NBN Fibre Optic Cables and Components

The National Broadband Network uses Fibre Optic Cable to deliver the country’s fastest and most reliable broadband internet. This broadband format is considered the most superior compared to all other existing current formats. It is used for all types of NBN.


Dissecting the components of this format / technology shows an intricate system that transmits data via laser light bouncing in the glass filament lines. It also has special properties that are the most compatible for the NBN, which protects it from crosstalk, interference, heat, water, and corrosion.

Fibre optic cable is present in all NBN formats, and is crucial for high speed broadband across the country. It is available as pure Fibre to the Premises or FTTP, and other iterations of it: Fibre to the Node / Building, and Mixed Technology fixed line NBN, including, HFC or Hybrid Fibre Coaxial.

HFC and Mixed Technology NBN uses a combination of part fibre and part copper connections. This is sourced from existing copper phone line networks, usually around or within the premises. The fibre connection is directly from NBN Co., and is found outside the premises. Whenever available, this combination is used to save on costs and speed up the installation / roll out process.

Even Fixed Wireless NBN and Satellite NBN use fibre optic cables – at least in the overall connection trail. All the providing parts from the company are fibre, with connections leading to NBN transmission towers. It ends where the wireless functions start.

Fibre Optic technology

The Fibre Optic cables used for NBN purposes consists of fibre optic glass core, the strands of which are just slightly thicker than human hair. These inner components are wrapped in protective polymer coating inside a bundled collection. This is further wrapped with protective coating at the outside surface of these individually wrapped and coated lines.
These internal cables are clad in protective polymer material in layers, preventing signal disruptions to of each other. This protects it from crosstalk and other frequency bleed through issues and allows for a clean and interference free exchange of data.


Oddly enough most cable bundles also use copper components, but this is mostly for outside sheathing. It is resilient enough to withstand water and outside elements from infiltrating the core. Inner support material from the inside is also used to for overall strength and support.

As mentioned, the fibre optic material transmits data differently from the older formats such as cable and ADSL lines. Data travels at the speed of light in fibre optics, and uses laser to facilitate this function. Fibre optic cables transfer data through laser light. This is bounced around the glass fibre inside, which is insulated with layers of polymer coating, and further coated in layers to sheath it against all external elements. The transmission and data exchange rate with fibre optic cables is considerably higher than older non-fibre cables.

The physical properties of fibre optic cables also put it ahead of older broadband delivery formats, especially ADSL and Cable, on top of its higher bandwidth and sheer speed. It is not prone to corrosion and line deterioration from any present metal elements inside, and thus is unaffected by extreme outdoor heat, humidity, water, and also interference. This allows it more flexibility in different installation situations, and from regular maintenance and replacement.

Copper facilitates both calls and data exchange, and is somewhat similar to other older broadband, such as an ISDN (integrated Services Digital Network). Data and call functions are done with a splitter, which enables the use of the single line for both calls and broadband data. It separates the voice / VoIP element of the line which enables simultaneous use of phones and broadband internet.

With the exception of possible interference in Fixed wireless and Satellite NBN systems, it is generally free from outside interference. The fibre optic material inside also performs better than copper / metal based material and is unaffected by electromagnetic interference with significantly lesser loss of signal occurrence.