nbn has signed an agreement with a local technology vendor to supply distribution point units (DPUs) for the Fibre-to-the-Curb network, making it one of the first operators in the world to launch a large-scale FTTC network.
NetComm Wireless will provide both one-port and four-port DPUs for the FTTN network, which is expected to be launched in 2018.
FTTC works by delivering fibre all the way to the telecom pit outside a premise where it connects into a DPU that then uses the existing copper line from the pit to the home.
This aims to save the time, cost and complexity of delivering a full Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) connection and brings the fibre closer than Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN).
FTTC will now provide up to 700,000 premises with access to the NBN.
This is an increase on the original estimate of approximately 300,000 homes that are now well-suited for FTTN or FTTP as they are located in outer-suburban or semi-rural areas.
nbn has conducted successful trials of FTTC in Sydney and Melbourne and achieved end-user speeds of up to 100/40Mbps, using the same VDSL technology that is used in its FTTN and Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) services.
nbn Chief Network Engineering Officer, Peter Ryan, said, “We have tested FTTC over the past year and we’re confident we can now deploy the technology in areas where it makes better sense from a customer experience, deployment efficiency and cost perspective.
“Delivering FTTC will not only allow us to deliver speeds of up to 100/40Mbps using VDSL but will also allow us to offer even faster speeds in the future with some of the new technologies that are becoming available.
“nbn has a flexible and technology-agnostic approach to deploying the NBN network and we are confident that when we launch FTTC services we will deliver a great experience for end-users.”
nbn will use current VDSL technology when it launches commercial FTTC services in order to make it simpler for Retail Service Providers (RSPs) to offer services to end-user premises.
FTTC also provides a platform for nbn to deploy new copper-acceleration technologies such as G.fast and XG.FAST in the future if end-user demand for much higher speeds arise.