What is FTTB NBN?

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With the National Broadband Network set to finish 93% of its work in 2020, there’s still a lot of people who haven’t changed over, or are confused at what their type of NBN offers. One of the less common NBN types that comes up every now and then is Fibre to the Building, or FTTB, involving apartment buildings and their connection to the network. Read more below.

What is Fibre to the Building NBN?

Fibre to the building NBN

FTTB stands for ‘Fibre to the Building’. It’s part of the rollout of the NBN network and is seen in apartment buildings where there are multiple properties needing an internet connection. FTTB involves running a fibre optic cable directly to your apartment building’s communications room, where it connects to an NBN node. From the node, copper wiring (pre-existing phone wiring) is used to travel up the building and distribute NBN access to all the apartments, where your connection is delivered through a phone wall socket.

FTTB is designed to be cheap, and is in many ways a decent compromise technology between Fibre to the Premises – the fastest and most expensive type to roll out – and Fibre to the Node, the slowest fixed-line connection type and least expensive to roll out. With FTTB being somewhere in the middle between these technologies in terms of speed, you should be able to achieve decent uploads and downloads without much stress.

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How much do Fibre to the Building plans cost?

You can get an unlimited Fibre to the Building NBN plan for as little as $44.90 a month for the slowest speed tier, with faster speeds costing more. Data-capped plans are noticeably cheaper, but aren’t offered by many providers. For higher speed plans, make sure your provider can service your connection type, as some speeds are not available for some connections. See below for offered NBN prices.

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Evening Speed (NBN 25) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Basic Evening Speed (NBN 12) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

What do I need for FTTB NBN?

For FTTB connections, there’s nothing too special required. In fact you should be ready to go straight away from an ADSL connection, provided that you have a compatible modem. You’ll need to connect a telephone cable from the telephone wall socket directly into the back of your modem. From here, you can use an ethernet cable directly from your modem to your computer, or use your modem Wifi connection.

  • When the NBN comes to your area, you’ll be notified by your Internet Service Provider and you’ll likely receive a letter in the mail.
  • You have 18 months to switch to the NBN before your old service is shut off
  • Make sure your modem-router is NBN ready

How fast is Fibre to the Building?

On a maximum speed, Fibre to the Building plan, you can expect download speeds to reach between 75Mbps and 90Mbps during peak hours, with NBN 100 being the fastest speed tier available. However, like with FTTN and FTTC, the further you are from the NBN connection box, the slower your connection will be. Although apartment buildings aren’t too big, you may notice some distance latency. This is because the further you are from the distribution point, the slower your connection is over a copper wire.

Your speed will also be impacted by how many people are using the internet demandingly in your apartment, and will be naturally slower during those congested periods of 7pm and 11pm. Different providers also have different speeds, and some have higher typical evening speeds than others.

What are other types of NBN?

There are several other types of NBN you might come across:

  • FTTP – Fibre to the Premises: This is the least common connection type, and was the initial plan for the NBN on a wide scale. It’s the fastest connection type, but is far less common
  • HFC – Hybrid-Fibre Coaxial: Uses existing pay TV or cable network wiring, usually in the form of Optus’ old fibre network or Telstra’s old cables. This cable runs from the closest node to your home
  • FTTC – Fibre to the Curb: Distribution points are put on streets, where fibre is run to. From the distribution points, copper wiring distributes an NBN connection to the street
  • Fixed Wireless: Employs 4G technology to transmit a wireless NBN signal in regional areas of Australia. The top speed on this technology is NBN 50.
  • SkyMuster Satellite: Uses two satellites to provide internet access to remote locations, like Christmas Island and Norfolk Island. Top speed available is NBN 25.

Should I be concerned about my Fibre to the Building connection?

Fibre to the Building is in many ways one of the best NBN connections you can get, however alternatively you could look into getting a Fibre to the Premises connection with the NBN Technology Choice Program. Before you think about paying for that though, here’s a few things that you could do:

  • Ensure you have a plan that’s fast enough for your needs, and that there’s no damage in your building wiring
  • Make sure your router isn’t damaged, and any cables you’re using aren’t damaged
  • We’ve got more on optimising your internet experience here

Make sure you shop around and consider any NBN alternatives that might work for you better. From the day that the NBN is activated at your property, you’ll have up to 18 months to swap over to the NBN.

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