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You have NBN questions, and we have the answers.

Frequently asked questions

This article will answer some frequently asked questions about the NBN.

Click one of these links to skip down:

What exactly is the NBN?

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is a national network of communications infrastructure currently being built by NBN Co on behalf of the Federal Government. It's set to change the way Australians access the internet, with lightning-fast fibre-optic, fixed wireless and satellite technology being made available over the next 10 years.

There are plans to connect more than 93 per cent of Australian homes to the NBN’s fibre-optic network, allowing access to download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second – that’s four times quicker than the fastest ADSL2+ broadband currently available. With NBN Co planning to increase the available speeds on fibre-optic all the way up to 1000 megabits per second in the near future, the network is a serious game-changer.

The NBN is designed to replace Australia’s existing, ageing copper network, which is no longer sufficient to support our growing demand for faster and more reliable internet connections. Whether you are getting connected by fibre-optic (called Fibre to the Home, or FTTH if you want to sound cool at parties), fixed wireless or satellite at your premises, you won’t be disappointed by your NBN experience.

I've heard of the NBN but who is NBN Co?

NBN Co is the organisation created by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) in 2009, to build the NBN.

Their job is to roll out Australia's first national wholesale-only broadband network to all Australians, no matter where they live. Set to be completed by 2020, NBN Co will connect 93 per cent of homes, schools and businesses with optical fibre and the remaining seven per cent with wireless and satellite services.

As a customer, you won't access your internet services through NBN Co, you need to choose a Retail Service Provider (RSP), such as iiNet, to get you connected.

To learn more about NBN Co, check out their website.

What are Retail Service Providers (RSPs)?

In the same way you have had to choose an Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your broadband connection, when the NBN is rolled out in your area you'll need to choose a Retail Service Provider (RSP) to provide you with all NBN-related products (including internet and phone) as well as any support which you require. iiNet is one of several RSPs offering services right now. As a wholesale provider, NBN Co can't offer you products directly - they do so through providers like us.

How do I get connected to the NBN?

NBN Co is moving across the country installing fibre optic cables to deliver superfast internet. From the moment NBN Co begins construction in your area it’ll take about 12 months until they’re all done and your home can access NBN speeds and service.

As part of the process, NBN Co will be installing a NBN utility box to the outside wall of your home. Everyone needs a NBN utility box fitted, and the good news is it’s installed at no cost to you. You don’t even have to be home when NBN Co installs it. The good folks at NBN Co will let you know when your area becomes ready for service. When that happens you’ll need to choose a Retail Service Provider (RSP), like iiNet, and an NBN plan.

Once you have selected a plan NBN Co will need to install a few bits and pieces inside your home. The good news is that when you upgrade to iiNet we will manage this with NBN Co for you. Everyone needs the same equipment fitted inside their homes (regardless of which RSP you’re with), but your choice of RSP is super-important if you’d like the process managed super-well.

When is the NBN coming to my area?

NBN Co has a plan in place which determines when the network will be rolled out around the country. To find out when your premise will be NBN ready check out NBN Co’s coverage map.

I'm interested in the NBN – is it better to connect now or later?

There are plenty of reasons to get hooked up during the initial roll-out in your area – and we're not just talking about accessing superfast broadband and bigger download quotas!

  • You won't pay a thing – standard NBN installations are free during the initial roll out. It's not yet known if you'll have to pay for connection at later date, but avoid the uncertainty and get it done early on.
  • For those on fibre-optic, the copper network that's in use now won't be around forever. Approximately 18 months after your premises is ready for service, the copper network will be disconnected. When this occurs, having a fibre-optic cable already connected to your premises will allow you to continue using internet and phone services without any interruptions.

What will I pay for an NBN service?

We offer a wide variety of plans for those switching over to the NBN, as well as a sweet collection of optional extras such as our Netphone product, our Budii™ series of modem/routers, and a whole heap more.

Check here for further details, and as always if you have any questions, give our friendly Sales team a call on 13 19 17.

When can I sign up for new NBN plans?

To check to see when your premises will receive the NBN, check out the coverage map on our website or call us on 13 19 17.

What do I do when its time for services to switchover from the copper network to the NBN?

The copper network will be turned off approximately 18 months after NBNCo installs fibre-optic cabling in an area. When this does happen, if you want to remain connected to the web and or make telephone calls, you’ll need to switch over to an NBN service. Remember even if you do not want access to the internet and just wish to continue make telephone calls you will need to switch to an appropriate NBN phone service.

You can rest assured that we'll get in touch with you closer to the time of switchover to ensure you have all the information and support you need to make the upgrade to an NBN plan seamlessly.

NOTE: If your premises receives a fixed wireless or satellite NBN service, your copper line will not be disconnected. It will still be able to function as a traditional landline service.

I’m renting, what do I have to do to get connected to the NBN?

You will need to get permission from the property owner must be received prior to an NBN Network Termination Device (NTD) being installed at the premises. We recommend you speak to you property manager or land lord to discuss the connection.

It's good news for those renting in a share house situation, as the NTD comes with four data ports, all of which can be programmed to work with a separate provider. This means up to four NBN broadband connections can be run into each premises, so one for each person - no more bill rage!

I live in an apartment block – will I have access to the NBN?

You sure will, initially you just need to ensure that your Body Corporate has registered with NBN Co so that they can complete the required design work to get your apartment NBN enabled. NBN Co will install fibre optic cable to every apartment or multi-dwelling property it can.

New housing developments are lucky enough to be installed with NBN services from the get-go.

How reliable is the NBN compared to a normal ADSL broadband service?

The NBN is built using state-of-the-art fibre-optic, wireless and satellite technology designed with not just speed, but reliability in mind. Fibre-optics are heavily shielded against the elements (a must in a country like Australia), which means that our extremes of weather will not affect the network in the same way that it did the copper network. When combined with the extreme speeds possible on fibre-optic networks, the NBN represents a great leap forward from our current world of copper lines and ADSL broadband.

Fixed wireless and satellite services will also be more reliable due to the way they will be installed. Premises which receive fixed wireless services will have dedicated antennas installed on top of your building, which means that common environmental hiccups like the materials of your premises (for example, concrete or brick walls) will not be an issue. Satellite dishes will be larger than most standard satellite installations, as well as the use of additional satellites which will ensure greater coverage and more reliable speeds.

Are the speeds provided by the NBN guaranteed?

All speeds that have been quoted for NBN plans are the wholesale access speeds. What this means is that your plan will allow your connection to reach a maximum possible speed, for example, 100Mbps/40Mbps for a fibre-optic plan. This does not however guarantee that the devices in your home will be able to achieve the quoted speed, as the wholesale access speed only refers to the speed of the overall connection that runs to your premises.

The speeds your devices receive depend on multiple different factors, such as:

  • Any routers, switches or hubs connected to your NBN installation
  • Your PC/laptop/mobile devices and their ability to handle the supplied speed
  • If you’re using wireless to connect devices to the NBN

While we will always make sure that you are getting the most out of your NBN connection, we are unable to guarantee that you will always receive the full speeds of your plan.

Will my current modem/router work with the NBN?

If you have a device which is only an ADSL modem – normally these only have one Ethernet/LAN port on their rear panel – then you can either connect a computer or laptop directly to your NTD, or to an Ethernet data port in your wall. This is fine if you only have one device in your home. If you wish to connect multiple devices – laptops, game consoles, mobile phones – to your NBN connection, you will need a router which is NBN-ready.

If you already own a router then we suggest that you check with its manufacturer to see if it is capable of supporting the NBN. If you are looking for a new router to purchase, iiNet offers some great options in this area, such as our Budii™ series of modem/routers.

You can check them all out here.

Will there be enough bandwidth for everyone when the NBN rollout is complete?

We've already starting making plans to ensure there is enough bandwidth to support our NBN customers. We've already formed a key partnership with PIPE Networks which will give us access to more bandwidth via its Guam network cable to make sure that international traffic is catered for too.

Will my landline phone still work when I switch to the NBN?

You can decide to keep your landline using the existing copper connection, until either 18 months passes from the time the NBN is installed in your area (for fibre-optic customers), or indefinitely if you are on fixed wireless or satellite.

For those on fibre-optic or fixed wireless NBN plans, you can choose to make all your calls over Netphone, a great value VoIP (Voice over IP) service that allows you to make cheap, high-quality phone calls over your internet connection.

How long will my NBN service take to set up at my premises?

The timeframes for NBN installation can vary depending on a number of factors including;

  • the type of connection you are receiving from NBN Co – fibre, fixed wireless or satellite
  • the demand for services within your area
  • the availability of NBN Co installers to perform the installations

Please be aware the below timeframes are not guaranteed and are indicative only. We will always select the next available installation appointment that is convenient for you and will advise on confirmation of an approved order.

Fibre-optic and fixed wireless

Without NBN hardware already installed: 1-2 weeks

With NBN hardware already installed: 1-2 working days


Installations can take 4-6 weeks to complete due to the increased complexity of the installation as well as technician availability.

For further information we would suggest giving our Sales team a call on 13 19 17.

What work will the NBN technicians perform when they attend my premises?

NBN technicians will install all the equipment required to connect your premises to the NBN network, which may include a:

  • Network termination device (NTD)
  • Backup power supply
  • Modem (satellite only)
  • One (1) wall plate for two data cables leading to the NTD

The technicians are not required to install any further equipment as part of their fit-out of your premises. You can ask the technician on the day if they can customise the installation of your NBN equipment (usually at a cost), however they do not perform on-site speed testing or complex internal wiring installation. For these, you can contact a third-party data technician who can perform the work for you.

Learn more about your installation day.

Who do I contact for more information?

Our friendly iiNet NBN sales team are available on 13 19 17.

What’s going to happen on the day of the installation?

When the installer arrives at your property, ensure you check their ID before letting them inside, to ensure they are a contracted NBN technician.

The installer will discuss with you where you want the equipment installed, and whether the requested work can be performed without charge. Some places might not be possible due to safety or other considerations such as additional wiring work required.

If your building doesn’t already have a fibre-optic cable connected, running the cable into your premises may require the digging of a small trench, or, if it’s coming from overhead, some minor clearing of vegetation. NBN Co has a strict “leave it as it’s found” policy so there is no need to be concerned about any permanent damage to your property.

It might be necessary to move furniture around inside your house a little to get to the location you want the equipment installed. Some drilling through walls may be required, as well as some other holes to mount the equipment, so be prepared for a small amount of drilling noise and dust – again, the NBN Co technician will clean up afterwards.

If your premises already has fibre-optic cable connected to a Premises Connection Device (PCD), standard installations normally take between approximately 2 and 4 hours. If your premises does not have the fibre optic cable connected then a standard installation could take between 4 and 8 hours.

If you request the NBN Co technician to perform a non-standard installation, the time required may be longer.

Does somebody need to be home on the day of NBN installation?

You, or an authorised representative (someone you trust who is over 18), needs to be there for the whole appointment, to let the installer in and advise where the equipment should be located.



TransACT logo

Welcome TransACT members

We are in the process of moving all TransACT Victoria customers onto the iiNet network. This means that you'll now be able to sign up for a great selection of iiNet products and services!

As an iiNet customer, you now have access to our great range of internet and voice services, as well as any new products we launch – this also includes any promotional offers! You will also continue to enjoy award-winning customer service from our dedicated support teams.

If you'd like to know a little bit more about iiNet, feel free to browse our website, or download our Welcome Booklet. Be sure to have a read through, to see how we can help you connect better.