Businesses have many options to choose from when connecting their on premise Ethernet network to the Internet. Copper, ADSL, optical fibre and the National Broadband Network are but a few. This article provides a to-the-point overview of each solution.

Asymmetric digital subscriber line

Better known as ADSL2+, this uses the existing copper wire of your phone line to deliver high speed internet access. The technology is considerably more affordable than other options and can reliably achieve download speeds of up to 20Mbps.

However the speed is not guaranteed due to the phone line quality and distance from the exchange. Other users in your area will slow your connection as well depending on their usage.

Unfortunately, upload speeds on ADSL2+ are quite slow. The maximum speed is usually 0.6Mbps

Ethernet over Copper

This is more expensive than ADSL, yet the download speed you buy is the guaranteed speed that you will get.

The provider qualifies and guarantees this speed by testing the lines from the exchange to your office.

You can also get uncontended Ethernet over Copper connections. This means that unlike ADSL, if other people in the area operate on Ethernet over Copper, it will not affect your performance because you have dedicated bandwidth for your needs.

Additionally, upload speeds are also high, enabling your business to function as it should, particularly if you need to move a lot of data or email quickly.

However, your maximum speed depends on the distance from your office to the exchange. Ie the further the distance, the slower the speed that you can get.

Fibre Connections

These tend to perform better than copper, since optical signals degrade slower over distance than electronic transmissions.

Fibre is not only more secure than cable, it also delivers higher bandwidth, is lightweight, non-flammable and more reliable.

However, all this comes at a high cost, which is hard to justify if Ethernet over Copper is available in your area.

The National Broadband Network (NBN)

The NBN is a national wholesale-only, open access network that will provide all Australian’s with high speed broadband and telephone services.

It will use the most appropriate technology (whether it be fibre, wireless or satellite technology) to improve community connections in each given area. The aim is for every business, home and school to be connected to the NBN.

Once connected, users will be able to access super-fast broadband to complete tasks that previously took excessive time, such as video conferencing and downloading. It also provides opportunity to undertake activities like online medical consultations, which is currently not possible.

The success of this technology is dependent on government policy, which may alter the capabilities of the plan.


Each of these networking options contains advantages and disadvantages. Every business is different and has unique needs.

For more information about which solution is most suitable to your individual business, contact Synapse IT on 1300 903 405 for a free system assessment.


Hayden McMaster