NBN Case Study: Denise’s NBN Fibre-to-the-Building Trial

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The first NBN, fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) trials began in March this year, with the connection of eight high rise buildings in Melbourne. This was to evaluate the construction, performance, and customer experience of FTTB, in which users are connected to the NBN through multi-technology; a significantly cheaper connection to rollout when compared to fibre-to-the-home (FTTH).

The key difference between the two is that with FTTH, fibre cable connects directly to a home, but with FTTB, the fibre cable is connected to an apartment building’s basement or comms room, and then the existing copper network is used to connect the individual apartments to the fibre network.

iiNet was one of the ISPs providing an internet service to those participating in the trial. These participants included iiNet customer Denise who produced videos about her experiences, starring a librarian action figure!

We recently caught up with Denise to discover more about her background, and we’ve included her videos below. With the official results of the trials yet to be made public, Denise’s videos give us an idea of the connection quality she experienced with a FTTB service through iiNet.

Q: Would you mind telling us a bit about yourself in general?

Denise: I’m a recently widowed, semi-retired, ex-library technician who knits, golfs, and plays synthesizers in a band that you’ve probably never heard of.

Q: A synthesizer? Cool! What sort of equipment were you using with your internet connection?

Denise: I use an Asus laptop with windows 7, attached to a big monitor and a wireless keyboard with a track pad on the side. I also have a Nexus 7 (2012) tablet and Nexus 5 phone. And a Chromecast stick thing. I don’t have a problem with Google.

Q: And what kind of things do you like to use the Internet for?

Denise: I use the Internet for learning, sharing, skyping, and as a distraction from reality. But not Facebook or Twitter… I don’t need that much of a distraction. My favourite YouTube channel is Real Time with Bill Maher.


Speed test via ethernet connection

Speed test via WiFi

Question about the phone lines

In answer to Denise’s question about the future disconnection of the phone lines:

The FTTB service will remain unaffected when the copper phone lines are due for disconnection, although there will still be copper in use connecting individual apartments.

Landline services will be disconnected approximately 18 months after activation of FTTB. Prior to the disconnection date, alternative technology will need to be considered to ensure that there is no downtime for home phone users. iiNet recommends the use of our Netphone service. In most scenarios we can keep the existing phone number.

The disconnection won’t come as a surprise. There will be ample communication advising customers of the pending disconnection closer to the dates.


Note: NBN Co will be officially launching FTTB as a product from March 31st 2015. iiNet is very excited to be part of the launch, so stay tuned for official updates about the FTTB rollout.

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