The first Fibre-to-the-Curb connection has been switched on a trial basis at a single property in Melbourne’s Northern Suburbs.

nbn activated FTTC within premises in Coburg as part of its ongoing trials of the broadband network technology.

According to nbn, the trial premises has achieved speeds of 109 Mbps downstream and 44 Mbps upstream using VDSL technology over a 70m copper line that serves the premises.

FTTC works by delivering new fibre all the way to the property boundary where it connects to a Distribution Point Unit (DPU) in a telecom pit that then connects to the existing copper lines serving the premises.

According to the company, FTTC delivers substantial time and cost savings compared to technologies including Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) where driveways often require trenching, or Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN), which requires mains power to the node.

Nbn CEO, Bill Morrow, said the company thinks FTTC will become a vital tool in the mix of technologies used to deliver the nbn access network.

“Our huge country makes deploying the nbn network extraordinarily complex so having flexibility in terms of the technology we deploy in the field is incredibly important,” Mr Morrow said.

“Being able to choose the right technology for each area helps us deliver the project on time and on budget.

“Reducing the cost of the network by bringing on-board new technologies like FTTC is crucial because the more money that we spend on the network, the more Australians will have to pay for their broadband.”

nbn is planning to launch commercial services in the first half of 2018.

The company expects to serve an initial 1 million premises with FTTC and estimates the technology will cost around $2,900 per premises to deliver, compared to $4,400 for FTTP.

The announcement follows the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s (TIO) annual report, released in mid October, that showed NBN complaints, including those about delayed connections, rose from 10,487 to 27,195 in the last financial year.

According to the annual TIO report, nearly 10,000 homes were left without useable internet or landline due to the NBN rollout in the 2016-2017 financial year.

Nearly 4,000 complaints were made about slow data speeds over the network. 

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