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What you need to know about the Australian NBN

By Andrew Bell

Australia’s current broadband networks are quickly becoming out of date. To this end, the government has announced the Australian National Broadband Network (NBN) – which has been dubbed our most expansive infrastructure project to date.

Whether you’re a homeowner, a property investor or a renter on the Gold Coast, chances are you have a few questions about the NBN and what you need to do to make the switch to better, faster internet. We explore some of these questions here.

What is the Australian NBN?

The NBN is a fibre-optic, fixed wireless network that’s slated to replace our current broadband networks nationwide. Because of the emphasis on fibre-optic cables, you may have heard this network referred to simply as ‘fibre’.

For most Australians, this will replace your current broadband, whether that’s cable, dial-up or ADSL2. The network will replace parts of existing phone and internet infrastructure across the nation, so transitioning will be key if you wish to maintain your phone and internet connectivity.

What are the benefits of the NBN?

The NBN all boils down to faster, more reliable internet. This is made possible because connections will now be direct to your home, giving you a dedicated capacity for whatever you wish to use the Internet for.

This is particularly important in our super connected world where more Australians than ever are accessing the Internet regularly to work, study, play and stay in touch with friends and relatives.

How do I transition to the NBN?

Transitioning to the NBN is really a two-step process, which is something many Australians are confused about.

First, you need to make sure you have the equipment in place and then you can contact a service provider to come and get you connected to the Internet. These two steps are interdependent on one another because without the physical infrastructure in place, you won’t be able to access the Internet.

In order to fully transition, you’ll need to establish one of the following connections at your residence:

  • Fibre to the premise (FTTP)
  • Fibre to the node (FTTN)
  • Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC)
  • Fibre to the Curb (FTTC)

You can check if any of these connections have been set up at your home by checking your address on the NBN Co’s official website.

With each of these connections, the NBN Co will need to come and install certain equipment to make sure your premise is good to go.

If your residence isn’t ready for the NBN, property owners can contact the NBN Co to establish a connection, Renters will need to contact their landlord first as the process will require some drilling and the installation of certain equipment in and around the home. For renters and owners alike, getting in touch right away is key, as queues are likely to form.

Once the installation is complete, residents are free to choose an internet provider of choice and sign up for a plan.

What if I live in an apartment complex or strata scheme?

For those living in an apartment complex on the Gold Coast, you’ll most likely access the NBN using a fibre to the building (FTTB) connection where a fibre optic cable is run into a central building communications area and then distributed throughout the units in the building.

This may be different, however, depending on your particular situation, so reach out to your owners corporation or building manager to find out more.

Who is responsible for paying for the switch to the NBN?

As of now, the NBN Co doesn’t charge for standard installations. If a more complex fit is required – such as repairs are required to a telephone line that has been damaged over time – the lessor or owner will need to fund it.

At Ray White Surfers Paradise, our team of property managers and agents can answer any questions you might have about making the switch to the Australian NBN – whether you’re looking to upgrade your own property or one you rent.

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