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Everything you need to know about the NBN™

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How much do you know about the NBN™?

We’ve been working with the internet since the dialup days and our experience has shaped us into the NBN™ experts. From common misconceptions and questions to trivia about NBN™ infrastructure, technologies and the rollout in general, we’ve got everything you need to know right here.

1. How many technology types are there in the NBN™ Multi-Technology Mix?

There are a total of seven different technologies being delivered by the NBN™ Multi-Technology Mix: FTTP, FTTN, FTTB, FTTC, HFC, Fixed Wireless, and Satellite. Fortunately, Westnet sells plans across all technologies so no matter where you are, we have an NBN™ plan for you!

For more information on how to understand your NBN™ status and the technology types that are available, head here.

2. When was the first connection to the NBN™ completed?

In 2011, addresses in Tasmanian towns Scottsdale, Smithton and Midway Point were among the first in the country to complete the transition to the NBN™.

3. Will the switch to the NBN™ only affect your internet connection?

Your phone services can also be affected by the NBN™ rollout. When the NBN™ comes to your area, it will eventually replace most existing fixed line phone and internet networks, meaning you’ll need to switch over if you want to keep using these services. You should receive letters from your phone and broadband service providers as well as from NBN Co warning about the disconnection well before it happens, so you won’t be cut off out of the blue. You can find out more about this here.

4. If I have slow ADSL speeds will I have slow FTTN NBN™ speeds?

Firstly, the Node that your premises connect to for NBN ™ in your area may be much closer than you expect! This means that there’s less distance for your connection to travel and you should receive quicker connection speeds.

5. Why is Fibre-to-the-Curb spelt with a ‘C’ and not a ‘K’?

NBN™ FTTC stands for Fibre-to-the-Curb and uses the US spelling of “Curb” instead of the Australian spelling of “Kerb”, as FTTC is already a globally-understood acronym with its own definition.

6. Can I just ignore the NBN™ and continue using my current internet connection?

No, you will not be able to continue using your current internet connection indefinitely. The NBN™ will be the national standard for broadband and phone communications. The legacy copper network and Telstra cable network used for most non-NBN™ internet services will be disconnected approximately 18 months after your premises becomes ready to connect to the NBN™, so you’ll need to ensure you make the switch before this period ends. Keep an eye on your letterbox for any notices from your phone and internet providers, as well as NBN Co, that your services will be disconnected soon. Once you get one of those, it’s really time to get a move on and upgrade to the NBN™ so you don’t get stuck without a connection!

There are a few exceptions to this rule in areas serviced by future-ready broadband networks. For example, if you’re in our ULTRA Broadband VDLS2 and Cable network areas, you can upgrade to connect to one of these technologies instead of the NBN™ and reap the benefits of superfast speeds at amazing prices.

7. Is it possible to switch to an alternative technology?

For those on NBN™ Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) and Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC), you’re currently unable to change the type of technology your premises is connected on. The ability to change technologies is currently under development for HFC areas, so stay tuned. However, for all other technologies, the Technology Choice Program is available to eligible groups of premises or individual premises to switch to an alternative NBN™ technology. Keep in mind this is an expensive process and will include an application fee of $330 before work can even commence. You can find out more about this here.

8. How do customers connect to NBN™ Sky Muster™ Satellites?

Each Sky Muster™ Satellite shoots 101 “spot beams” across Australia. Each customer is allocated to the beam that covers their area, however overlaps mean that some customers may fall under more than one beam. NBN Co allocates them to one beam from one of the two satellites, depending on what is best for sharing the load across the entire network.

A satellite dish at your premises points to the SkyMuster satellite in orbit. It then communicates with a large ground-station satellite (which connects to the www) and returns data back via this path to your satellite dish and in turn your modem and devices.

9. How long did the NBN™ Sky Muster™ Satellites take to build?

NBN™ Sky Muster™ Satellites weigh about 6,400 kilograms each, making them among the largest commercial satellites ever launched.

NBN™ Sky Muster™ Satellites were custom built and took around three years to build including extreme temperature testing to ensure they are ready for the environment in space.

10. What does the NBN™ mean for rural students?

The NBN™ means that rural schools and students have reliable internet connections to allow remote learning and e-learning opportunities for those in remote areas.

11. Does the NBN™ technician decide where my equipment is installed?

Depending on the technology and the facilities available at your address, the equipment you’ll need for the NBN™ may differ. Where new equipment or physical connection work is required, you’ll be able to discuss your options with the technician. It’s important to understand that you’re allowed to discuss alternative options for installation and do not have to accept the recommended installation points suggested by the technician. You can find out more about this here or check out our article Building a home and looking to get NBN™ and NBNCo’s technology guide for some tips on installing the NBN™ Utility Box and NBN™ Connection Box in your home.

12. Does it cost thousands of dollars to install the NBN™ at your house?

The first standard installation of NBN™ equipment is free of charge, however there may be activation or modem purchase fees from your internet service provider. All you need to do is purchase a compatible modem. The good news is Westnet waive these fees on a 24 month contract! You won’t need to carry out any other rewiring around your house unless you specifically want hard-wired access in certain places around your home. If you’re included in a new development area, keep in mind that a $300 New Development Fee applies.

13. Will I need to make an appointment and be home to get the NBN™ connected at my address?

This one depends on the type of technology and infrastructure at your premises, however most technologies will require an appointment if the NBN™ has never been connected before. If your premises has previously had an NBN™ connection, an appointment is typically not required.

If your property will be connected to Fibre to the Curb (FTTC), some connections can be completed via self-install and some Fibre to the Node (FTTN) connections can be done at the exchange so you may not be required at the premises. You can find out more about this here.

14. How many more people are expected to work from home by the end of the rollout?

By the end of the rollout in 2021, up to 47,300 additional people are expected to use the network to work from home, compared to around 3,000 additional workers last year. The rollout of the NBN™ is also expected to contribute to the creation of up to 80,000 new businesses by 2021.

If you’re eager to get movin’ and your address is expected to be NBN™- ready within the next six months, you can pre-order iiNet NBN™ for a hassle-free switch and we’ll get your order rolling as soon as NBN™ reaches your door. Just pre-order your preferred plan now, then sit back, put your feet up and relax knowing you’ll be connected with a truly satisfying NBN™ provider.

25 comments

  1. Vic Holyoak says:

    Do you have a land line alternative to telstra if so what prices and plans.We tend to make std calls and some international calls .

  2. Shaun Newman says:

    When the Queensland Fibre Co is established in July/August will I be able to connect to it for a faster/cheaper internet, if not, why not?

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Shaun,

      Great question!

      As we understand it, Queensland Fibre Co is/will be a wholesale backhaul provider, so they’ll add additional capacity to NBN links across Queensland. They aren’t a wholesale service provider, so they don’t have consumer products for resale, meaning that retail customers aren’t able to choose to use them.

      – Leo.

  3. Larry says:

    I’m free of ADSL2. From speeds and quality I shouldn’t have have been made to pay for…
    Now, on basic Fibre to Curb I have comparatively excellent speed and bandwidth. Now I can have 2 Netflix and a YouTube device on at one time with no dropouts! Wow! Thanks.

  4. Dennis Shaw says:

    You have not mentioned how rural towns connect to this technology. I live in Meekatharra, WA, specifically how do we get connected?

  5. richard merchant says:

    I have had the NBN for over a year it’s performance is no different to the old ADSL system, seems a wast of taxpayers money

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hey Richard,

      We can help with this! We want your NBN to be working as well as possible. If you’re an iiNet customer, please get in touch with us directly, via iiOnline@iinet.net.au with your details and mentioning your post here – we’ll do whatever we can to assist!

      – Leo

  6. Pam Venn says:

    I can’t believe that Australians are being forced to accept such an expensive communication that is linked to such unstable systems as electricity supply and internet. I don’t like being forced to pay for this “you-beaut system” because I would never have bought this in the first place. The threat was “if you don’t sign up for NBN, you will lose your landline”. Loss of my freedom of choice, I call it. So now I have my grey plastic boxes on the outside wall of the house, and the grey plastic boxes on the wall near the computer. And I now have the privilege of having an NBN battery that I need to pay for replacement every 6-8 months. When the power supply is interrupted, the battery lasts for 4 hours. During the recent floods here, the power was off for 1 week, so I had no phone or internet, no battery charger for my mobile phone. In recent decades, the phones using copper wiring (and not connected or reliant on electricity or internet) were more reliable during storms and cyclones. I also don’t like being forced to pay for extra fees for NBN, for an NBN plan per month, paying more for a system that I don’t believe has been faster or better than the previous system.

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Pam,

      Thanks for your thoughts!

      We’re certainly concerned to hear that your NBN battery backup is not lasting as long as it should; typically, these batteries should last around 2 years. They will work for around 4 hours or so in the event of an outage and are designed as a purely temporary measure. If you are losing power often, then we’d suggest taking this up with your electricity retailer, as this is certainly a bit of a worry!

      Your NBN connection has the capacity to work at much faster speeds than typical ADSL connections, though remember that entry level NBN12 services function at the same typical average speed of an ADSL2+ connection, so if you do have an NBN12 plan and were on an ADSL2+ connection with around the same speed, then you won’t see much difference in performance. This is where the higher speed plans really come into their own!

      Pam, we’re always here to help. If there is anything we can do, please get in touch, with your details, to iiOnline@iinet.net.au and we’ll gladly to whatever we can to assist.

      – Leo.

  7. Jacqueline Morato says:

    How do I find out if I have “ ULTRA Broadband VDLS2 and Cable network in my area, as in reading this information on the Broadband that I’ll be connecting to soon as I’ve pre ordered, sounds a much faster and better one.

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Jacqueline,

      Our Ultra Broadband VDSL2 product is only available in the ACT, where we have our VDSL2 network there. iiNet cable, part of the Ultra Broadband suite, is available in the Geelong, Mildura and Ballarat areas of Victoria.

      – Leo

      – Leo

  8. Harvey Sandomirsky says:

    I am totally dissatisfied with IInet NBN and your customer service.

    My NBN speed is very slow and not up to standard.

    More importantly my Gigaset (A220) handset and charger
    supplied by you when I converted to your NBN service is faulty. The charger is not functioning properly and will not charge the batteries. As such I need to put new batteries into the phone every 2 days if I want to make home phone calls.

    I complained about this 4 /5 weeks ago and received an email reply advising you would contact me in 24 hours. I am still waiting for that call.

    As such it is my intention to look for a new NBN service provider who can provide me with the service I need.

    FYI I became a Westnet customer 11 years ago and at the time they had a customer service office in Perth and provided quality customer service. Since the purchase of that company by IINet the Australian customer service office has been closed and the service quality has deteriorated badly.
    If you want to try and retain my business then please call me on my mobile by close of business on Tuesday. Please note this is a prepaid mobile not a smart phone with interenet capability so I willnot reply to sms messages or emails. I want to speak to a real person and will not call you back at my expense. The ball is in your court

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Harvey,

      We can absolutely help with this! We have asked our team to give you a call, to arrange a replacement handset for you and to troubleshoot the NBN connection as well. We’ll do whatever we can to ensure that this is resolved to your satisfaction!

      – Leo

  9. Ross O'Meara says:

    My connection will be fttc. The modem will be connected to a phone outlet inside my home.
    How do I connect the modem to my PC that is in a different room?
    Thank you

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hey Ross!

      You can use a wireless USB adapter to pick up the wireless signal from the modem on the other room and if you need to boost the signal strength, a wireless booster will work wonders too.

      – Leo

  10. Glenys Chappell says:

    I am not a fan of NBN. It seems to fail every few days. One day it’s okay, then the next, I can’t receive or send emails. I spent about 45 minutes on the phone with a very helpful lady, and thought it was all fixed, Nope! Same thing, here one day, not the next. I’m fed up with it!

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hey Glenys,

      We’re here to help, so we can lend a hand to sort this out for you. Would you mind getting in touch with us directly, with your details and mentioning your post here, to iiOnline@iinet.net.au? We can then investigate and arrange help for you.

      – Leo

  11. John Phillips says:

    When our landline was with Telstra we had a 101 answering service. Since VOIP was installed with NBN this is no longer available. I now pay more for an inferior service. Surely we shuld be supplied with a free answering machine at leas, or some other alternative.

  12. Geffory says:

    I was connected to satellite NBN in September 2018 and am very disappointed with the service.Promised 25mbs upload and am usually between 4 and 8. With ADSL I was usually about 12. The dropouts occur regularly, sometimes 3 or 4 in an hour.

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Geffory,

      We can absolutely help with this and we have a guide to troubleshooting speed issues on NBN Satellite, here:

      https://iihelp.iinet.net.au/Troubleshooting_NBN_Satellite_for_Speed_issues

      Bear in mind that the connection is coming from a satellite that is in orbit 35 000kms above the earth, so there will be issues now and then. The speeds for these are up to 25Mbps down and are subject to various factors.

      If the above article doesn’t help, by all means, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly, with your details, to iiOnline@iinet.net.au and we’ll gladly do what we can to help.

      – Leo

  13. Mark Bailey says:

    NBN is all around my neighbourhood, but not available to me or my neighbour. That’s despite being available to the rest of the neighbourhood for 12 months. NBN Co says I should contact my RSP! Can’t see what Westnet can do. BTW, the ADSL speed variation is terrible, unusable some days and nights…

    • Tal Waterhouse says:

      Thanks for your comment, Mark. We can certainly help look into any reason for the difference in availability for your address. Do give us a call on 13 22 58 to have our team help out or shoot us an email via iiOnline@iinet.net.au with some further details we can use to locate the service and follow up accordingly. – Tal

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