the five fibres

The Five Fibres

OK, we get it. The National Broadband Network is a beast to get your head around. I was trying to explain to my Grandma how the NBN and its fibre connections work, and she thought I was talking about a new way of making tee-shirts. So for Grandma’s sake, and yours, I’m going to try and break down the five fibres for you. Here it goes.

The Five Fibres Explained

Fibre to the Premises

FTTP is considered the ‘bees-knees’ of connections. It’s super fast, with low latency and has plenty of room for expansion of uploads and downloads. How does it work? Well there’s a multi-fibre ribbon cable running down your street from a fibre distribution hub, and one whole cable from the ribbon runs to your home. This fibre optic cable is like a multi-lane freeway from your home to the internet… and there’s never a rush hour.

Fibre to the Node

FTTN is essentially a more cost-effective version of FTTP, designed for fast roll out in dense suburban areas. Basically a fibre node in the form of a street cabinet will be placed at the end or intersection of a street. This node will then service the existing copper cable network, which will supply glorious gigs of data to your home. Its Fibre to the Node, copper cable from the node to your home.

Fibre’d out yet? Stay with me!

Fibre to the Building

Apartment dwellers, rejoice. Your convenient city location and minimal lifestyle (making massive assumptions here, I know) can now be complemented by really fast internet speeds thanks to FTTB. Here the fibre optic cable is connected to an apartment block or multi-office building’s communication room. The existing cable network technology is then used to pump the internet to the individual apartments. And then… Netflix. Chill. No buffering.

Fibre to the Curb

FTTC is also known as Fibre to the Driveway, and it hits a sweet spot in terms of balancing out fast internet speeds with difficulty of installation. The fibre network is basically run as close to your driveway as possible, and then it connects into the copper cable network to deliver the goods to your home. It’s better than FTTN because only a few metres of the setup use copper cables, as opposed to a few hundred metres.

Hybrid Fibre Coaxial

HFC is used where there is an existing Foxtel or other pay TV cable already running to your property. This cable then meets with the fibre node on your street to bring in the internet. HFC is the oldest of the fibre connections, and it’s about as much fun as trying to say ‘Hybrid Fibre Coaxial’ ten times really fast. Download speeds can be OK, but uploads are notoriously bad. Luckily your chances of ending up on it are fairly slim.

So there we have it. If you’re still confused about the five fibres, or have any further questions, just get in touch!