NBN installation guide

What to do to prep for your NBN installation and what to expect on your NBN installation day.

Nathan Lawrence
Jan 03, 2022
Icon Time To Read5 min read

We may earn money when you click our links.

Whether you’re in a big city, regional town or remote area, there’s a good chance you’re able to sign up for an NBN plan. But if you’re the first person at your address to sign up for an NBN plan, there’s an installation process to follow.

Here’s everything you need to know about prepping for installation and your NBN installation day, broken down in terms of the NBN technology connecting your home.

Things to consider before your NBN installation day

If you’re renting your home, you need permission from your landlord before an NBN installation can commence. For those who own their home, it’s a lot simpler, albeit owners and renters in apartments should consult strata before installation. Whether you own or rent, though, it’s important to decide on the placement of internal and, depending on the NBN technology, external NBN devices in, on or outside your home.

On installation day, the NBN technician will let you know if your preferred location is inappropriate and will advise on alternative installation locations. Ideally, you want to pick somewhere that has easy access, adequate ventilation, easy access to a power point and isn’t exposed to extreme temperatures. 

Finally, if you use medical alarm systems or any other systems reliant on the older copper network, contact the provider of that product or service for advice on compatibility with the NBN.

How to organise your NBN installation

This is the easiest part of an NBN installation. All you have to do is pick a plan from an NBN provider that you want for your home, then order that plan. Any installation of NBN equipment will then be handled in consultation with your provider.

Your provider will let you know what’s required to get you connected and will consult with NBN Co on your behalf for any NBN installation requirements. Chat with your NBN provider about the expected wait time for NBN installation and any preferred installation dates/times. If an NBN technician is required to visit your home for the installation, keep an eye out for a text with information about installation time frames and requirements. On installation day, keep an ear out for a call from the NBN technician when they’re nearby. You’ll also need an authorised person to be at home for the appointment who’s 18 or older.

To help you get started, below is a daily updating list of NBN plans from our comparison engine.

How much does NBN installation cost?

Standard installations of NBN equipment are typically free of charge. Non-standard installations may incur an installation charge, but your provider should let you know if that’s the case. The only ongoing cost for NBN at your home should be what you pay for the plan.

NBN connection types

Installations vary based on the NBN technology that’s connecting your home, of which there are seven:

FTTP installation

Standard installation of NBN equipment should take around two hours but it may take as long as eight hours, depending on the complexity. An NBN utility box is installed outside your home, then a cable is run from it to an NBN connection box installed inside your home. Optionally, the NBN connection box can be connected to a Power Supply with Optional Battery Backup (discuss this with your provider prior to installation) for backup juice during a power outage. You’ll need to connect a router to your NBN connection box via Ethernet cable to share the internet around your home; discuss equipment options with your provider.

FTTP plans let you sign up to all NBN speed tiers, including gigabit plans. If the no-compromise download speeds of NBN 1000 plans sound like your jam, check out the daily updating list of plans below.

HFC installation

Standard HFC installations take up to two hours, but more complex installations can take between four and eight hours. The NBN technician will install an NBN utility box outside your home then run a coaxial cable inside your home, which then connects to an NBN connection box. If you don’t have a pay TV service, the coaxial cable will run from the coaxial wall outlet inside your home directly to the NBN connection box. For homes with a pay TV service, the coaxial cable will run to a splitter, then separate cables run to the pay TV box and the NBN connection box, respectively.

You’ll need to connect a router to the NBN connection box with an Ethernet cable to share the internet connection around your home. Chat with your provider about router options: specifically, whether they provide them or whether you have to source your own. Note that HFC connections may be eligible for self-installation, so chat to your provider if you’re interested in exploring this option.

Most HFC homes can sign up to NBN 250 plans while some can connect to NBN 1000 plans. For an idea of some popular picks, check out the daily updating list below of NBN 250 plans from our comparison engine.

FTTC installation

Like HFC, FTTC installations may be eligible for self-installation, so speak with your provider to see if you’re eligible. FTTC installations are one of the fastest as, like ADSL of old, they use a telephone cable connection to a telephone socket to get you online. Installation may be done in as little as 15 minutes. The telephone cable connects to an NBN connection box which, in turn, needs to be connected to a router via Ethernet cable to share the internet around your home. Unlike ADSL technologies, you don’t need a line filter and should avoid using one for FTTC.

FTTC plans can order NBN plans up to NBN 100. For an idea of cheap picks from our comparison engine, check out the NBN 100 plans below.

FTTB and FTTN installation

We’ve grouped FTTB and FTTN installations together because they use identical equipment to get your home online. In terms of installation time, expect it to be as similarly short as FTTC. All that needs to be connected is a VDSL2-compatible modem-router, which may be sent by your provider or you may have to source yourself. It’s connected to a telephone wall socket by a telephone cable. Avoid using any line filters between modem-router and wall socket.

FTTB plans can sign up to speed tiers up to NBN 100, but while some FTTN homes may be able to sign up to NBN 100 plans, others will only be able to connect to NBN 50 or NBN 25 plans. NBN 50 is the most popular speed tier, so you can check out cheap picks from our comparison engine below.

Fixed wireless and satellite installation

Like FTTB and FTTN, Fixed Wireless and Sky Muster satellite installations are very similar, with both taking between two and four hours for a standard installation. The difference between the two is there’s an outdoor antenna installed for Fixed Wireless homes and an external satellite dish for NBN satellite installations. From here, it’s identical. A cable is run between outdoor device into a wall outlet in the home, which then plugs into an NBN connection box. For both technologies, you’ll need to link the NBN connection box to a router with an Ethernet cable to share the internet around your home.

Below is a daily updating list of NBN Fixed Wireless plans.

And Sky Muster homes can check out a daily updating list of NBN satellite plans below.