What is Fibre to the Curb?
FTTC is a new connection technology where high-speed fibre optic cable is laid directly to your property’s curb or driveway (a distribution point), and the final connection to your house or business is made with your existing copper phone line.
As you can see in the image above:
- NBN has Points of Interconnect (POIs) around the country that connect to the wider internet. These are usually located in the old telephone exchange building in your suburb.
- A fibre optic cable connects the POI to an NBN Node closer to your house.
- Fibre optic cable connects the Node to a distribution point under the street near the front of your house.
- Your copper phone line connects the distribution point to your house.
While all NBN connections get you online, FTTC has a couple of unique benefits.
Since only a small amount of copper is required to connect your house to the distribution point, you won’t lose any speed over FTTC. Using large lengths of copper to deliver internet access can result in serious speed degradation; the longer the copper, the slower the internet.
For example, with to fibre to node (FTTN) connections you need to be within 400 meters of your neighborhood’s node to have any chance of maxing out your internet speeds, but many homes will be much further away — even up to a kilometer from the Node. An FTTC connection will use a comparatively tiny amount of copper, so you won’t see any speed degradation due to distance.
The small amount of copper also means FTTC connections are futureproofing. NBN Co says future FTTC upgrades will be able to achieve speeds of up to 1Gbps, or ten times faster than the current maximum NBN speed.