What's going to happen at a FTTN installation appointment?
The brief answer to this is... possibly nothing; as in most cases an installation appointment will not be necessary.
A FTTN or 'fibre to the node' connection to the nbnTM means that fibre is connected to a node in your street. The nbnTM will then be delivered from the node to your home or business using the existing copper wire that runs into your home. This means that there is no need for an appointment by nbnTM to complete the installation. The FTTP or fibre to the premises connections that have been taking place up until now have all involved a site visit by one or two nbnTM technicians. A lot of consumers experienced problems with these installations and some consumers have been waiting months and months for an appointment to be completed.
FTTN connections will mean that the nbnTM can be rolled out considerably more quickly than the FTTP technique. The downside of this faster rollout is that the old copper wire in the street is still relied upon to carry the Internet service. There is a lot of commentary around this copper being very old and of poor quality.
At the time of writing there are very few active services on FTTN but retail service providers like Tangerine Telecom will provide a VDSL router to allow users to connect. This allows for speeds in excess of 80Mbps/40Mbps to be delivered down the copper cable. The maximum speed available is going to be dependent on the length of copper needed to run from your home or business to the node.
FTTN plans will be coming out with Tangerine Telecom very soon. Please keep checking our nbnTM Broadband page for plan details.
UPDATE 1ST MAY 2016:
With FTTN services now coming online across the country we know more about the connection process. When you have an existing phone line and order a FTTN NBN service from a retail service provider like Tangerine Telecom you'll be set a date for activation. On this day any ADSL service running on your telephone line will cease to work. On the same day NBN will become active. At this time you will need a FTTN ready modem. This is known as a VDSL modem. Your landline telephone number can remain active after activation of NBN. You will have 18 months from the time NBN becomes available to order until the phone line component of your telephone line will cease to work.
If you wish to keep your landline telephone number it is important that you transfer it to a voice service on the NBN prior to your set copper disconnection date. This will be made available to you and is usually 18 months after the date when NBN becomes available to order in your area.
If you do not currently have a landline telephone line running into your home, you will need a new one installed. NBN charge a $300 charge for this and it is usually the responsibility of the home owner to ensure that this is in place. In these cases an on-site appointment is required and access to your home would be required.
After activation there is a time known as co-existence. This is when ADSL and NBN services are active in your area. Some residents on your street will yet to have connected to NBN. During this time of co-existence NBN will not guarantee maximum speeds on the NBN. It is expected that speeds will not reach full potential until the period of co-existence ends. The precise difference in speed may vary and is still being fully understood. Co-existence can last as long as 18 months which is the time given to other users on your node to transition to NBN.
UPDATE 6TH JANUARY 2017:
With Fibre to the Node connections ever increasing we are seeing some common problems arise during the installation process. Due to the fact that FTTN technology utilises the existing copper cables that run into properties there can be issues experienced during activation. We have seen NBN technicians accidentally disconnecting the existing telephone service on a telephone line when they activate NBN. This is particularly bad for businesses who rely on this telephone service. We have also seen times when the NBN technician confirms that they have completed an activation yet the ADSL service is still active and working on the line.
Tangerine has connected thousands of FTTN services now and know what to look for during an activation appointment. If an issue is experience we know what to do to get it resolved as quickly as possible. It may require a fault to be logged with NBN, or it may require a fault to be logged with the current landline provider.
Rest assured though that things are improving and the number of faults is continually on the way down.
Pic of the inside of an NBN FTTN node.
Read our article on: What Happens at an HFC NBN Installation Appointment.
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