A new upgrade has doubled bandwidth capacity on nbn’s 60,000km fibre optic broadband network, helping deliver broadband services to more customers with a bigger appetite for data.

The upgrade means nbn can increase maximum capacity on its transit network from 9.6 Terabits per second (Tbps) to 19.2Tbps per fibre link, which will help meet the broadband needs of homes and businesses into the future.

The first upgrades will span high-traffic fibre links between Eastern Creek and Asquith in Sydney, and the 3600km route between Brisbane, Queensland and Darwin in the Northern Territory. There will then be a phased rollout across the rest of the country.

The Sydney link will provide extra capacity as bandwidth demands continue to grow. The Darwin to Brisbane link is scheduled to go live in December 2018 and will support capacity growth on nbn’s Sky Muster™ satellite network.

nbn’s transit network is a backbone network of fibre optic cables that links hubs across Australia to the wider NBN that connects homes and businesses. It’s the network that moves large aggregate volumes of data between locations – helping get capacity get to homes and businesses.

It connects to NBN’s 121 Points of Interconnection (POIs) – typically located at telephone exchanges – which is where phone and internet providers plug their own network into the NBN.

The capacity upgrade has been made possible with the successful installation of new optical transmission technology – from network equipment maker Coriant’s CloudWave Optics – that supports per-wavelength transmission rates of 200 gigabits per second (Gbps) on optical transport backbone networks. The new technology has the capability to be upgraded to 400Gbps when needed.

nbn will deploy the new technology at POI sites, large fibre access nodes and highly trafficked routes as demand dictates.

“Our transit network is the backbone of the nbn™ multi-technology mix that aims to provide Australians with access to fast services,” nbn Chief Network Deployment Officer, Kathrine Dyer, said.

“This upgrade will ensure we can continue to deliver a reliable and high-quality broadband network for our wholesale customers even as high-bandwidth applications and the growth of internet usage continue to drive demand for network capacity.

“We have a clear product roadmap to continually upgrade this network with extra capacity as demand grows. With the upgrade to CloudWave Optics technology, we will be able to further increase total capacity on our Transit network. Coriant is helping us achieve these upgrades as we scale this build and move towards our goal of connecting eight million homes and businesses by 2020.”

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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