here.   

FTTP is the gold standard of fixed-line broadband technology, delivering the highest achievable speeds and the most consistent performance. However, not all premises are eligible for FTTP, and the process of getting it can be complicated and costly. Here is what you need to know about nbn®’s fibre upgrades. 

What is the NBN Fibre Connect program? 

NBN’s recent Fibre Connect program is an initiative supported by the Australian government to provide broader access to FTTP technology across the country. The program was first announced in October 2020 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2025, estimating that up to 3 million homes and businesses using FTTN will be switched over to fibre by then.   

How to check if your suburb can get an upgrade to FTTP 

If you’ve recently experienced sub-par internet speeds, you’re probably curious to know if you’re eligible for NBN’s free upgrades to fibre. There are a few ways to check if you’re able to upgrade to fast fibre.  

If your current internet service provider (ISP) is participating in the program, you can contact their support team and ask them to check if your address can get a free upgrade to fibre. If you're with Aussie Broadband, click here to check your eligibility, or call us on 1300 880 905.

To qualify for a free upgrade, you need to order an NBN plan with a speed of 100Mbps or higher if you’re a Fibre to the Node (FTTN) customer, and 250Mbps or higher if you’re a Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) customer. 

If your ISP says that there is no free upgrade available at your address, don’t lose hope! 

Since the program has commenced, NBN has continued to add more locations to their full list of announced areas – your suburb might be on this list but just not ready yet to be able to book your upgrade. You can also search your address and register for email updates if your property isn’t eligible. 

A photo of two technicians working on a street-side pit at night. They are funneling cable underground via a spool mounted on the back of a ute.

In the most recent wave of planned upgrades, NBN listed one million additional homes and businesses across more than 850 suburbs, which includes regional hotspots like Bundaberg, Safety Beach, East Bendigo, Airlie Beach, North Haven, and Mount Barker.  

What is the process for upgrading my NBN to fibre? 

Is it free to upgrade my NBN to FTTP? 

Upgrading to FTTP with Fibre Connect can offer faster and more reliable internet service, but it’s also important to note that there may be some potential costs, depending on your circumstances. These may include: 

Installation fees for the fibre optic cable and equipment if lead-in work or a specific NBN box placement is required. 

• Monthly charges for the Fibre Connect plan and any additional services 

• Possible disruption to your existing phone and broadband service during the installation process 

• Compatibility issues with some devices that may not work well with FTTP 

Your internet service provider (ISP) should discuss these potential costs while placing your order to ensure that you are making an informed decision.   

It takes a few weeks from the time you apply for an upgrade to when you are connected to FTTP. This can change depending on your current type of NBN technology, the availability of contractors, and the complexity of the installation. 

Step 1 – Sign up for the upgrade with your ISP 

If you’ve registered your interest in upgrading with your ISP, you should be contacted when your address becomes eligible. From there, it’s a case of your ISP scheduling an NBN appointment time that suits you.  

Step 2 – NBN technician attends your property 

An NBN technician may visit your property several times to complete your fibre upgrade. For some premises, a pre-installation visit might occur when a technician assesses the outside of your property before the installation day. This doesn’t require for you to be at home, and usually takes 45 to 90 minutes.  

If there is extra work to be done, the technician might either come back before your installation appointment or do it on the day, with a person over 18 having to be in attendance for the main appointment. 

You’ll be able to chat with the technician about the placement of your NBN connection box. They will test and confirm the equipment is working, and the whole appointment usually takes 3 to 4 hours.   

Step 3 – Configuration of equipment

Once your installation appointment is done, your ISP will be able to confirm that the equipment is all good on their end. Your modem/router that you use will likely also need to be re-configured to work with FTTP, and your ISP can walk you through that via their customer service team.

Step 4 - Plug and play!

Once your router and equipment is all configured, you're good to go! You can start connecting all of your devices to your network and enjoying that sweet, sweet fibre.

NOTE: Make sure that your current modem/router can support your new plan’s higher speeds! You can check this by searching the name of your router on Google and checking the specs.  

Can I upgrade from FTTC to FTTP? 

In some areas... yes!  

Shortly after NBN started accepting orders for FTTN to FTTP upgrades, it was announced that some FTTC customers can also get a free upgrade to fibre.  

If you are doing this, please note that there may be an outage of around half an hour in the days leading up to your installation appointment, with NBN changing the network equipment outside your property to support FTTP.  

A photo of a female staring down at her laptop, in a green jumper and sitting down in front of a white wall.

The benefits of a NBN FTTP connection 

  • Faster and more reliable internet speeds. With FTTP, you can enjoy plans up to 1000Mbps/50Mbps and 250Mbps/100Mbps, which are much faster than what most other types of NBN technology can offer. This means that you can stream high-definition video, play online games, work from home, upload large files, and use multiple devices at once with ease.

  • Future-proofing your internet connection. You can be confident with FTTP that your internet connection can handle any future demands that might require higher bandwidth or lower latency. Unlike other types of NBN technology that rely on wires or cables that degrade over time and limit performance, fibre-optic cables are durable and scalable and can support even faster speeds in the future with minimal upgrades. 

Tags:FTTPNBNConnection type

Written by

Sarah Edwards Headshot

Sarah Edwards

Communications Officer

Sarah is a Communications Officer at Aussie Broadband with 10 years of various experiences in the tech sector under their belt. Responsible for the continuous improvement of Aussie's Help Centre, Sarah also authors editorial blog posts, and...

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Benjamin Millard

Benjamin Millard

Communications Officer

Benjamin (or Ben) is a Communications Officer at Aussie Broadband. Responsible for the operation of Aussie’s organic social media, Ben also produces editorial blog content, as well as helping with community management. In his spare time, he...

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