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NBN vs. Cable Internet

  • Performance-wise, a Cable connection is the most like the NBN
  • Cable requires an installation fee, the NBN will be installed by the government.
  • Initially NBN maximum speeds will be similar to maximum speed of a Cable connection.
  • The NBN will eventually be upgraded to far exceed the maximum speeds of Cable.
  • Optus and Telstra's high speed cable broadband is, in many respects, similar to what you'll get with the NBN. Where they differ is, once again, in the “last mile”.

Cable connections employ fibre optic wiring to a node, after which the signal is transferred to coaxial cabling. Coaxial cabling is a form of copper cabling, but is much better at transferring high speed data than the twisted pair wires of an ADSL network. In fact, the coaxial cable currently used by Telstra and Optus will make up part of the final NBN infrastructure.

It is important to note that the current plan of the Federal Government is to substitute fibre optic cabling in the “last mile” for coaxial cabling. This essentially means that there will be very little difference between traditional cable broadband, and the NBN infrastructure. Current cable broadband speeds can vary between 30Mbps and 100Mbps, depending on geographical location and provider. Future upgrades to the NBN network should improve its speeds far beyond the capabilities of cable. In short, if you care about the speed of your network, and you are eligible for a cable connection, we'd suggest you choose cable until the NBN rolls-out to your home.

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