FTTN and FTTP NBN What’s the Difference?

If you’ve been thinking about switching to the NBN (National Broadband Network) you’ve probably come across the two acronyms FTTN and FTTP – but what do they mean?

FTTN (Fibre to the Node)

FTTN stands for Fibre to the node. This basically means that your NBN connection still relies on your good old phone line to get to the “node” (those little green boxes you’ve probably noticed on the side of the road) before connecting to the fibre backbone that will get you on to the internet.

If you have FTTN NBN available in your area in most circumstances NBN installers don’t actually even need to enter your house to enable the service. It can all be done externally just like the old ADSL/ADSL2+ services were.

FTTN uses a VDSL technology for delivering the internet service. In our experience it’s best to use the equipment provided to get you online with FTTN because although there are several VDSL compatible devices you can buy off the shelf – not all support the specific requirements needed for you to get connected.

FTTP (Fibre to the Premises)

FTTP stands for fibre to the premises. This refers to the connection between the NBN node and your actual house or business. If you have access to FTTP this will mean that an NBN installer will need to enter your house to set up the network equipment required to get you online.

FTTP is delivered into the house via fibre optic cable, which is then converted into an ethernet signal which will connect to a router. On most FTTP services the ethernet port that you connect to is labelled “UNI D-1” you’ll need to connect this to the WAN port on your modem/router for you to get connected up.

Again – it’s recommended that you use the equipment provided by your provider to connect as they may require specific connection types to get you online that are not available via off the shelf solutions.

Whats better?

Theoretically FTTP is the better service as it can support a faster and higher data throughput. However in our real world tests we’ve seen FTTN and FTTP services perform almost the same. Generally though as well you don’t get a choice you either have the option of one or the other. If you are moving business premises however it may be worth investigating if you will be going to an NBN compatible area and how the service will be delivered to you.

FTTP generally will have a lower latency then FTTN services – which is incredibly important if you want to run services such as VoIP over the connection with multiple connected users.

What else should I be careful of?

If you move to a FTTN service you can normally port your phone number. This means keeping the same phone number on a brand new service. Before you do this though you should be sure that you aren’t disrupting any devices in your home that are reliant on your landline – in some cases it’s not just your phone you have to worry about.

The two main services that may still require a landline to function are:

  • Secuirty Systems (back to base alarms)
  • Medical Emergency Systems

Be sure that you talk to your providers of those services to see what the options are before switching over.

If you still have a fax machine that needs a landline, look at a service such as www.gofax.com.au  instead that can convert your faxes to emails for a low yearly cost.

What Speed Should I Pay For?

We recommend people get a minimum of 50Mbit/20Mbit connection. If you can get afford the 100Mbit/40Mbit services go for that.

We don’t recommend anything lower than 50Mbit as really that’s not an incredible amount quicker then what ADSL2+ offers in some areas.

What about data?

Again, this depends on your budget but so many services now offer unlimited connections for such a reasonable price we recommend going with them so you don’t have to worry about it.

Otherwise – look at what you intend to do online, a household with two people just checking emails does not need anywhere near as much data as a family with several children using the internet for online gaming & Netflix.

I still need help

If you still need assistance getting connected get in contact with us here


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