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Your NBN connection explained

Get connected with your NBN connection.

Nathan Lawrence
Jan 27, 2022
Icon Time To Read4 min read

There’s a really good chance that you’re reading this article in an area that’s ready to connect to the NBN. Maybe you’ve received an email about it, you’ve read a flier or your home is already connected to the NBN. Whatever your NBN connection status, here’s everything you need to know about what makes it tick.

And for a primer, have a look at this daily updating list of popular NBN plans with unlimited data.

NBN connection types

There are seven different NBN connection types in terms of technology that help get homes online in Australia. Five of them are for homes in metro areas, while the other two are relegated to rural and regional areas of our vast nation. For those in metro areas, you’re looking at one of the following NBN connection types:

In terms of speed tiers, there are six different NBN connection types that these technologies can connect to. These NBN speed tiers are as follows:

  • NBN 12 (max 12Mbps download, 1Mbps upload)
  • NBN 25 (max 25Mbps download, 5Mbps upload)
  • NBN 50 (max 50Mbps download, 20Mbps upload)
  • NBN 100 (max 100Mbps download, 20Mbps or 40Mbps upload)
  • NBN 250 (max 250Mbps download, 25Mbps upload)
  • NBN 1000 (max 1000Mbps download, 50Mbps upload)

The NBN technologies from the top list are ordered in terms of their NBN speed potentiality, with FTTP and HFC homes capable of signing up to all six of those speed tiers. FTTC and FTTB homes can sign up to all speed tiers up to NBN 100, while FTTN homes may tap out as low as NBN 25 or NBN 50 depending on the quality of their connection (i.e. the length of the copper wiring to the NBN node). Other FTTN homes with shorter copper wiring runs are capable of signing up forNBN 100 plans.

Below is a daily updating list of popular NBN 100 plans with unlimited data.

For those in rural or regional areas, you’re either connected by Fixed Wireless NBN or Sky Muster satellite NBN. Fixed Wireless NBN plans can sign up to plans up to NBN 50, where Fixed Wireless Plus plans can burst above 50Mbps speeds (and up to 75Mbps with the right conditions), while NBN satellite homes can sign up to NBN 12 and NBN 25 plans.

The list of popular plans below is a mix of NBN Fixed Wireless and NBN satellite plans.

Info Box
NBN connection check

If you’re curious to know what type of NBN connection you have, check your home’s NBN connection with these steps. Input your address into the ‘Enter Street Address’ field below. You can optionally select the amount of monthly data you’d like included with your broadband plan (unlimited is standard for most metro NBN and Fixed Wireless connections these days). Select the address from the options below the search field to confirm it, then click on the blue ‘Search’ button.

On the next page, look for the blue bar at the top that should read. ‘Great News! Your area has nbn™.’ There’s a little information ‘i’ next to this text; hover over the ‘i’, then click on or tap on it to see information about your NBN connection. This will show the NBN connection type and NBN technology used to connect your home. You can then scroll on to see NBN plans available for your address.

How to get an NBN connection

To get an NBN connection to your home, all you need to do is find a plan and provider that you like the look of, then sign up for a plan. So whether you opt for a Telstra NBN connection, an Optus NBN connection or one from dozens of other NBN providers, signing up with a provider is the first step to connecting your home to the NBN.

Most of the time, this process shouldn’t involve an NBN connection fee and while you may be required to provide your own router (or allowed to use a BYO modem-router or router), an NBN connection device should be provided once you sign up. This may be sent to you with self-installation steps or installed by an NBN technician, but your new provider will be able to talk you through the process.

Once you have the necessary NBN equipment installed in your home (and potentially outside your home, depending on the technology type), you’re ready to get online with your new NBN connection.

Your NBN connection in terms of multiple network

The NBN is one of three main networks that have the power to impact your overall NBN connection. Starting in the home and working outwards, the first one is your local area network (or LAN), which connects your wireless and wired devices via a router or modem-router.

Next up is the NBN, which starts with the NBN connection box (effectively, an NBN modem connection) or NBN-compatible modem-router. This bit of networking equipment is critical for sending and receiving data on the NBN. From here, the NBN is the network that connects your local area to a Point of Interconnect (or PoI for short), which is where the NBN ends and connects to provider networks.

Providers use their own networks or lease network bandwidth from providers that own these networks to then connect to the internet at large, nationally and internationally. Data flows back and forth across your provider’s network, NBN and your home network to send information to and from the connected devices in your home.

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Identifying NBN connection problems

There are many things that can go wrong with an internet connection and the NBN is only one part. Connectivity issues can come from individual sources—a faulty device in the home or a problematic website or web service—but they can also occur on a larger scale. Outages, for instance, can occur with a provider’s network or the NBN, which may be widespread or concentrated in a suburb or few.

Your provider may have a page dedicated to network outages, which is worth checking if you have NBN connection problems (check from a smartphone with mobile reception and WiFi disabled). Alternatively, visit NBN Co’s network outages page and enter your address to see current or future planned outages for your area. Note that NBN Co and providers tend to perform planned maintenance in the wee hours of the morning to minimise the impact of an outage.

For more NBN troubleshooting steps, visit our page dedicated to helping you get back online.

Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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