nbn's guide to Australia's new broadband

Right now, across Australia, nbn is building the infrastructure that will be used by phone and internet providers to connect you to a new broadband service.

By replacing and upgrading parts of the existing phone and internet network, nbn is bringing more Australians access to fast and reliable broadband services.* What’s more, the competition created by offering the same terms of use to all phone and internet providers using the nbn™ access network, means Australians can have a greater choice of plans.

Once nbn is finished building the access network infrastructure in your area, you’ll be ready to contact a phone and internet provider to switch your services to their network.

What's an 'access network'?

An 'access network' links your home with your phone and internet provider’s network, so you can get online. A good way to picture it is to think of your computer and in-home equipment as a car, your provider’s network as an expressway to your final destination (the internet), and the access network as the on-ramp you use to join it.


* Services provided over the nbn™ broadband access network will be replacing phone and internet services provided over most of the existing landline networks, including copper and the majority of HFC networks within the fixed line footprint. Services provided over existing fibre networks (including in-building, health and education networks) and some special and business services may not be affected. To find out if your services will be affected, please contact your current phone or internet provider. For more information, visit nbn.com.au/switchoff or call 1800 687 626.

Your experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ broadband access network, depends on the technology over which services are delivered to your premises and some factors outside our control (like your equipment quality, software, signal quality, broadband plan and how your service provider designs its network).

nbn is building a portion of Australia's new broadband access network

nbn will notify you by mail once your home or business is ready to switch. You’ll then have up to 18 months before existing services are disconnected.*

While this may seem like plenty of time, you may need to do a few things to prepare for the switch, so it’s a good idea to get started early.

What you need to do next

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Check whether you’re ready to switch

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Consider your needs carefully before choosing a speed and plan through a phone and internet provider

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Contact your chosen phone and internet provider about switching to a new plan over their network


* Services offered to phone and internet providers over the nbn™ broadband access network will be replacing phone and internet services provided over most of the existing landline networks, including copper and the majority of HFC networks within the fixed line footprint. Services provided over existing fibre networks (including in-building, health and education networks) and some special and business services may not be affected. To find out if your services will be affected, please contact your current phone or internet provider. For more information, visit nbn.com.au/switchoff or call 1800 687 626.

Most people need to switch

Important devices

Check with your device provider that equipment such as ATMs, EFTPOS, fax machines, monitored security alarms, fire alarms and lift emergency phones will work on your new plan.

If you’d like additional outlets at your business to connect to your new plan, discuss this with your phone and internet provider, as they may have costs associated.

You will need to be available at your business on the day of installation. Your provider will advise how long this should take and will aim to ensure minimal disruption to your business.

If your business would benefit from equal upload/download speeds, priority during peak times and service recovery options ranging from 4-12 hours, speak to your provider about the availability of business grade plans in your area.

When choosing a plan, consider how your business uses the internet. If you deal with large files and high-bandwidth applications, you may need a plan with business grade upload and download speeds. Remember, nbn is a wholesaler so you’ll need to purchase your new plan through a phone and internet provider.


* Services offered to phone and internet providers over the nbn™ broadband access network will be replacing phone and internet services provided over most of the existing landline networks, including copper and the majority of HFC networks within the fixed line footprint. Services provided over existing fibre networks (including in-building, health and education networks) and some special and business services may not be affected. To find out if your services will be affected, please contact your current phone or internet provider. For more information, visit nbn.com.au/switchoff or call 1800 687 626.

Most businesses need to switch too

nbn supplies phone and internet providers with wholesale services.

Providers then combine these with their own network services to deliver your new plan. So you’ll need to contact your preferred provider once you’re ready to switch.

nbn's responsibilities to providers:

  • Building and maintaining the nbn™ broadband access network (including repairing faults and outages within it)
  • Providing wholesale services

A provider will look after all aspects of your phone and internet experience.

There are a number of phone and internet providers to choose from. Because these providers are responsible for things like plans, pricing, capacity, speed and more, it’s important you do your research on which will best suit your needs.

Your provider’s responsibilities to you:

  • Delivering your phone and internet services
  • Arranging installation
  • Resolving any issues after connection
  • Purchasing capacity for your plan from nbn
  • Managing their network capacity and speed
  • Repairing faults or outages within their network

Who do I contact about switching?

How your broadband reaches you

Speed is how fast data – the content you upload and download – travels between the internet and your devices.

As with all broadband networks around the world, the nbn™ access network and your provider’s network are likely to slow down when more people are online at once.

Your speed will also be affected by the performance of your modem, Wi-Fi, wiring, and other devices in your home – meaning maximum speeds will vary.

Talk to your phone and internet provider about the speed tiers available in your area, as well as the actual speeds you can expect to experience on your new plan (particularly during peak times like the evening).

If speed is important to you, ask your provider about a higher tier so you can enjoy the content you love without constant buffering or dropouts. Please note, not all superfast speed tiers are available everywhere.

Factors that affect your speed

  • The time of day, as high-traffic times like the evening can cause speeds to slow
  • The type and/or size of the content you are uploading or downloading
  • The number of people in your household online at the same time
  • The provider, plan and speed tier you choose
  • The way your specific provider configures their network and manages traffic
  • How nbn configures the access network
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Speak to your phone and internet provider for more information on how these factors will affect your specific experience

Choosing a wholesale speed to suit your needs

nbn offers a choice of superfast wholesale speed tiers to phone and internet providers, who turn these into different plans you can buy.*

25Mbps is ideal for small households that use the internet for everyday browsing.

50Mbps is perfect if you have multiple users who like to stream videos, play online games or work from home.

100Mbps is superfast broadband, even with lots of people online together. Great for 4K streaming and uploading and downloading large files.

There's also 12Mbps, which is not considered superfast, and may be similar to what many people currently experience on ADSL2.

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Remember, nbn is a wholesaler so you’ll need to purchase a new plan through a phone and internet provider


* Your experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ broadband access network, depends on the technology over which services are delivered to your premises and some factors outside our control (like your equipment quality, software, signal quality, broadband plans and how your service provider designs its network). nbn is a provider of wholesale speeds to internet providers. nbn™ wholesale speed tiers available to your internet provider vary depending on the access technology in your area.

You have a choice of speeds

To get the best out of your broadband, here’s what you can do.

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Choose the right phone and internet provider

Your choice of provider has a big influence on your internet experience. As not all offer the full range of speeds available, and each configures their network in a different way, it’s important you do your research before choosing one. This will also help you find a plan to suit your specific budget and needs.

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Take a close look at your Wi-Fi router/modem

It’s important you check the specifications of your Wi-Fi router/modem to make sure it’s compatible with your new plan. Ask your provider about the different routers/modems available. You may also experience less interference by switching your Wi-Fi modem/router to a channel used by less people.

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Consider your Wi-Fi router/modem’s location

The location of your Wi-Fi router/modem is just as important as the device itself. For the best performance, ensure it’s in a central area of your home or business, away from solid walls, out of cupboards and not hidden behind electronics like your TV.

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Connect your TV with an Ethernet cable

Devices that upload or download large amounts of data, like 4K TVs, may experience less buffering and dropouts if connected to the internet by an Ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi.

Other things that may improve your experience

  • Check the age and quality of internal wiring
    For a more reliable connection, have a registered cabler check the existing copper wiring in your home or business.
  • Consider the number of devices online at once
    If your household has multiple devices online at once, doing things like streaming video, consider speaking to your provider about a higher speed plan.
  • Consider the location of other electronics
    Try moving electronics that rely on radio signals, like mobile phones, microwaves and TVs, further from your Wi-Fi router/modem to improve signal strength.
  • Upgrade your Wi-Fi router/modem and devices
    A newer or higher quality Wi-Fi router/modem could improve your speed, as could upgrading Wi-Fi devices like laptops and mobile phones.

How to make the most of your experience

To help minimise a loss in your services, here’s what you’ll need to do.

Check if your devices will work before switching

If you use any of the following devices, contact the provider/manufacturer to check that they will work on your new plan or whether you’ll need to find an alternative solution:

  • Medical alarm or emergency call system
  • Fire alarm or lift emergency phone
  • Monitored security alarm system
  • Fax machine or TTY device

Register safety-critical devices with nbn

If you rely on a safety-critical device like an emergency call button, medical alarm, fire alarm or lift emergency phone, it’s important you register these with nbn by calling 1800 227 300 or register online. This helps nbn identify homes and businesses where extra support may be needed to help minimise a loss in your services when switching.

Prepare for power blackouts

Devices connected to your new phone or broadband service will not work during a power blackout, so it’s important you have an alternative form of communication handy (such as a charged mobile phone). If your home or business is connected by Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology, you’ll have the option to have a power supply unit with optional battery backup service installed – but keep in mind that power outages may outlast battery life.


* The rollout of the nbn™ broadband access network will involve new technologies, and some existing devices (including many medical alarms, autodiallers and emergency call buttons) may not be compatible with these at all times. You should contact your device provider to find out if your alarm or other device will work when connected to the nbn™ broadband access network and what alternative solutions are available. For more information, visit nbn.com.au/compatibility.

Important information on device compatibility

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homes and businesses ready

for connection as of 10 August 2017, meaning nbn has passed the halfway build mark and 1 in 2 Australians can now connect1

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internet connected devices

currently used on average by Australian households – with this number set to soar to 30 devices by 20212

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new plans activated

over the nbn™ access network as of 10 August 2017, meaning nbn is on track to its goal of connecting 8 million premises by 20201


1. ‘One in two Australians are now able to connect to the nbn™ network’, 10 July 2017, media release, nbn co limited; ‘Weekly Progress Report as 10 August 2017’, nbn co limited. 2. ‘IoT@home market set to soar with more than 300 million devices in Australian homes by 2021’, 9 May 2017, Telsyte.

The journey in numbers

FAQs

This means it’s time to contact a phone and internet provider. They’ll help you choose a plan to suit your needs and arrange for nbn™ approved installers to visit your home and connect you. See list of providers.

In most cases, existing copper phone lines will need to be switched to VoIP services on your new plan. However, if your home or business will be receiving nbn™ Fixed Wireless or Sky Muster™ technology, you’ll have the choice of keeping your existing copper phone line active or switching your services to VoIP on your new plan.

You’ll need to contact your phone or internet provider and ask if you can switch your services to a new plan.

Yes. Depending on your area and the technology used to connect you, nbn will supply you with new equipment. Your phone and internet provider will also supply or recommend a router compatible with your new plan, as it’s unlikely your existing one will work. Your provider will confirm if these apply to you.

Most landline phone and internet services in your area will stop working when the existing network is disconnected.* To keep your services active, you’ll either need to switch to a new plan or speak to a phone and internet provider about other options.

Yes. You should speak to your device provider/s about how to help minimise a loss in your services before switching. It’s also important to register these devices with nbn. For more information, visit important information on device compatibility.

Most landline phone and internet services will stop working once the existing network is disconnected.* To minimise disruption to your business, you’ll need to contact a phone and internet provider and switch to a new plan before your disconnection date. Your provider will help you choose one to suit your business needs and arrange for the necessary equipment to be installed.

Yes. The nbn™ Fixed Wireless and Sky Muster™ technologies are bringing regional and remote Australians access to fast and reliable broadband services that are closer to those in the city. See list of providers.

The nbn™ broadband access network is designed to offer access to a superfast and reliable internet connection, but the actual speeds you receive will be determined by your phone and internet provider and the plan you choose. They may also vary depending on things like your provider’s network capacity, your equipment, time of day and your location. The good thing is, there’s a range of plans available offering different speeds – so be sure to talk to your provider about a speed to suit your needs.

You’ll need to contact your internet provider. The role of nbn is to make sure the access network infrastructure is maintained, but your provider knows the ins and outs of your specific plan and connection, and will help fix any issues once you’re connected.


* Services provided over the nbn™ broadband access network will be replacing phone and internet services provided over most of the existing landline networks, including copper and the majority of HFC networks within the fixed line footprint. Services provided over existing fibre networks (including in-building, health and education networks) and some special and business services may not be affected. To find out if your services will be affected, please contact your current phone or internet provider. For more information, visit nbn.com.au/switchoff or call 1800 687 626.

Your experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ broadband access network, depends on the technology over which services are delivered to your premises and some factors outside our control (like your equipment quality, software, signal quality, broadband plan and how your service provider designs its network). Not all superfast speeds are available in all areas.

Common questions

Check to see when you can connect

Check your address

To find out if the nbn™ access network is available at your home or business