FTTP NBN is the holy grail right, the top tier of connectivity that delivers the best speeds available on the network over fibre optic cable right to your house. So what’s it like to live with ? After being connected for a couple of weeks, I’ve had some time to use and now reflect on the experience on offer with FTTP NBN.
Since making the decision to build in a greenfield estate around 2 years ago, I’ve been looking forward to this experience, mainly due to the ability to get things done faster. When you imagine what’s possible with 100Mbps down and 40Mbps up, you imagine things downloads happening in the blink of an eye. In reality that isn’t necessarily reflected in reality.
Most servers you connect to, to download content have rate limiting per user to protect them against DDOS attacks and to prevent any one user from overwhelming the available bandwidth. This means that 500Mb file won’t download in the blink of an eye, but rather minutes. Don’t get me wrong, its absolutely many multiples faster than an ADSL2 connection, but you don’t get to take advantage of your full internet connection on a file single download.
I can’t stress this one enough, the unreserved biggest benefit to having speeds this high is the ability to do multiple online tasks without interruption to others.
With ADSL2, simply allowing OneDrive to backup files to the cloud was enough to cause buffering in streaming video. Having to pause OneDrive each time we wanted to watch Netflix was particularly annoying and for that window of time, those files were at risk of being lost should the hardware die. With the NBN, there was no need to rate limit OneDrive’s upload and download speeds, online backup works seamlessly while streaming video on a number of devices.
Modern smartphones are all shooting 4K video, but before sharing that video online, I’d previously spend time converting them (read reducing file size) before uploading them to reduce upload time. With the NBN, I no longer have to do this and can simply film and publish in the best possible resolution, a process that takes seconds, not minutes or hours.
While single file downloads may not take advantage of the extra speed, often software is capable of making multiple connections to a CDNs and the download of large applications or games are dramatically sped up.
Anyone who’s spent time online knows that streaming video from YouTube, Netflix, Foxtel etc can often experience buffering due to poor network performance. If you’re connectivity is only just capable of delivering a stream, then its prone to be interrupted. With FTTP NBN, there’s so much headroom, it just doesn’t happen. Start a stream and it just plays and it plays at the best quality available, not down-sampling the bitrate or resolution due to limited Mbps.
If I’m honest, FTTP NBN is a really nice place to be.
In the future my needs will grow as we add a couple of 4K TVs and a couple of kids, so its great to have a fast connection now, but I suspect the 100/40Mbps offering will eventually be upgraded to a 1Gbps/400Mbps.
Ultimately FTTP NBN allows you to use the internet in any way you want, without thinking about the capacity of your connectivity and that’s exactly what I wanted from it.
Choosing a Retail Service Provider (aka ISP) is a difficult process. There are horror stories all over the web from every provider, so I’m definitely not making any recommendations other than to suggest you go month-to-month at first, test the speed at your address, then change if you’re not happy. Personally I’m with MyRepublicAU which was a saga to be connected, but once connected am getting around 93Mbps down and 35Mbps up, albeit with a relatively high ping of around 23ms.