The NBN Is Here! - A Preliminary Review
The NBN is finally here in Willunga, South Australia. What is the NBN? NBN (National Broadband Network) is a new, wholesale-only, open access high-speed broadband network that will deliver high-speed broadband to all Australians. The NBN will involve the laying of fibre optic cabling to 93 per cent of Australian homes, schools and businesses, providing broadband speeds of up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps). The remaining premises will be connected via a combination of next-generation high-speed fixed wireless and satellite technologies delivering peak speeds of at least 12 Mbps or more.
Currently the NBN is available in Tasmania and in Armidale, NSW. Armidale is part of the 1st 5 new release sites that the NBN chose. The other 4 are Brunswick. Townsville, Kiama downs, and Willunga. Willunga is the 2nd town going on trial in the mainland and they expect Willunga to go live by October after the trials. I was fortunate enough to be one of the first to trial the high speed network here in Willunga. So how is the experience overall? Let's dig right into it and find out.
All the homes that are part of the NBN have cabling that come right up to the side of the house usually near where the electricity box is. This is how it is set up in the majority of homes here in Willunga. There is one more step involved in getting connected and that is the install of a hardware device called NTD (Network Termination Device). This is a white box pictured below and from this unit you need to connect your Ethernet cable to a Fibre ready unit like a Fritz!Box 7390 (which is what I am testing this on) or any Broadband router that has an EWAN (Ethernet Wide Area Network) port. Be careful what router you get though as there are a lot of routers that are underpowered and won't be able to get 100Mbit in routed mode. So make sure you get a Broadband Router that is capable of the speeds you are getting. There are not many routers that can do 100Mbit in routed mode. If you get a slower connection like 12, 24 or 50Mbit, then a lot of the routers should be able to deal with these speeds. If you get 100Mbit then I would recommend the Fritz!box 7390, Apple Airport Extreme or the Apple Time Capsule units that are capable of handling such speeds.
The NTD (Network Termination Device) box above. You then connect an Ethernet cable to your Router.
This is the Power Supply and the Battery Back unit. It will last for up to 4 hours when you have a power failure.
The connection for the trial I have is 100Mbit downstream and 40Mbit Upstream. I was also given 200Gb data for the month which should be ample at least for now. All I did was connect the Ethernet cable from the NTD to the LAN 1 port of of the Fritz!box 7390. From there I just configured the 7390 with my username and password and I was instantly connected.
As soon as I connected I decided to run a few speed tests and in my opinion the most reliable one is Speedtest.net as they download and upload from your local ISP. I was averaging around 94 to 95Mbps downstream and around 35Mbps upstream. It is close enough to the advertised speeds. Everything was snappy from video streaming to Video conferencing to VoiP and downloads. I did a local FTP transfer from the Internode Mirror of an ISO file and was pulling it at close to 11 MB/s. All in all a pretty WOW experience. The biggest jump being upload speeds. Uploading is blazingly fast!
I've done a few speed tests and also a bunch of screenshots. As you can see from the tests on Speedtest I was averaging 95Mbps downstream and 35Mbps Upstream. On Ozspeedtest it was fairly similar although I am not so sure how accurate it is since it is only pulling in a small file. The FTP local mirror was amazingly fast at 11 MB/s. I also uploaded a bunch of pics to my web server and it went at lightning speed. Most users will appreciate the upload speeds. Notice the Ping of 3ms. Gamers will be in heaven with low pings
The downstream test. Averages between 94 and 95Mbps.
Speedtest showing the upload speeds.
This test may not be as accurate as it only pulls in 15MB files to test but many use this to test their speeds so I have put this in for reference.
Notice the speed downloading from the local Internode mirror via FTP.
Multi Streaming Tests:
I have done a few tests here to stretch it to the limits. Several You Tube windows, several Vimeo HD streams, a couple of web downloads, uploading several files via FTP, several radio streams played on the desktop and 2 iPads. The network did not sweat it at all. All played smoothly. On the other hand with my ADSL 2+, I Would constantly have my radio streams buffering and when I stream some sports the dreaded spinning circle would appear. Of all the testing today no buffering. So that's a huge plus. My ADSL 2+ connection was 16.5Mbits down and 1Mbit up. So there is a pretty huge difference of up to 6 times the download speed and a whopping 40 times upload speeds. Over the course of the next month or 2 I will post an update to see how things are going but at present I am quite thrilled with the speeds.
All I can say is that the NBN experience has been terrific. A lot also has to do with Internode my service provider as without a first class network, you can never get the speeds especially international. Your ISP better have good overseas Internet connectivity if you want blazing speeds. Internode delivers in this regard! As you can see from speed tests, I can get very close to the speeds promised. I can download a 1.3 Gigabyte file in under 2 minutes at 9 megabytes per second and this is from a newsgroup in the U.S with 70 connections open. I can upload a file just over 400MB in under 2 minutes. Now that's impressive! VoIP calls are crystal clear and I didn't notice any cut outs while downloading and the QoS (Quality Of Service) on the Fritz!box works pretty well. The Fritz!box was able to handle the throughput with ease and I didn't expect any problems. I will update you on the progress as I do more tests over the coming months. All in all a big thumbs up for the NBN and Internode. Feel free to comment or ask any questions in the comment box below.
- Blistering Speeds
- Fast Uploads
- Streams videos without a hitch, No buffering on Video or Audio
- Crystal Clear VoIP quality
- Much faster and noticeable browsing speeds
- Constant nagging from the Liberal party about how bad and wasteful the NBN is.
- Apart from the above, none that I can think of.
The NBN is here!
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