What is VDSL, and how does it work?

Trying to decide between VDSL and NBN? Here’s what you need to consider.

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Please note that VDSL is only available from iiNet and Westnet to selected addresses in Canberra.

What is VDSL?

VDSL, or Very high speed Digital Subscriber Line, is another form of networking technology that internet providers can use to provide faster services on copper over shorter distances. Like the more widely used ADSL, VDSL is asymmetric, meaning that download speeds are typically faster than upload speeds. Broadband providers tout VDSL as being a faster, more stable connection when compared to other copper-based services like ADSL.

How does it work?

VDSL works much the same way that ADSL or ADSL2+ does, that is, by utilising copper telephone infrastructure to deliver the Internet to you. Different types of VDSL use different technologies to boost speeds, such as VDSL vectoring and pair-bonding (which uses two lines for the one connection to effectively double speeds). Not all modems are made equal or support the same standards, so if you're getting connected on VDSL, make sure you either have a fully-capable VDSL modem or are getting one from your provider.

What speeds can I get?

Many factors can play a role in the speeds that you get from a VDSL connection, including the following:

  • Your distance from the exchange
  • Your modem's performance capabilities
  • The type of VDSL (VDSL/VDSL2)
  • Whether the connection is on a pair-bonded line
  • The environment

Those connecting to VDSL2 can reach speeds of 100mbps and beyond, though providers might have speed caps on their plans.

Which providers offer VDSL in Australia?

VDSL isn't a common option in Australia, but some elements of the technology are used in Fibre To The Node technology on the National Broadband Network (NBN). (You can check when the NBN is arriving at your address with Finder's NBN Tracker.) However, iiNet and Westnet both offer VDSL in Canberra.

What is VDSL vectoring?

VDSL2 is capable of hitting speeds of 100Mbps out in the field and can theoretically reach speeds of over 300Mbps, but interference can be a significant drag on real-world performance.

When information is sent over a copper cable, interference (cross talk) between different lines "positioned very close together" causes speeds to be far lower than those produced in a lab. VDSL vectoring aims to eliminate this by separating the lines from each other, allowing them to operate independently so they retain signal clarity. The industry frequently refers to vectoring as being similar to "noise cancellation" tech in headphones: by blocking out the excess noise, the line can be more productive.

Can't get VDSL? The NBN is probably your next best option

If you can't get VDSL at your address, the NBN is usually the best alternative for a similar fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) connection. Input your address in the bar below and we'll find the right NBN technology and plans for you.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    RoyJanuary 9, 2019

    According to the NBN Installation Online advice, my home location will not be provided direct via NBN Fibre. It appears that a VDSL connection via a Node will be made available later this year 2019. At this time, I have an extremely poor ADSL connection within the internet connection running at from 2.2 – 2.4 MPS. If current internet speed is so poor now, which indicates poor quality copper cable over a long distance. My question is: Will the service improve with my existing cable with the VDSL is install. I have been advised by Telstra that nothing can be done to resolve my internet issues until the NBN available but the there will be no change to the cabling Node to Home, so why can’t the VDSL or something of the same be installed now and what should I be doing in preparation for the service?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniJanuary 12, 2019Staff

      Hi Roy,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      While we can’t comment to your specific situation, switching from ADSL (even a poor connection) to the NBN via VDSL should deliver a significantly better experience. Where your current connection is ADSL all the way from the exchange to your home, the NBN VDSL solution will only rely on the copper network from the nearest NBN node to the your house. This reduced distance should allow for much faster speeds.

      The reason you cannot be provided with VDSL right now is that VDSL is a short-distance technology and requires another network to cover longer distances. That network will be the NBN (from the node) for you, but as that isn’t installed yet, you will need to wait for the infrastructure to be laid down in their area.

      In terms of preparation, there is not much the you need to do. nbnco will handle the technology rollout, and when it’s ready, you can contact Telstra and upgrade their service to the NBN.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!


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