What is broadband (before/after NBN) ?

Question: What is broadband (before/after NBN)?

Answer: The term broadband refers to the wide bandwidth characteristics of a transmission medium and its ability to transport multiple signals and traffic types simultaneously. The medium can be coax, optical fibre, twisted pair or wireless.

Until the introduction of the NBN in Australia typical broadband speeds were:

  • ADSL – 1.5M down 128k / 256k upload (max distance from exchange 4-5 km)
  • ADSL2 – 22M down 512k / 1024k upload (these speeds only if you live next door to telephone exchange – distance from exchange reduces speed – max distance 3-4 km)
  • 3G wireless approximate speed 384k – 2M (max 384k up) – (the more people using the cell tower and distance from it lower the bandwidth)
  • 4G (Next-G) wireless approximate speed 2-40M (max 1.9M up) – (the more people using the cell tower and distance from it lower the bandwidth)

In all the above methods upload speed is low. The power of the NBN is not just it’s improvement in download speed , but it vast improvement in upload speeds. Currently the lowest connection speed offered by the NBN is 12M down and 1 M upload, the best available is 100M download 40M upload. (see http://www.nbnco.com.au/get-an-nbn-connection/wholesale-speeds.html for NBN wholesale speed tiers).

In all of the above we have not talked about traffic charges – all ISP/Telco’s in Australia charge for traffic. Most plans are based on a cost / Gigabyte of Data (in many cases you are charged for both your downloads and uploads).

Posted in: Broadband Technical Queries