What is 'Not NBN Fiber'? (Velocity & Interphone use this term)

I’m seeing an increase in advertising that markets itself as ‘not the NBN’, claiming super-fast ‘fiber’ speeds but offering no specifics on what the fiber is and what happens to it when it leaves the property (does it just plug into the local node like everything else?)

I’ve seen Interphone advertise it for retirement villages, businesses and large residential complexes (but they’re a ghost company, almost no background to be found online) and I’ve seen Velocity running it out in the Hills where people pay $100pm for ‘super fast fiber’ which is slower than ADSL, keeps dropping out and they can’t change to anything else.

Does anyone know much about this? Is it just ‘off-brand NBN’? Does it use the same infrastructure and so will hit the same congestion/copper-wire issues?


No idea what it is, but I recall a tele show called “not the nine o’clock news” which was far far […] far more entertaining than the nine o’clock news - so it seems like it would be a good advertising angle :wink:

Sooner or later they have to hit the big pipe - and/or plug into a peering hub which might amount to the same in transit - so their back-haul might be a problem, but so might their primary inter-connectivity …


Non NBN Fibre is fibre that Telco companies, other businesses and governments have purchased and implemented themselves separate from the NBN fibre network. You can also see it called “Shadow Fibre Network” or “Dark Fibre Network”. There are quite a few in the marketplace eg Telstra has it’s own fibre network (mostly sold to businesses but you can have domestic), TPG, Vocus Group, TransACT (iiNet thus TPG) and some are just made for a single entity eg the fibre network of Energy Queensland, a company owned by the Qld government which may be opened up in Qld to compete with the NBN.

The regulation for domestic access to these non NBN networks have been required to be kept in line with the NBN via the ACCC

If they want to access Australian sites many of these non NBN networks use the Fibre Backbone that the NBN owns but if a user on them wants to go to international sites, some networks do not access the NBN network at all.


Thank you, that definitely fills in some gaps in my knowledge. :slight_smile:


I live in a new subdivision which is a so-called Telstra subdivision. We have optical fibre to the house. When we built there was no NBN available so we were offered “Velocity” which we were told was equivalent to the new NBN that was to come shortly. We have been using and have had no major problems. I just checked the speed and it says it is suitable for is capable for streaming on multiple devices HD videos at the same time. We are very happy and can stream live via WiFi to our smart TV. the speed is 31Mbps downloading and 1.32 uploading. I don’t know how this compares. I believe there are quite a few Tetstra new subdivision communities that are similar. All power etc is underground. I hope this helps

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We are on NBN Fibre to the premises with our plan being a 100 Mbps down and 40 Mbps up. We get close to these figures when it is a non congested time, when congested well it can be woeful. Fibre could be much faster than you currently get from it but it will depend on the plan you are signed up for whether your speeds reflect close to what you should get or not.

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This is what confuses me. It’s equivalent, but not the same because nbn isn’t there yet? What was it that meant the NBN was not possible (usually, it’s a lack of hardware in nearby streets) but somehow another Fiber company could provide? Did they run fiber to a satellite? Did they have their own exchanges somehow separate from everyone else? Did they have exclusive use of a pre-existing fiber network?

It makes me wonder if they install fiber, link you to regular broadband but just give you more bandwidth than normal… ?

I know that super-fast internet was a thing more than 10 years ago (maybe the old HFC connection from when Telstra was trying for cable TV?) so… is it possible there’s an older infrastructure some places can tap?

Ugh, breaks my brain. And the companies refusing to explain exactly how they manage it makes me suspicious. And grumpy. :slight_smile:


As I wrote above non NBN Fibre is a fibre installation put in place by a business or a government that is not part of the NBN network.

The NBN network is a series of Points of Interconnect that Wholesale Service & Retail Service Providers use to connect their own connection to the internet to the NBN network that connects to peoples homes & businesses ie FTTP, FTTN, FTTC, HFC, Fixed Wireless, & Satellite. Supporting this is what is termed a National Backbone or National Transit Network, this is what ties all these POI together, it is a huge Fibre Network that allows all the various places in Australia to talk to one another for example so someone in Perth can access their Bank Account hosted in Sydney. Then there are Fibre Cables that leave Australian shores and connect us all to the World internet (think of it as the World Wide Web or www).

So Telstra owned a very big Transit Network (they as the PMG after all were the original government monopoly business that connected us all by telephone), but now so does Optus, so does TPG, and there are some others as well. Telstra’s one though obviously covered most of Australia the others are a little less wide. Then after some time it was decided to end the Telstra monopoly then Telstra had to open it’s network to other users such as Optus so that they could connect their networks to all of Australia and supply telecommunications to whoever wanted to use them.

Then ex PM Rubb thankfully decided we could really do with a much better and mostly Fibre network so along came NBN Co who eventually acquired Telstra’s copper (but not their Fibre which Telstra still controls) network under the revised MTM NBN plan of Abbott & Turnbull eg the wires that still perhaps run up your street, the pits, the aerial cabling on the poles, the pillars where all those wires connected, the conduit in which all these wires traveled, the exchanges that Telstra owned, the Optus and Telstra Coax Cable network (now being re-purposed to HFC) and so on. The Transit Network that Telstra owned was reasonably good for all that old style copper networking but NBN Co to meet the requirements set down by ex PM Rudd needed a much bigger bandwidth one, so they built a nice new big one.

Some developers with perhaps vision (or if you prefer foresight) made a choice to build fibre into their new estates before the NBN became a reality and Velocity (a Telstra entity) among others were used by these developments to provide FTTP to all these estates. To do this Network providers either ran their own fibre cable network, sometimes leasing conduit space from Telstra if they weren’t Telstra (and now from NBN Co) or another conduit owner, or even leasing fibre and bandwiidth from another provider that had fibre close by to reduce the amount of fibre they had to place…

Then later the developers were required to build fibre into their estates after the NBN became reality and sometimes made a choice to use another Networking business other than NBN Co to manage these networks/connections. If these non NBN networks are used, the NBN Co will for the foreseeable future not own these networks and so will not be in these estates.

Also when most of us still used copper telephone lines, Telstra and others saw the added opportunity to sell fibre and/or networking to business as many businesses wanted high speed connections (some of these businesses also didn’t want to build and or maintain it themselves so they took a full package), sometimes between their own business arms, sometimes to Australia, and sometimes to the World (and sometimes a mix of all three). Governments at all levels also saw the potential benefits of Fibre and they created or leased their own Fibre networks, and many of their publicly owned corporations also built or leased their own networks, and some non government businesses also built and continue to build their own networks.

So we have this big mix of “privately” owned fibre all over Australia and these “private” companies are sometimes big enough to even have a Transit Network with all the required equipment to run these networks of their own, examples as mentioned before Telstra, Optus, TPG. Some also have Fibre Cable that leaves our shores for international destinations and also have Fibre between international sites. Some Network companies don’t own the fibre they use but they lease it from a company that does and they have to structure their plans to take these lease costs into account (think of them sort of like middlemen who at the same time are also retailers).

All this “private” Fibre is what is called “non NBN Fibre networks” simply because the NBN does not own it or run it. Some of these “private” Fibre companies do not have fibre running all the way to their headquarters/server sites but some do, some want to allow their users to connect to everyone else in Australia and the World and some don’t, and again sometimes it is a mix of these. To achieve that connectivity if they don’t have all the connections, what they do is hook into either the NBN Transit system or into another Transit system such as Optus’ one that itself has links into the NBN system to create a much more connected network.

If however as an example you as a business only wanted to connect to your headquarters in Singapore and then access the rest of the world from there you might buy an Optus Evolve network connection and your connection might never transit across any NBN infrastructure at all. You could connect by Optus fibre to the Australian Optus Fibre system and use the Optus undersea Fibre Cable that connects to Singapore to complete your data journey.

To answer your questions about bandwidth/speed, some can give you increased bandwidth, some might give you more usage, and some may not. Before the NBN if you were on a “private” network you paid what the business wanted to charge for the service you received.

After the NBN came in the ACCC looked at the pricing and service of these “private” networks and decided they would regulate the pricing and to some degree the performance of these non NBN ones for domestic (not just residential but businesses that would use the NBN one if they had the ability) users. This was so that 1) NBN would compete enough that it could eventually be privatised (this is not really stated but it certainly can be inferred) & 2) so there would not be a group of people locked into an unregulated pricing structure by being on non NBN networks and particularly those with no choice to be able to access the NBN. There are some providers of these non NBN networks who are exempt from this ACCC oversight because of the small number of customers they have ie less than 12,000 customers.

Then there is also non fibre networks some of which use Coaxial cable, some are using privately owned copper wires, some use wireless technology, and some use satellites. Most if not all of these end up using someone’s fibre cable to to get to the internet (not necessarily NBN fibre though). To connect to ALL the rest of Australia they however will certainly use NBN somewhere on that journey.


Holy cow. Most perfect and complete answer. Thank you! Thanks so much!!


They would not tell us how they done it except it was optical fibre. From where I don’t know. the whole subdivision has OF.
It also runs TV I am told.Sorry that i can not be more helpful

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We are not experiencing any slow down in speed. We are not paying a lot for the plan and have download of 100gb but can top up free several times a year. It works for us and we are happy. It is similar today if not slightly higher.

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Sorry I didn’t mean that you had a slow down, it will depend on what speed plan/bracket you have with Velocity whether or not your somewhere near 30 Mbps download and 1.32 Mbps upload speeds are what you should be expecting or not. If you are paying for a speed close to say 50 Mbps download you are definitely not getting near that but if you are paying for at least say 25 Mbps then you are getting great speeds. Though I do think your upload speed at just over 1 Mbps is not great on fibre, but that is my own opinion.

As to the TV aspect of the Fibre from Velocity, this is normally part of a package they supply that includes Foxtel. This Foxtel part is enabled by a Telstra box that I think is called a Telstra TV and previously was supplied by another device that was called a T-Box. These just allow conversion of a encoded stream carried by the connection into something you can watch.