Network Concepts

Session 1 is designed to give an overview of how computer networks function . It covers the different types of connections available connecting to the National Broadband Network (NBN) as well as the concept of how the Internet works.

This session is primarily designed to be delivered in a theory base format with interaction by the audience as required.

Topics covered:

Network concepts

What is a computer network.

  • Local Area Network (LAN),
  • Wide Area Network (WAN).
  • Local Storage
  • Cloud Storage

Internet overview

The Internet  is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide. The Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail, telephony, and file sharing.

NBN Infrastructure

Networks managed by individual Retail Service Providers (RSPs) connect to the main NBN infrastructure through points of interconnect (POIs). There are 121 POIs across Australia, housed inside Telstra-owned telephone exchanges. The POIs then connect to large domestic back haul carrier networks then out to international networks.

The NBN connections

NBN connection use Multi Technology Mix (MTM) consisting of the following network technologies:


  • Fibre to the building (FTTB) – Used for multi-dwelling units and apartment blocks. Equivalent to FTTN, with the “node” located inside the building’s communications room. Also known as fibre to the basement.
  • Fibre to the curb (FTTC) – Previously called fibre to the distribution point (FTTdp). Fibre connection to a communications pit on the street, then copper to the premises. Replacing Optus HFC from 2017. Also known as fibre to the pit.
  • Fibre to the node (FTTN) – A mix of copper and fibre optic technology, providing most NBN connections. Minimum speed of 25 Mbit/s.
  • Fibre to the premises (FTTP) – Fibre optic connection using a gigabit passive optical network. Available for greenfield development.
  • Hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) – Uses a mix of fibre optic and CATV technology largely built on Telstra’s HFC network

NBN Wired connection Comparison diagram


  • Fixed wireless
  • Satellite – Sky Muster telecommunications satellites

Refer to the NBN Connections page for further detail on the connection types

NBN Role

NBN Co is a data network wholesaler. NBN Co provides wholesale broadband to Retail Service Providers (RSPs) on a non-discriminatory basis . They provide the physical connection point into the customers premises.

RSP Role

Retail Service Providers such as Telstra, Optus TPG and iinet connect the customers to the NBN access network for access to Internet.