A fibre network is capable of faster transmissions than a copper-based broadband setup. Most of us know that. However, not everyone knows nor understands what Singapore’s NGNBN (Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network) initiative truly entails. Here are some tips you can take note of to prepare your home ahead of time.
Wiring is probably the most unsightly aspect of a fibre installation. In order to create a wired connection to your home, lines need to be laid from your front door to the Termination Point (TP). According to OpenNet, indoor wiring can be concealed by using existing conduits or running new trunking along the ceiling or floor skirting.
TIP: Consider where you’d like to position the fibre termination box prior to OpenNet’s arrival. If you foresee yourself subscribing to IPTV services in the near future, then you might want to consider placing the box closer to the TV instead. Of course, ensure there are available electrical outlets for additional networking equipment as well.
Unlike cable or DSL setups, a typical NGNBN configuration requires a termination point, ONT (Optical Network Terminal), and residential gateway (router). While the termination box is provided by OpenNet, you’ll only receive the ONT and gateway with a fibre broadband service subscription. Naturally, the actual hardware you get may vary from provider to provider.
TIP: Essentially, the ONT’s operational role is to convert incoming fibre (light) signals to electrical signals, and vice-versa as well. Featuring an optical and numerous WAN ports, the ONT is paired with the router such that you can connect other devices such as laptops or media boxes to the network. Since the gateway utilizes wireless transmissions mostly, ensure it is placed as centrally as possible to maximise its wireless reach.
Wiring costs for the cable run is actually waived for the first 15 meters if you choose to install the optical fibre wiring during OpenNet’s initial rollout. Distance is measured from the main door to the termination box. On the other hand, a surcharge of $33 per 5 meter-block applies if you need to extend that distance to the TP.
TIP: There isn’t a need to measure the estimated distance, since OpenNet’s technician will be able to advise you on the appropriate length as well as placement of the termination box. However, do remember that extended trunking is unsightly. Bottom line: The shorter the wiring, the better.
By and large, a residential gateway can be rented from the provider along with a fibre plan. One example is the Hua Wei RG256 as provided by M1. Question is, will you be stuck with the ISP’s router if it offers you short-changed speeds?
TIP: If you’re unhappy with the stock gateway, switch to a compatible 202.11n router with the “NGNBN-ready” accreditation instead. One example is the E4200 from Linksys. What you have to note is the E4200 does not feature a phone (RJ11) jack like the RG256 does.
Fibre Broadband Plans
Last, but not least, the best thing about having three ISPs is the option to pick an appropriate fibre plan without breaking the bank. For example, M1 is offering their basic 25Mbps plan for only $39 a month. At the other extreme, all three telcos also provide speedier 200Mbps plans or above. However, be prepared to fork out at least $86 or more for these premium packages.
TIP: Go with what’s required. For instance, it makes little sense to subscribe to a hundred-dollar fibre plan when all you require is bandwidth for light surfing and the occasional online chat. Also, not all servers situated across the globe distribute content in the same manner (or speed) over the internet, if you are lucky, some sites offer download speeds close to 100Mbps on a good day while others might be capped as low as 50kbps.