Consumers are left absolutely confuddled after yet again another planned switch in NBN plan. Recently NBN.co CEO announce the switch to FTTC to lower costs as many consumers have been unhappy with speed vs costs produced under the new ISP plans.  With many consumers still confused on the FTTN to FTTP shift which was discussed back in June 2016 AFTER construction to the Fibre to the node network had started. The change to the policy was announced in June 2016

" The FTTN roll-out will be phased out as soon as current design and construction contracts are completed”.

That’s right, if you already had NBN connection in your area you have FTTN which is Fibre to the Node, It was already planned and paid for, so they kept going.  This was then “fixed" by the FTTC Fibre to the Curb Policy; which again, if you already had NBN Fibre TOO LATE, they are not coming back to fix it. So what is a “Node" you ask? It’s like a central connection point, which a “node"are those big ugly khaki boxes you see on the sidewalk, well, you will be seeing them a lot more if you don’t know the ones. In fact, there has already been an uproar about the nodes, with some residents having part of their front yards taken away for them, for badly placed node cabinets. There are entire news articles and twitter accounts still existing, for poor citizens pleading to the the “node" removed. The node cabinet has brought other issues than just big and ugly, much more important issues.

For starters, node cabinets bring more things to hit during car accidents, and that’s not an easy fix, that’s an entire neighbourhood without phone or internet. They encourage vandals, graffiti and damages to the node, which means for tax payers dollars to fix or clean it. There has been reports and claims of node’s “blowing up" or “exploding" because of the large batteries in them, Or when they have good batteries, Thieves are breaking in and destroying the cabinet to steal the battery as they are quite expensive.

(Have I mentioned the Battery yet? your probably wondering why it has a battery?)

The Node connection requires constant power to be connected. So, if power goes out, so does anything that uses the NBN – including phone lines, Medical alarm, auto-dialler or emergency call button, Security alarm, EFTPOS or health claim terminal, Monitored fire alarm, Lift emergency phone, Fax and teletypewriter devices.

For the Homes, Businesses, Medical Facilities and Media Stations, whom all rely on generators and backup power in black outs. This Node Technology can cause MAJOR issues, as in emergency situations where blackouts occur, who can potentially be without power for a few hours – that could be a few hours too long, as the batteries can only last a MAXIMUM of 9 hrs but with use they expect a minimum of 3 hours.

With Australian storm damage, and power grid failures on the rise this is an increasing issue, residents of Brisbane have already been warned for the coming summer that the power grid could fail from overuse and last year parts of south Australia went days without power. if your mobile dies during an emergency you could be left with no way of contacting help if needed. THANKS NBN!

So What do all the types of connection mean? to put it simply

FTTN – Fibre to the node – means the connection goes to the node box, and then your house connects with the pre-existing copper cable to the node.

FTTC- Fibre to the Curb – means the connection forgoes the node issue, and runs straight to the footpath (curb) of the street, usually having smaller connection point in a pit in the footpath. (this also requires power, but also special equipment in your home)

FTTP – Fibre to the Premises – as the name suggests the optic fibre line will be run from the nearest available fibre node, to your premises ( this is an expensive option)

FTTB – Fibre to the Building –  Is usually in a shared address scenario such as business buildings or apartments – NBN.co will run a fibre optic line to the building communications room.

HFC – Hybrid Fibre Coaxial –  where the existing ‘pay TV’ or cable network can be used to make the final part of the Connection from the node.

To find out what sort of Connection you have Click here.

Stacey Friswell
Article Author

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