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The Difference Between Fibre and Cable Broadband?

In short, speed and bandwidth. Fibre-optic cables are able to carry much more data than copper cables used in broadband. This means much faster download and upload speeds. Fibre is more reliable because its network is passive and doesn’t rely on any electrical equipment between the user and the internet provider like cable internet.

There are other factors to consider when looking to move from cable broadband to fibre, including: 

  • Budget constraints
  • Overall usage requirements
  • Availability in your area 

Why is fibre optic better than cable? 

Fibre optic transmission is much faster than copper cable. Copper-based transmissions are a maximum of 40Gbps, whereas fibre optics carry data at lightning speed.  Transmission via fibre optics can also cover greater distances consistently. Copper cables are limited to lengths of 100m which is far less.  As we move into the future fibre optics will continue to grow, as bandwidth needs and consumption increase. 

Consider the types of NBN Connection available

Wired NBN 

  • Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) – Also referred to as Fibre to the Home (FTTH), this setup involves running an optical fibre line directly into customers’ premises. 
  • Fibre to the Node (FTTN) – FTTN is the default connection method for NBN™. It combines copper and fibre optic technology, with fibre connected to purpose-built street boxes.
  • Fibre to the Building (FTTB) – Also known as Fibre to the Basement, this approach is used for connecting Multi-Dwelling Units.
  • Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) – FTTC involves extending optical fibre close to customers’ premises and connecting it to the property/house using the existing copper network. FTTC is also known as Fibre to the curb.

Wireless NBN: 

  • Fixed wireless: Fixed Wireless connections are offered by NBNCo to regional areas of Australia where the use of fibre is too expensive. With fixed wireless connection the transmission is through wires to a tower and then the broadband signal is broadcast via antenna to the residential address. 
  • Satellite: This is when your NBN connection is transmitted to your home through a satellite or wireless connection. This also works well for remote areas of Australia where no internet infrastructure exists. NBN signal is broadcast to a satellite dish pushing the signal to your home. Speeds may be limited with satellite services. 

What is the Difference Between NBN and Fibre connection? 

There are some distinct differences between NBN and fibre connections, here we explain the differences: 

Upload and Download Speeds

Upload speed is how fast data travels from your devices to the internet via your internet connection. The optimal upload speed is typically around 25 Mbps. On the other hand, download speed is how swiftly your internet connection fetches data from the internet. A decent download speed usually starts at 100 Mbps. While upload and download speeds on NBN can vary, they remain constant and equal on a business fibre connection, known as symmetrical speeds. 


Bandwidth refers to the maximum data transfer capacity of an internet connection within a specific timeframe. Typically measured in megabits per second (Mbps), it indicates how much data can be transmitted at a given time. Fibre optic connections boast impressive capacity, often providing symmetrical speeds reaching up to 1000/1000 Mbps. NBN doesn’t offer symmetrical speeds. According to reports, the top NBN plan usually offers speeds of 250/100 Mbps.

Wrapping up, the main differences between fibre and cable broadband come down to their speed, bandwidth, and reliability. Fibre-optic cables outrun traditional copper ones with much faster transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, making them the top pick for anyone after high-performance internet. In addition to this, fibre optics are more reliable thanks to their passive network structure, which removes the reliance on electrical equipment found in cable setups. As technology advances and the need for bandwidth grows, fibre optics are ready to step up to the challenge, ensuring efficient and dependable internet access. Ultimately, embracing fibre-optic technology is a forward-thinking approach to meeting our ever-changing digital demands.

Talk to our friendly team today to discuss the difference between fibre and cable broadband and see how they can help. Call us 1300 001 958 or email us at