So, What Does This Mean For You?
If your not a "Tech Crazed" or "Computer Savvy" person then you may be left wondering what to do when it comes time to make a rather big choice.
Most have already transitioned to a NBN "National Broadband Service" by means of an RSP "Retail Service Provider" who have connected you to the new network with there hardware, like modem's that come with a plan.
But, the NBN is not by any means to a simple telephone service.
To get a Home Phone "Land Line" you must subscribe to a NBN service. This means that you have to be on the internet to use a Land Line kind of device. And for some that can seem backwards, that's because now it is.
Your Local FTTN "Fibre to the Node" Roadblock
18-Months after the NBN has completed construction of the network in your area the Copper Lines are Disconnected.
Without writing a whole lot of tech jargon that can be confusing, I will guide you through how this all works and what you can do to either connect to the NBN or choose and alternative.
You may have seen trucks or other vehicles in your area carting and pulling this green cable through the existing Telco Pit's. This is the stuff that is replacing your good old copper cable that goes from your Telephone Exchange to your house. And this is why you can't just plug your trusty phone into the wall any more.
The copper provided a direct connection into the exchange for you to get communication services, not any more.
Your Analogue cables have been disconnected and replaced with Digital Fibre Optical Cable.
This all sounds very nice, Yes?
For most, the answer would be Yes, except the is a great few that just want a telephone service and don't want to connect to the NBN. There are many options that could help you get just what you need without having the technological stress of a smart phone or an UN-needed internet service.
In the past year or so, alternatives to the NBN are becoming more available. Like 3G enabled "Home Phones" that look like and work just like your trusty home phone. They also have some great features for our loved ones, like hearing aid connectivity, SOS function and extra large illuminated buttons.
Watch this video of the UNIWA 3G Cordless Handset
If you want the internet, there are plenty of options to choose from. Depending on your area, the NBN is delivered in 6 different ways.
Fibre to the Home "FTTH"
Optical Fibre is delivered all the way to your home. With speeds of up to 100 Mb/s
Fibre to the Node "FTTN"
Optical Fibre is used to connect to a local node near you, the final stage uses your existing copper to provide internet. With speeds anywhere from 1-100 Mb/s depending on the distance of the copper from the node and its condition. Most of the cable that enters a home is 50 years old.
Fibre To The Curb "FTTC"
This is a way that NBN have devised to help areas that have high population density that are not planned for "FTTH". NBN will run Skinny Fibre to your curbside, from there your copper does the rest.
With some 21st Century coding, NBN in a Lab Setting have been able to thrash 20Gb/s up 20m of twisted pair copper. This will most likely over the years replace "FTTN" as the cost of implementation is nothing compared to running fibre to your home.
Hybrid Fibre Coaxial "HFC"
Previously Foxtel or Optus Broadband - HFC delivers high speed broadband to you using existing coaxial cable like what is connected to your Foxtel / Austar box. With speeds that vary widely due to the length of coax cable and the cables condition as it spans over electricity poles in most areas.
New coding is being used to increase the speed, however it can be hit and miss in some areas where infrastructure degradation has occurred. NBN have replaced Km's of coaxial due to over subscription by the operator and lack of or no maintenance of the network.
Basically this is a permanent installation of a wireless network. Like 4G Cellular with an antenna that is fitted to the exterior of your house. Fixed Wireless has its own distinct set of issues, like lower speeds and atmospheric conditions can disturb this signal causing poor connection or dropouts.
If you are in a Fixed Wireless area and you are getting a good ADSL2+ connection already, you can keep this connection as the completion of Fixed Wireless is the only technology that most likely wont result in the disconnection of your Fixed Copper Line.
Sky Muster Satellite
There are currently 2 Sky Muster NBN Satellites in orbit with base stations on the ground that provide internet services for the final 8% of the NBN roll-out. This is used in rural areas where it is not financially viable to run optical fibre or fixed wireless solutions.
Above: Sky Muster II Satellite Launch Video
Speeds are low and data is heavily capped. Realistic speeds are 6-24 Mb/s. As the network nears completion, NBN will in affect crank it up to its full bandwidth. Currently the 2 Satellites are thumping 135 Terabytes Per Second of potential bandwidth.
The 2 Satellites have a Maximum Capacity of 185 Tb/s.
Now, lets crunch some numbers.
185,000,000 / (400,000) = (46.25) /365 = 0.125TB *12 = 1.5TB per month
Total Bandwidth / Total Subscribers = Yearly Bandwidth p/Sub / Year = Monthly p/Subscriber
That sound like an awesome amount of Bandwidth Per Connection! Except the final plan is to include Business and Premium services which will be divvied up accordingly.
Satellite by nature is not for everyone, Very high Latency is not good for making phone calls or Skype. And if you want to multiplayer game, This is NOT for you.
If these don't float your boat?
If you already have a mobile phone with a good data quota, consider using it as a Mobile Hot-Spot so you can connect your PC or Mac. Make sure to set your device to "Metered Connection" so the system wont chew up all your Data.
Wait For 5G or Get a 4G Plan (Where Available) with the most Data
5G will be Gigabit Internet in your pocket!
And be ready for a kick to your back pocket!
TRANSITION or NOT?
Like all purchases, take a little time to consider what is best for you. Read reviews from customers and always ask your "RSP" if they can give you a better deal, like more data or a speed boost.
So no matter what you require in the way of communications services, there is a practical option for you.