A Quick Guide to the Different Types of Business nbn™ Connections

With the nbn™ rollout technically complete at the end of 2020, most Australian workplaces are now carrying on with their operations on Australia’s national network. The nbn™ uses a mix of technologies and different types are in use depending on your area or suburb. So why is knowing your technology type important? The type of connection you’re on can impact your maximum supported speed, reliability, and the type of plan you can subscribe to through your retail service provider. As such, it can also impact the support your business might need. Here, we break down the technology types used on the nbn™.

The types of connection

The nbn™ uses five main types of connections.

1. Fibre to the Node and Fibre to the Building (FTTN/B)

FTTN and FTTB connections are the most common types of nbn™ connections. With a FTTN connection, the fibre connection ends at the local node and the connection to your premises is through existing copper wires. For FTTB connections, fibre runs to the Main Distribution Frame (a distribution point for telecommunications cabling) of the building. The remaining cable is existing copper to your premises. Both FTTN and FTTB connections use phone cables from the modem/router to the phone wall socket.

2. Fibre to the Curb (FTTC)

If you have a FTTC connection, fibre runs to the Distribution Point Unit (DPU) located on the street. From the DPU, existing copper wires will be used to the distance to your property. You’ll have a network connection device (NCD) inside your premises. The NCD connects to a phone wall socket, then your modem/router connects to the NCD.

3. Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)

FTTP connections utilise no copper wiring and fibre is used right up to the premises. You will have a utility box outside your property and this box then connects to your network termination device or NTD, which is also known as the nbn™ connection box. Your modem/router then connects to this box.

4. Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC)

HFC connections feature fibre cabling to the local node. From the node coaxial cables are used for the distance to your property. These coaxial cables are usually pre-existing cabling used for pay TV services. You’ll have an outdoor utility box that connects to a coaxial wall socket and an nbn™ connection box inside your property. Your modem-router then connects to the box.

5. Fixed Wireless (FW)

FW technology is used in more regional areas. You’ll have an nbn™ outdoor antenna set up at your property and the antenna will receive and send signals to the nearest tower to establish an internet connection. Your modem/router will be connected to your nbn™ connection box inside your home. In turn the connection box is then connected to your outdoor antenna. FW is associated with slower maximum speeds as it’s a wireless technology.

Can you choose?

Generally you can’t choose the types of technology or technology mix because what’s in use depends on what the NBN Co has chosen to use (or could reasonably implement) in your area.

However, you can apply through the nbn™ Technology Choice Program Program to have the technology on your business premises changed to FTTP. It can be an expensive upgrade as you’ll be paying for the upgrade work that’s required.

What nbn connection is the best

FTTP and HFC tend to be the fastest nbn™ connection types. FTTP is fast and reliable because it runs a fibre-optic cable straight to your property rather than the local node. While FTTP is one of the fastest nbn™ connection types, it’s also the rarest due to the expense associated with to-the-premises connections.

However, you can opt to upgrade to FTTP as an individual premises if your business is willing to bear the costs of switching. Some neighbourhoods are choosing to upgrade to FTTP and ensuring it’s more affordable by sharing the costs with others in their area. You could access up to 1000Mbps on an FTTP connection.

HFC also offers a fast connection type. Again, these use pre-existing cable wires, typically used for cable-TV connections, to connect your property to the local node. HFC can offer speeds of up to 250Mpbs and even 750Mbps for some customers.

Connecting your business

Understanding your nbn™ connection type is important as it can impact maximum speeds and to a lesser extent reliability. Nonetheless, other factors like your set-up and wiring can also affect the quality of your connection. Unless you’re happy to pay for a full upgrade to FTTP, you won’t be able to choose the type of nbn™ connection you have at your property. However, as long as you choose the right plan for your business’s requirements, you’ll likely still be able to enjoy the speeds you need.

SpinTel is proud to be one of Australia’s leading telcos, with award-winning nbn™ plans that can be flexibly tailored to meet your business’s needs. No matter where you are, we can provide you with the right nbn™ solution, backed up with great service, extensive experience, and great value. Contact our friendly team now and check out our business nbn™ plans here.


Our friendly gurus are ready and waiting to help you choose the best plan for you.