If you want the fastest available broadband service, you want an FTTP-based NBN service. Here’s everything you should consider before choosing a plan.
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finder.com.au 100Mbps FTTP NBN plans
|Broadband plan||Contract length||Monthly cost|
|MyNetFone NBN Ultrafast Unlimited Bundle||12 months||$99.99|
|Teleron Platinum Ultimate year||12 months||$90.00|
|Belong NBN Unlimited||12 months||$95.00|
|Buzz NBN Unlimited 100/40||1 month||$99.00|
|Mate #soulmates NBN||1 month||$99.00|
|Dodo NBN Ultra Unlimited||24 months||$99.90|
Under its original design the National Broadband Network (NBN) was set to deliver an optical fibre connection direct to approximately 93% of Australian homes and businesses, with the remainder serviced by satellite broadband and fixed wireless connections.
The large scale of the NBN rollout has seen the infrastructure project undergo significant changes, with a new preference for a Multi-Technology Mix (MTM) approach for the NBN rollout. This includes a greatly reduced emphasis on FTTP technology, instead introducing Fibre To The Node (FTTN) alongside existing HFC cable broadband options.
To see which NBN technologies are rolling out, have a look at our NBN rollout map.
How does FTTP NBN work?
As with other aspects of the National Broadband Network project, FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) is designed to offer high speed Internet access to homes and businesses across Australia. In the case of FTTP, this is achieved using a full optical fibre connection directly into your premises, ending in a network termination device from which you get your actual connectivity. As the initial plans for the NBN called for the vast majority of the NBN to be built in an FTTP fashion, it’s the segment of the NBN that has the largest number of customers on it, although it’s expected that as the FTTN/HFC sections of the newer "Multi Technology Mix" ramp up the rollout those numbers will balance out significantly.
The big advantage to a full fibre connection is that it allows for the highest possible speeds with more easily managed speed guarantees and a significant upgrade path to meet future broadband speed requirements. The challenge with FTTP is that it is more expensive to roll out, and in the case of deployment to certain building types, especially apartments, running full fibre can be very complex, further raising the installation cost. These costs have lowered over time, but they’re still significant.
How fast is FTTP NBN?
There are a variety of FTTP NBN plans available to end consumers, with most providers offering at the very least an entry level 12Mbps down and 1Mbps up service. The second most common tier offers a 25/5 service, typically for a slightly higher price. In the faster speed categories the two most common configurations are 50/20 plans and 100/40 plans, although other configurations, such as 100/100 plans are offered by some subscribers. As the wholesaler, nbn co does offer plans of up to 1Gbps down to its retail partners, but we’re yet to see any consumer plans at that kind of speed.
Where is FTTP NBN available?
The rollout of FTTP NBN services has been relatively slow since its announcement, and even more so since the switch to the multi technology mix, at which point commenced fibre work was announced to go through to completion, but any work not yet commenced mostly switched through to either HFC cable (where it already existed) or FTTN (Fibre To The Node) NBN connectivity instead. FTTP NBN availability is set to be delivered to around 20 percent of Australian households once the fibre rollout is completed on current plans.
Our NBN rollout guide offers a comprehensive look at where different technologies will be made available as the NBN is successfully constructed around Australia.
How can I compare FTTP NBN plans?
Because the fibre in an FTTP NBN connection runs directly from the exchange to your premises, speed is a primary comparison point for any given NBN plan, because it can be guaranteed for a given connection, allowing for network variables depending on the content you’re trying to access.
If your online needs are very modest indeed, with little to no intent to stream video or have multiple concurrent users then the entry level 12/1 FTTP NBN plans could suffice for your needs. If you have more users in your home or want to do more intensive online activities -- or just don’t want to spend time waiting for downloads to finish -- then the faster plans are obviously of more appeal.
With the capacity to offer more speed, you may find that your data needs intensify, and this, along with speed is a core criteria for properly comparing FTTP NBN plans.
The cost of an NBN plan relates to both the offered speed and the data quota associated with that plan. Unlimited plans are still relatively uncommon in the NBN space, but many higher speed plans also include larger download quotas, which makes sense given that the faster that you can access online resources, the more of them you’re likely to use. So the very cheapest NBN FTTP plans will typically only run at the lowest speed tiers with limited data provisioning, while more expensive plans will have larger data quotas and operate at higher speeds.
Will I need a new modem for FTTP NBN?
Because FTTP connections end in a network termination device, you don’t strictly speaking use a modem at all to connect to the NBN via fibre. Instead, you end up with a device with an ethernet port connected to it, and from there you connect what’s effectively a router, although it will need to meet some specific requirements to properly operate. If you’ve got an existing modem-router of recent vintage it may be capable of connecting via Ethernet to an FTTP NBN connection, but we’d advise checking with your ISP of choice. Many will provide an NBN-compatible Wi-Fi router as part of a contract plan.
What other extras should I look for?
The more limited span of NBN plans has meant that there has been to date less competition in the NBN space, which means that there are fewer additional hardware or software goodies used to entice customers at the time of writing. The core comparisons of speed, price and download quota should be your primary consideration, although the usual quota-free areas of some ISPs do still apply for most NBN plans as well.
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