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House wiring in the NBN age

27 Apr 2010 10:00 PM -

With the roll out of the National Broadband Network in Australia, there are still a lot of questions unanswered as to exactly how it will be implemented and run.

What techniques will be used on the fibre?

Will the fibre be installed aerially or undeground?

Will radio such as WiMax 802.16 play a role in the NBN?

Will you be able to use your current service providers for Internet, VoIP telephony?

Etc, etc, etc.

Although these many issues are yet to be solved, if you are building a new house then it would be wise to make it NBN Ready by considering connectivity inside.

Most builders will provide you with a couple of TV points and a couple of phone points - usually in the kitchen and master bedroom.

If you want to get PayTV how are you going to connect it? If you have a show recorded on one hard drive recorder, how can you watch it on another TV? If you have multiple computers how are you going to connect to the Internet? What about streaming video off a central storage device to a Playstation 3? What if you run a home business and need extra phone lines?

It is usually possible to retrofit however at considerably higher cost than if planned for during construction but in a multi-storey house it is almost impossible to run cabling through the ground floor ceiling, which may limit your options.

Sure you can run wireless with the current 802.11n standard touting 300Mbps but in practice the actual throughput is little faster than Fast Ethernet and can easily be degraded by multiple users and external interference. Wireless has its place as an extension to a good wired network.

By consulting an expert, a very cost effective cabling design can be produced to be run in during construction allowing considerable flexibility in the future and adding resale value when a future buyer has the choice between similar houses; one with an integrated cabling system and one without.

There are a number of pre-packaged solutions from a variety of manufacturers however we find that they never quite have the right ratios of inputs to outputs so we roll our own.

A properly designed system will give you superior performance to most business installations.

Depending on the size of the house you may want to consider a small phone system particularly if you run a business from home.

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