Recently NBN published statistics stating that half of Australia now online for the NBN

But what a lot of people often ask us at ECN is to explain all the terms and types of NBN services that are now available.  Having seen references to different NBN acronyms and options when shopping NBN solutions.


FTTP stands for “Fiber to the Premises” – when NBN was first introduced by the Australian Federal Government this was the NBN that was promised to all of Australia.  Essentially Fiber cable directly to each house in Australia.   NBN FTTP is available to many households in Australia, however as new NBN areas become available not all have the “original” NBN FTTP.


FTTN stands for “Fiber to the Node”.   Instead of connecting new Fiber cables directly into your home the Fibre is connected to a box in the street and from the box the existing phone cables are connected to establish a connection between your home and the NBN network.   

FTTN makes it easy for NBN to open up new coverage areas  as the cost to install the fiber into each property is avoided by using the existing phone cable.


Whilst cheaper and faster to install FTTN is limited by the speed of the existing phone cables meaning that NBN using FTTN will never be as fast.

HFC (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial)

When NBN acquired access to the Telstra and Optus cable networks in 2016 they were able to also offer NBN over Coax (the pay TV network).  NBN HFC is yet another mechanism of connection and provides near Fibre speeds using the existing cabling. With the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1 HFC NBN connections will have the ability to reach 1Gb.


Fixed Wireless services are delivered by connecting homes and business to a local tower, this technology works similar to broadcast television where an antenna is installed on the roof pointing to the tower, wireless signals are sent and received using this antenna. Each tower services a local area, typically within a 14km radius.


The least used and known form of NBN is NBN delivered using satelite dish.  This delivery type was originally built to service remote and rural locations including Norfolk and Christmas Islands where the option of Fibre was impossible due to distance and cost.   Satellite is largely not an option for most of Australia NBN ready customers.

Unfortunately your choice of how you get your NBN service is largely based on where you live and what NBN offering is available in your local area.    Currently as of 2017 NBN is very much an evolving platform, still suffering teething problems including well publicised issues in the media related to the speed of services on the NBN network.

Only recently has NBN started to make available true business grade options, charged at a higher price but delivering committed performance and well understood time scales of when services will be fixed if there is a failure.