Why FTTC will be the best internet connection for 1.5 million Australians
With the nbn™ rollout, Australians have been given unprecedented access to fibre technology to power their internet at home and at work. There are, however, a number of different technologies being used through the nbn™.
One of the most recent technologies introduced through the nbn™ is Fibre-to-the-Curb, or FTTC, which offers a fast connection as well as significant savings for consumers and NBNCo. This is acheived by using a fibre connection almost all the way to your home, taking advantage of the existing copper wiring to complete the connection. There are a number of other benefits as well, such as the fact that it is highly upgradable.
What is FTTC?
FTTC is a new nbn™ technology that has been introduced in 2018. The technology itself is quite simple – through FTTC, NBNCo installs fibre wiring from the pipes, almost to the home. At the curb to the street there is a Distribution Point Unit (DPU) buried into the ground that represents the end of the line for fibre. From there, existing telecommunications copper wires deliver the internet to the home or property in question.
This is positioned as a ‘best of all worlds’ scenario by NBNCo. Consumers still gain the benefits of fast internet delivered almost all the way to their homes, minimising the losses in speed that are generally associated with copper wires. In a typical case, the copper wiring needed to take the Internet from the curb to the premises is less than 300 metres.
At the same time, FTTC offers significant cost savings both to consumers and NBNCo, as there won’t be the need to dig a new lead-in conduit to take fibre all the way to each premise (known as Fibre-to-the-Premise, or FTTP) and NBNCo doesn’t need to go through the process of designing and implementing new physical connections to the power grid. This is another expensive process that would have added substantially to the cost of the nbn™.
In short, FTTC is a technology that NBNCo estimates saves 25%-30% on the cost of FTTP, while delivering far faster and more reliably fast speeds when compared to Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN), which would previously “end” the fibre highway 400 metres from the premises in a best-case scenario. Typically, a FTTN connection will serve properties a kilometre away. At this point there will be a substantial reduction in speed.
Less sharing, more downloading
Another advantage that FTTC has over FTTN is that people need to “share” the fibre wiring and end distribution point with fewer other people. A FTTN rollout means that an entire neighbourhood is fed off the single fibre end-point, while with FTTC it’s a much smaller number of buildings that will be in range of any single “curb point.” This means more reliably-fast Internet for users, with less potential that peak periods create bottlenecks in the wiring which slows everyone down.
Why should you care?
NBNCo expects that 1.5 million properties will be connected to FTTC technology by the end of the rollout.
Firstly, the cost of your nbn™ plan won’t change. Providers don’t discriminate between FTTN, FTTC and FTTP connections. So, if you’ve got a FTTC connection, you’ll be paying the same as someone with a FTTN connection.
FTTC is also highly upgradable, and NBNCo is claiming that future updates will allow it to deliver speeds of up to 1gbps. Currently, the fastest nbn™ plan that you can invest in is 100mbps plan (around 1/10th of what a 1gbps plan will deliver), but the general consensus is that 100mbps won’t be sufficient for internet usage models in the near future, so the future-proofing of a FTTC connection is a major benefit over what a FTTN connection will be able to deliver in the future.
It’s also worth noting that FTTC connections are easy to set up (nbn™ itself has a good, easy to follow guide), and all you’ll need is an nbn™-compatible modem. While FTTP delivers a continuous fibre connection with no copper in the mix whatsoever, it also requires a representative from NBNCo to visit and complete an installation in the home – this also involves drilling a hole in the wall, and renters, in particular, might have trouble getting set up as a result.
For homes, the FTTC solution will enable families to sign up for broadband packages that are sufficient for just about any purpose – be that gaming, watching Netflix in high definition, or running a home office. For small businesses that rely on standard Internet connections rather than a custom solution from a telco, FTTC will also enable seamless use of Cloud computing, video conferencing, and anything else that the modern business needs to be globally competitive. And, once again, it’s a future-proof technology, so as the upgrades to the network occur, you’ll be able to keep pace with the fastest internet speeds possible.
What about right now?
Aussie Broadband has been rated by the ACCC as the top highest nbn™ speed provider, as reported in the ACCC Measuring Broadband Australia report. As a locally-owned and operated nbn™ provider, we at Aussie Broadband believe in giving Australians what they need – a congestion-free internet experience.
Find out if the nbn™ by Aussie Broadband is available at your address here.