NBN commences FTTC trials

Alex Kidman 16 June 2017 NEWS

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Coburg in Melbourne will be the first beneficiary of the switch to Fibre To The Curb.

NBN (the company building the National Broadband Network) has commenced trials of Fibre To The Curb technology in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg. The trial is designed to give NBN the information it needs to spread its FTTC wings further, with the final plan calling for around 1 million premises Australia-wide to incorporate the technology.

Trials and some rollout activities will occur this year, but it won't be until 2018 that you'll actually be able to purchase FTTC NBN services.

"We will be focusing our efforts in the next few months on ensuring we understand how to scale the FTTC network rollout across the country and also working with our retail customers to trial the product in preparation for its launch next year" said NBN Chief Engineering Officer Peter Ryan in a statement."

The revised multi-technology-mix (MTM) NBN rollout schedule originally relied on a mix of the already planned Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) rollout along with a mass proportion of homes connected by Fibre To The Node (FTTN) connections. It's these latter connections (though by no means all of them) that may be switched over to FTTC connections.

What's the difference between FTTC and FTTN?

FTTN connections rely on a centralised node, located near your property but serving multiple premises within a location. Fibre runs to that node, but from the node you're connected using the existing copper that currently serves telephony and ADSL connections. The distance from the node and quality of the copper can have significant effects on end-user speeds.

Comparatively, FTTC runs fibre to the driveway of a premises, only using copper for the very last connectivity section, with the promise of more consistent throughput speeds due to the larger use of optical fibre cables. As always, real-world network speeds are subject to a number of performance factors, as well as the plan speed chosen by consumers.

Just like every other NBN technology, your access to FTTC is constrained by your location, so you can't choose between FTTN, FTTC or FTTP directly unless you fancy paying the (often substantial) price difference for an upgrade. You can check your NBN build and plan status using our NBN Plan tracker.

In terms of FTTC numbers, NBN has indicated that the following locations should see FTTC as part of their NBN technology mix:

StateRegionTowns/SuburbsNumber of homes and businesses
NSWSydney / Greater SydneyBurwood, Silverwater, Edensor Park, Hornsby, Miranda, Kensington, Haymarket, Liverpool, Frenchs Forest, Mona Vale, Rockdale, Ryde, Springwood, South Sydney, Orchard Hills Kurrajong96,100
RiverinaFinley, Howlong, Coolamon, Tocumwal1,500
Central Tablelands / Central WestPortland, Nyngan200
HunterNords Wharf3,100
Mid-North CoastBellingen, Crescent Head, Dorrigo, Lake Cathie, South West Rocks Woolgoolga2,700
Northern Rivers / Northern Tablelands / North West SlopesCasino, Manilla, Narrabri, Tenterfield, Uralla, Walgett, Walcha, Warialda, Wee Waa, Ballina5,600
South Tablelands/ South CoastBraidwood, Bega, Currarong, Moruya, Greenwell Point, Merimbula, Narooma, Tuross Head8,000
VICMelbourne/ Greater MelbourneBroadmeadows, Campbellfield, Jacana, Meadow Heights, Greenvale, Coolaroo, Junction Ridge, Cranbourne East, Botanic Ridge, Coburg, Coburg North, Pascoe Vale, Deer Park, Burnside, Caroline Springs, Melbourne CBD, Narre Warren North, Ferntree Gully, Dandenong South, Dandenong, Hallam, Mulgrave, Rowville, Epping, Footscray, Lilydale, Laverton, Altona Meadows, Seabrook, Laverton North, Sydenham, Taylors Lake, Hillside, Keilor Lodge, Wyndham Vale, Geelong89,000
North West / West VICEaglehawk, Epsom, Beaufort, Nhill, St Arnaud, Stawell, Warracknabeal6,500
North East / South East VICBenalla, Corryong, Euroa, Mansfield, Myrtleford, Nagambie, Paynesville, Tatura, Tallangatta, Yea, Yarrawonga11,600
South West VICArarat, Edenhope, Koroit, Sebastopol2,100
QLDBrisbane/ Greater Brisbane Albion, Aspley, Bundamba, Brassall, Charlotte, Ipswich, Rothwell, Salisbury44,200
Wide Bay/ Northern QLDAgnes Water, Maryborough, Calliope, Gladstone, Moura9,600
Sunshine Coast / South BurnettBeerwah, Landsborough, Woodford1,400
Darling Downs/ Central QueenslandSt George, Boyne Island, Winton1,300
Southern/ South East QLDAshmore, Inglewood, Kooralbyn, Mount Tamborine2,100
ACTGreater Canberra Deakin4,600
SAAdelaide/ Greater AdelaideGlenunga, Croydon, Elizabeth22,800
WAPerth/ Greater PerthBayswater, Bedford, Embleton, Inglewood, Banksia Grove, Pearsall9,000

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