What does an NBN connection look like in a new home?

We take a look at where the NBN’s fibre optic cable ends up when it’s run from the street to a new home

Some people, especially those in new housing estates, have been lucky enough to get a national broadband connection (NBN) to their home. The new connection puts fibre optic cabling directly in the premises and can offer speeds of up to 100Mbps (megabits per second) for downloads and 40Mbps for uploads from selected ISPs.

But what does an NBN connection actually look like when placed in a new home? Here are some photos showing one type of installation in a freestanding home in a greenfield housing estate in Sydney’s western suburbs. The installation you see here is in a garage.

In the above photo, the main box that you can see is the NBN hub. This is the box at the bottom, and it’s from here that the fibre optic cable emerges from the wall. It’s also the place where all the wiring for the home can be found.

At the top-left of the photo is the power supply for the unit (an APC PowerShield), which gets its power directly from the wall outlet at the bottom-left, and then supplies the modem (a Dasan H64OGR) at the top-right of the picture. It’s actually an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), but for this installation a battery was not supplied by default. It must be purchased separately.

The above photo shows what it’s like inside the box. In this setup, the fibre cable passes through a hole in the wall, and then up through a hole at the top of the hub box. It goes straight to the modem. From the modem, an Ethernet connection is made to a switch that is located (for this installation) inside the hub box. At the top-left is a passive video splitter, which takes in an antenna input for free-to-air TV, and then distributes it to other parts of the home (in this instance there are three antenna ports going to three different rooms).

The blue wires that you see from the white switch in the above photo are connected to the patch panel for data in the photo below (there is also another one for voice). From the patch panel, the white cables travel to four Ethernet ports that are installed as wall outlets throughout the home.

Any of the four Ethernet ports in the home can then be used to attach a wireless router and more easily distribute the Internet throughout the premises. In the photo below, you can see one of the Ethernet ports, and there is a port next to it that is unused. That port is for voice, but in this installation a voice plan was not enabled. (The wiring is there if needed in the future.)

In this example, a Netgear Nighthawk was used to connect to one of the Ethernet ports located in the study. The Ethernet connection went to the router’s WAN port in order to distribute the Internet connection.

A fast router like the Nighthawk is essential in an installation like this since the speeds offered by the NBN connection (in this case from iiNet) can approach 100Mbps — the Nighthawk is an 802.11ac router and can supply very fast Wi-Fi speeds, and it also Gigabit Ethernet ports for directly connected computers.

A speed test conducted over wireless connection to a notebook shows that the NBN connection to this home is one to admire, with a 96.48Mbps download speed, and a 30.48Mbps upload speed.

Do you have the NBN? Let us know if your setup is similar and what speeds you get.

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Elias Plastiras
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