So … the months of watching endless trenches dug along your street are over, they’ve even dug into your property – your ready to connect to ‘The NBN‘ … What now? If you are lucky you will have an ugly grey device such as this attached to an external wall ( If you’re even luckier you may have had some say about its placement! ) Lucky because this means you’ve hit the NBN Mother lode – FTTH (or Fibre to the Home)! For whatever reason you have been directly connected to Fibre rather than a hybrid of aging copper & fibre that is definitely second rate! And the current Government’s stated intention. This little box can connect you to the Internet at speeds you previously could never have imagined! (Well … not quite true – Telstra, Optus & Neighbourhood Cable’s HFC rolled out in the 90’s already offers the NBN’s current maximum download speed of 100Mbs) But in theory, fibre can go much further … 1 Gigabits per second even 40 Gigabits per second have been achieved in laboratory testing) So be thankful for the ugly grey box if you happen to get one! (It’s known as the NBN Utility Box & inside you’ll find little more than a coil of very thin white cable)
Moving NBN Inside
The NBN’s glossy brochure depicts your inside installation like this – To the left is the NTD or Network Termination Device – To the right is the Power Supply & Battery Back-up. The back-up is needed because the NBN is replacing your existing copper wire telephone line … but it needs power to work! So in the event of a blackout, your NBN connection will survive for somewhere between 3 to 11 hours. ( Your wireless phone won’t though so don’t throw out that old Telstra Handset )
And now let’s look at a typical NBN install …
Not quite as glossy – but the parts are all there! The power supply has to be located less than 200mm from a dedicated mains power GPO ( Our installer must have missed that class ) The fibre usually enters from behind the NTD & any excess is neatly coiled inside. At the bottom of the NTD are 2 x UNI-V ports (voice) for fixed-line telephones and 4 x UNI-D ports (Data).
Don’t believe what you’ll be told – if you want you can have a different provider connect to each of those ports … Why you would want to? But you CAN!
And that folks is a NBN connection – in its native form! Pretty much useless unless you plug the old telephone into one of the UNI-V ports, but it’s all that the National Broadband Network is contracted to provide you with. ( Not a lot for a reported 41 Billion Plus investment really! )