FTTC connections are a high speed NBN connection delivering internet services via Fibre To The Curb (FTTC) and copper connection from the Curb to your home. If you’re not sure if you have an FTTC connection, you can check your address here.
FTTC relies on the existing copper wire infrastructure to access the fibre technology in your closest Distribution Point Unit (DPU). The DPU is generally found in a pit on your street and has a connected power supply with the incoming fibre connection and outgoing copper connection. From there, it will use the existing copper infrastructure to the NBN box at your home.
What does an FTTC connection mean inside the home?
Past the NBN box at your home, your internet speed relies on how your internet is shared through the home.
Many existing homes will have their modem at the NBN connection box and use wifi after that. This means that the speed and reliability of your internet will depend on how close you are to the modem, what generation wifi you are using to connect, how many wifi connections your modem can support, how many devices are trying to connect over wifi, what tasks each device is trying to do using wifi and how much internet bandwidth they use.
For example, if you live in a solid brick home and you are trying to stream a show from the opposite side of your home to the modem, you may find that it takes time to load or might pause to reload. Perhaps the internet slows down after dinner when kids are doing homework, one parent might be logging in to check their work emails or catch up on work, and someone is online gaming.
What to do if you have an FTTC connection but slow internet?
With FTTC running over the existing copper technology from the DPU to your home, you may find that your internet speeds can suffer due to distance from the DPU, state of the copper lines, load on the copper network.
Many home owners don’t realise that the standard speed is 9Mbps download and 0.8Mbps upload. As a comparison ADSL 2+, the system before NBN, had a maximum download speed of 12Mbps and 1.5Mbps upload. You may actually find your FTTC service is slower than your old ADSL connection and will benefit from a speed pack (at an additional cost).
If your home relies on wifi connections, then you have a few additional options to help speed up your internet.
You could install a wireless access point, these act like additional modems through your home. They are wired back to the original modem and provide a stronger connection than repeaters or extenders. A wireless access point is handy if you want to remain mobile with the devices in your home.
If you tend to keep a device in one spot, for example a gaming console, smart tv, or internet connection in a study, then you might want to consider having a hardwired connection installed for these devices. The benefit of a dedicated hardwired connection for these devices is that they will have a fast, dedicated connection and can then be removed from the wifi load on your modem. That means these devices will stream and respond faster with internet based content.