Cabling for NBN Connections
Some NBN service require copper telephone cable to connect. These are:
In order to connect to the NBN network for any of the above technologies, you will need to provide NBN with a working 'telephone' socket. The socket needs to be connected to the NBN enclosure (previously called the Telstra enclosure) using a cables classified as CAT3 or higher.
Cabling for VoIP
Prior to the NBN rollout, dial tone was generated at the local Telstra exchange, sent to your premises along copper cables in the street, and then appeared at each of your telephone sockets.
This has drastically changed with NBN. NBN 'Landlines' are now generated by your modem as 'VoIP' services (Voice over Internet Protocol). So instead of plugging telephones into wall sockets, you now plug your handset into the back of your NBN modem's VoIP port to get dial tone. You can then make and receive calls as you did before.
To distribute multiple handsets throughout your premises, the easy solution is to use a
This is likely to be the cheapest and most convenient solution to distributing handsets throughout your home.
Some people would rather still use their existing wall phones and handsets, and this can be achieved with a minimal re-configuration of your existing telephone cabling.
eTechs technicians can rewire your existing cabling to feed the VoIP port of the modem back through to your existing sockets.
If no additional cabling is required, which is the case 90% of the time, this type of work normally takes around one hour, so can be comparable in price to purchasing new cordless handsets.
Choosing your cable installer -
The 4 key requirements to ensure the best outcome.
In-home cable faults are commonly due to poor quality materials being used, or inexperienced installers using poor installation practices. We’ve seen it all in the 25 years working in this industry.
For any type of cabling, it’s crucial that four key fundamentals are applied during the installation. Compromise on any one of these four and potentially, in the long term, the future cost in wasted time, money, and the stress of having to troubleshoot a cable fault can be significant.
# 1:  Workmanship / Experience
Not all installers are the same. There's no substitute for hands-on experience. With so many different building practices out there, old and new, renovations and extensions, tilt slab, Hebel, steel frame etc, installing cables in an existing building is a skill learnt over a long time. And like most skills, there are no shortcuts to learning the trade.
The fact is, cables installed in existing buildings aren't generally visible unless you go looking for them in roof spaces, or under houses. And this means that shortcuts are commonplace. It’s domestic cabling’s dirty little secret.
Having been in the industry for over 25 years, it's no exaggeration to say that at least 95% of domestic data cabling, installed after the house was built, does not comply to Australian Standards, not even close, compliance not even attempted.
The Australian Standard for telephone and structured cabling states that cables must be fixed at regular intervals, horizontally and vertically. In domestic installs, it’s usually going to be fixed to truss timbers or catenary wires.
Unfortunately, this practice is almost universally ignored, even though there are valid reasons for securing/fixing cabling. The three main reasons in a domestic installation being;
- To maintain the correct separation from power cables.
- To ensure cables aren’t being stepped on by everyone climbing around the space.
- To ensure cables aren’t being caught between joins in timber joists/trusses.
The reality is that most installers simply drag cables from point A to point B.
It’s common to see cables laying on top of power cabling (inducing Electromagnetic Interference which can cause packet loss if the cable is used to connect a modem).
Cables that have slipped into the space between joining timbers are a common cause of faults we attend. As the building moves with heat and cold, the timbers will pinch the cables and over time, crush them completely causing a short.
And, obviously as the cables are dragged along the path the installer used to get around the space, the same path is likely to be used by the next person in the roof. Each time the cables are likely to be stepped on - A fault waiting to happen.
But when all the customer sees is the wall plate neatly fixed, it's "job well done". This applies to 95% of domestic data cabling.
eTechs technicians secure/fix all cables we install, and if that’s not possible, we use conduit to maintain separation to keep the cables safe from crushing while maintaining a physical barrier from electrical wires.
Ask if the installation technicians you choose have the right accreditations. Your installer must be registered with the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) as a Master Cabler.
They must have ‘OPEN’ registration with the ‘STRUCTURED’ endorsement to complete any CAT* cabling.
This accreditation, with the right endorsements, shows they have completed not only the right training, but also completed, at least, the minimum 600 hours of hands on work installing communications cabling.
Be aware that some companies can leave partially trained apprentices or trade assistants on-site alone to install cable. The fully accredited cabling licence holder will sign off on the work at the end of the job without really having laid hands on the installation.
Always ask who will be doing the installation and what experience, accreditation they have.
#3:  Testing before hand-over
At the end of the installation, every cable link must be tested and proven to be working.
This ensures each new data outlet is not only functional, but is also able to handle the bandwidth it’s rated at.
Unfortunately, we find that some installers do not test new data outlets at all, not even at the most basic ‘continuity’ level.
We regularly attend faults where the issue is with the installation, wires not terminated to the right pin in the socket.
It’s lazy workmanship, and the consequence is that the installation doesn’t work.
If the customer doesn’t use the link from the first day (in the case of a new home build, for instance) the issue won’t be found until sometimes much later on. By then, if the warranty has expired, it’s up to the customer to engage someone to troubleshoot the issue at their own expense.
It’s not always backyard installers who do this either.
Over the years, we’ve also repaired many un-tested installations by some of Adelaide’s ‘big name’ companies.
The point is, it’s not always the biggest that are the most thorough. It will pay in the end, to research first.
#4:  Quality of Materials
The quality of the materials used for your data cable installation is important.
There are endless suppliers offering cheaply imported cables and components, and many installers will use them to save costs.
The savings per metre of cable, per wall plate, per CAT6 module can be up to 50%. Materials are not usually a large part of cabling cost. The main cost is labour. So using cheap, poorly tested components does not make long-term sense. By the time an issue arises, the job will usually be out of warranty, and the owner will be stuck with the cost of fault location and repair.
Always ask what brand of cable and components the installer will use. Research those brands before committing to using them and if not sure, call your local electrical wholesaler for brand advice.
eTechs only uses high quality brands such as Clipsal, ADC Krone, Panduit.