With the advancement in technology, many internet technologies have been rolled out. Each technology is different from the other and has different features. While choosing the best technology and mobile plan for yourself, it can be difficult to make a choice. Here is a comparison between the four most popular network technologies available in the Australian market. We have made a comparison of HFC vs. ADSL vs. NBN vs. Mobile broadband:
Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC)
There are several ways one can connect to the National Broadband Network (NBN). The choice usually depends on the location, the type of property, and some other factors. Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) is one such way to connect with NBN. The HFC network technology uses the network infrastructure laid out by Telstra and Optus in the 1990s. It aims for television subscription services like Foxtel to provide high-speed broadband internet service across the nation.
One can connect to the HFC broadband through a cable connection point similar to the one used by Pay TV. From this connection point, the technician can connect to a cable-ready modem router or modem. The HFC cables have been integrated into the NBN network as a part of the Multi-Technology Mix plan after the NBN rollout. A local CATV company uses HFC to install fiber optic cable from the distribution center to serve nodes located close to the residential and commercial users, and from these nodes, HFC uses coaxial cable to homes and businesses.
With HFC, some optical fiber characteristics are brought closer to the end-user without having to replace the existing coaxial cabling system. Telecommunication and cable companies widely use HFC technology in their upgraded networks and use the same infrastructure to carry voice and video communication in the same system.
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line is a broadband connection that telecommunication companies widely use for providing telephone lines. This technology sends data signals along the existing infrastructure, which has already been in use for decades for telephone services. The infrastructure can support more bandwidth than required for telephone calls. It is an older ADSL standard with a maximum download speed of about 7.2 Mbps and a maximum upload speed of 384 Kbps. The maximum download speed provided by ADSL+ technology is 24 Mbps, whereas the maximum upload speed provided is 3 Mbps.
ADSL service is available across the nation within the radius of an exchange. If the user is in the area where NBN is installed, ADSL service will not be available.
National Broadband Network (NBN)
The National Broadband Network (NBN) is rolled out by the Australian Government to provide high-speed broadband network access. The government provides wholesale network service to the Internet Service Providers and telecom companies that offer NBN plans for residents and businesses. The network technology is an upgrade to the existing phone and broadband service currently installed across Australia.
The network plans to connect over eight million residences and businesses across the nation. The goal of the NBN rollout is to provide the residents with access to a reliable and fast internet service for streaming videos, music, online shopping, banking, and staying connected with family and friends. This technology relies greatly on several telecommunication components, including fixed wireless, Hybrid Fibre Coaxial network, optical fiber cable, satellite copper line in order to provide fast and reliable network service. NBN users can install their equipment for free from the official website of their network operators.
ADSL vs. NBN
The main difference between the ADSL and NBN is the amount of copper used, which highly affects the data transfer speed. ADSL technology uses telephone cables, and these cables lose signal strength quickly over increasing distances. This means that the farther a user is from the local telephone exchange, the slower the data transfer rate. If a user is located 2 to 3 kilometers from the exchange, the data transfer speed will be impacted significantly. As most users are located a significant distance from the exchange, the technology has gained a reputation as a slower network.
On the other hand, NBN technology mostly uses fiber optic cables, and these cables can transfer data over a long distance with limited loss of signal strength, providing high-speed data transfer over a larger distance. Fiber optic cables can handle high-speed data transfer better than ADSL. Although several NBN connections, such as Fibre to the Node (FTTN), include copper, there is very little copper usage compared to ADSL. This makes NBN technology a more reliable and faster option over ADSL.
Mobile broadband is an internet connection provided by a telecom company over the mobile network. Smartphones utilize this network, with users plugging USB modems or dongles into the computer to get access to the internet instantly. With advancements in technology, telecom companies now allow users to use fixed wireless home modems and portable wireless hotspots with a higher data allowance to provide high-speed mobile broadband. With 5G technology around the corner, mobile broadband may become a reliable and competitive option for getting high-speed wireless internet access with greater reliability.
Mobile broadband is a great option for users who want to stay online everywhere. The mobile wireless broadband functions anywhere, and it doesn’t restrict the users to stay in a particular area compared to ADSL or NBN. If a person is a light user, mobile broadband can be a reliable option as they don’t have to pay for active telephone service, and the mobile broadband plans are comparatively affordable. However, the speed and data download rate can vary unpredictably even when the technology has come a long way in the past few years and still evolves exponentially.
With NBN merging with HFC cable networks to provide high data transfer speeds, the National Broadband Network will be increasing its reach and provide reliable networking across the nation. The mobile network providers are rapidly improving their network to provide even faster speed to the customers. After comparing HFC vs. ADSL vs. NBN vs. Mobile broadband Network, users can choose the network that best suits their needs.