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Speeds on the NBN explained

This article will provide information about the speed abilities of different NBN technologies, and the various factors which can affect the speeds which individual users experience.

General Factors that can affect all broadband speeds

  • Hardware: You will need an router capable of connecting you to the NBN, which can handle the high speeds available to you. WiFi within the premises and router performance can often be the slow point in a NBN connection.
  • Network links: External network factors such as phyiscal location of host computer, global Internet link between Westnet and the destination and the backhaul network between your premises and Westnet. Congestion on domestic and international links can be present during peak times.
  • Users: The amount of local users and devices in use at one time. Even with the high speeds of the internet it is possible to use all available bandwidth at once, which will affect the overall speed experience.
  • Software: There are many applications and programs that access the Internet. These may be running in the background on your device performing various activities such as downloading updates and files and uploading information... all of this will take a 'byte' out of your total speed.

NBN-specific Factors

Different NBN technologies have different speed abilities, and the NBN plan you select may have different maximum speed options available. Think about the maximum speed of your plan as the speed limit on a freeway. Although there is a speed limit, you may not always reach this speed due to various factors such as traffic. Just like achieving the speed limit on the freeway, you may not achieve the maximum speed on your plan. Actually, in most cases, maximum speeds will not be experienced in full.

In addition to the general factors that can affect all broadband speeds, the specific factors below may affect the actual speed experienced on your NBN service.

Technology Type  Description Wholesale Speeds^ Specific Factors 

FTTP

Fibre to the Premises

Optical fibre leading all the way to your premises, terminating at your NBN Utility Box on an outside wall. Basic: Up to 12/1Mbps
Boost: Up to 25/5Mbps
MAX: Up to 100/40Mbps
See General Factors

FTTB

Fibre to the Building

Optical fibre leading to a connection point (Main Distribution Frame) in the building with a final stretch of copper to your unit/apartment's wall socket. Basic: Up to 12/1Mbps
Boost: Up to 25/5Mbps
MAX: Up to 100/40Mbps

Length copper line from your premises to the NBN hub.

Weather conditions that may impact the copper.

FTTN

Fibre to the Node

Optical fibre leading to a Node in your street or a street nearby with a final stretch of copper to your premises. Basic: Up to 12/1Mbps
Boost: Up to 25/5Mbps
MAX: Up to 100/40Mbps

Length of the copper line from your premises to the NBN node.

Quality of copper line, including overall length, condition and joins.

Fixed Wireless Fixed antenna on your roof receives a wireless signal from your local NBN Wireless tower. Basic: Up to 12/1Mbps
Boost: Up to 25/5Mbps

Weather conditions like extreme heat and rain.

Signal strength or obstruction of the antenna’s line of sight to the tower.

Long Term Satellite Service (LTSS) Satellite dish on your roof communicates with the NBN satellite. Basic: Up to 12/1Mbps
Boost: Up to 25/5Mbps
Weather conditions (either at premises or base station location)

Satellite Congestion.

Obstruction of the dish’s line of sight (weather conditions).

Interim Satellite Service (ISS) 

No longer sold

Satellite dish on your roof communicates with the NBN satellite. Up to 6/1 Mbps

Weather conditions (either at premises or base station location) 

Satellite Congestion.

Obstruction of the dish’s line of sight (weather conditions).

^These are the nominal NBN access port speeds, and are not necessarily indicative of actual data transfer speeds.
 

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