– Does connecting to the NBN baffle you?
– Have you connected and found yourself disappointed with the speed of your internet?
– Are you unsure about how to keep your home phone and connect to the NBN?
Here are some NBN basics that might help you understand your options and what you can do to get the best out of the NBN.
NBN Co. is rolling out fibre optic cable to the node across Australia. The node is a green box located somewhere on a footpath in your neighbourhood. From the node to your house there are three different ways that the NBN can be delivered:
1) Fibre to the house – this is the best for speed, bandwidth and reliability but you have to pay for the infrastructure for the fibre cable to be installed from the local node to your house. This means digging up the street, laying the cable etc. Very expensive.
NOTE: the NBN provider will automatically use an existing “Foxtel” or “Optus” outlet in your home where available. This outlet will nine times out of ten be situated behind your TV, which is a terrible place to have your Wifi Modem (see our other Tech Tips posts for all the reasons why!). If you want the NBN technician to put the modem in another room or location you will need to explicitly tell them when you’re booking the appointment with them, BEFORE they arrive (they will not ask).
2) HFC (Hybrid Fibre Coax) – this is the second best and was installed in the past for Foxtel or Optus Cable. If this is available to your house it will automatically be used for the NBN.
3) Traditional copper lines – these are the old phone lines and will be used for the NBN if nothing else is available
NBN INTERNET PLANS
Traditional copper lines will generally deliver a maximum of 25MBs per second of internet download speed, so if you only have copper lines to your house there’s little point paying a premium for an NBN internet plan that promises faster download speeds.
HFC promises up to 100MBs per second but will rarely deliver it, usually due to older cables, distance from the node, and line contention (multiple households connected and competing for the bandwidth). You might get 100MBs per second now and then, but you can’t rely on it. NOTE: NBN is working to correct this across the full rollout.
Fibre optic cable should be able to deliver the top internet speeds and bandwidth that are promised by ISPs.
KEEPING YOUR LANDLINE
Once the NBN is delivered to a location e.g. your neighbourhood, within six to eighteen months you will no longer be able to have a traditional landline phone without it being run through the NBN cables. Some things to be aware of once this happens:
1) IMPORTANT: Medical alarms, back to base security and similar services that are currently provisioned via your home phone line will not continue to work after the 18-month NBN transfer window has closed. Firstly, you should register your alarm at nbn.com.au/medicalregister or by calling 1800 227 300 well before the cut-off date. Then call your emergency or alarm service provider and check if it will work on the NBN; and finally, tell your ISP if you need priority assistance service levels.
2) The phone will not work in a blackout or power outage
3) If your new NBN outlet and modem is in your office and the home phone is in the kitchen or similar, you will need to get the additional wiring done in your home to connect the phone back to the NBN router in your office if you want to keep the phone in the kitchen. Your NBN provider will not do this for you, it will need to be done by a second contractor (electrician/data cabler).
4) If you are moving to a different provider for your NBN than your phone provider, be sure to let the new provider know what your phone number is and get them to request a transfer of the number before you change over to them. If the request goes in after, there is a high chance you’ll lose the number and be issued a new one.
5) For the tech-savvy of us out there that prefer to use their own VoIP Gateway to connect their phone to the internet, the unhappy news is that most providers will not let you use your VoIP gateway. Instead, you will be forced to use the mediocre modem that comes with the NBN service (the ISPs refuse to hand over the VoIP login details).
Don’t forget to post any questions you have in the comments below and we’ll help where we can.
Bhamtech Data and Electrical is also trialling 30 minute phone/video consults to discuss and assess the home internet challenges you’re having, and to give you specific technical support and advice for your situation. To book in for a consult please mention it in your comment or send us a PM.
We’d love to hear if any of the above tips help you to navigate the tricky world of the NBN. Please come back and let us know!