nbn® Information

Where and What is an nbn® Box? 

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Where and what is an nbn® box?

The Multi-Technology Mix used for the rollout of the nbn across Australia saw the technology used to connect premises to the nbn vary from one block or neighbourhood to the next. For most nbn customers this is a non-issue but can cause some confusion if you move house or discuss nbn issues with someone whose installation differs from yours. Especially if it involves talk of the nbn connection or access box, usually referred to just as the nbn box, which isn’t needed with some installations.

What is multi-technology mix?

To simplify and accelerate the rollout of the nbn, NBN Co chose to use a mix of old and new technologies. Some have the fibre optic cables that make up a large portion of the nbn used all the way to the connection point in your home, while others connect to the old copper lines and Pay TV cables outside your home, using these for the last bit of connection into your home. This only applies to Fixed Line installations, with Fixed Wireless and Satellite installations using wireless technology for part of the installation.

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) Fibre to the Node (FTTN)  Fibre to the Curb (FTTC)  Fibre to the Building (FTTB) Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC)   Fixed Wireless Sky Muster™ Satellite Service
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Knowing what type of technology has been used for your nbn installation is the first step to knowing whether there is a nbn box installed inside your premises. If you’re not sure about the technology used, you can use our nbn® rollout map to check your address. This map is also useful if you haven’t yet switched to the nbn and can be used to help you prepare for what your nbn® installation will involve.

What is the nbn box?

There are different types of connections boxes used for different connection technologies, and some will be fixed to the wall, while others will be standalone devices. All need power and some will be installed with a battery back-up to keep the service partially alive during a power outage. The nbn box acts as a bridge between your modem and the rest of the nbn technology, with your modem connecting directly to the box. Depending on your installation, your nbn connection box might have up to four data points and two for telephony services.

Where is the nbn connection box?

The connection box is installed inside your home or premises, usually close to where the nbn line enters your home. Because all connection boxes need power, it will usually be installed close to a power point, excluding its own battery back-up if included, and also close to your modem. It should be in an easily accessible and visible location, as you would need to be able to access it when troubleshooting your connection with one of our support staff. It might be mounted to the wall or be a standalone device that looks similar to a modem.

Can I move the nbn connection box?

If you need to have the nbn box installed at your premises moved for whatever reason you should contact your nbn service provider to arrange this. nbn technicians are experienced at doing this safely and of assessing the location you want to move it to. Besides always being close to a power point, the nbn connection box should also be in a well-ventilated location that isn’t exposed to moisture or extreme variations in temperature. Your service provider might charge a relocation fee.

Can I turn the nbn box off when I’m away?

Ideally, the nbn box should be left on all the time. But if you are going to be away for an extended period you might be able to turn it off. Contact your service provider for details of whether it is safe to turn off and the steps involved in turning it off without affecting the device.

Will my home security system still work?

Many monitored alarms systems and medical alarm systems work with the nbn. However, if you are switching to the nbn for the first time, or have moved to a new home with a different installation to what you had before, you should first check with your home or medical alarm service provider to confirm that your system will work with the nbn technology to be used.

I accidentally unplugged cables from the nbn box

Your nbn service provider might have online guides showing you how to connect your modem to your nbn® box. This helps with both self-installation setups and if you ever accidentally unplug any of your nbn equipment. If they don’t, contact support for guidance. Connecting anything incorrectly is unlikely to damage the equipment but could result in your service not working properly.

If you want to install additional data or telephone cables in your home, contact your nbn service provider to be recommended a registered cabler in your area.

My nbn box is damaged

You are responsible for keeping the nbn connection box in good working condition. If you accidentally damage the box or any of the cabling, your nbn service provider might be able to help with having it repaired or replaced. However, you could be charged a fee for this. Although the nbn connection box is safe to have in your home, you should never attempt to fix it yourself. Normal troubleshooting involving unplugging data or phone cables or powering the device off and on can be done with guidance from online support staff, but opening the box completely, or tampering with the fibre optic cable, should never be done by you.

Need help with your nbn service or installation? Our online guides will help you with some basic troubleshooting, and if this does not resolve the issue, simply open an online support request to escalate the matter.