What Fibre To The Node technology will deliver for Australia

The launch of our Fibre to the Node technology is great news on many levels.

It is with huge pleasure that I can announce that we are now launching our Fibre to the Node (FTTN) technology and that we have already received our first orders from Retail Service Providers (RSPs).

This is a very significant milestone for all of us at nbn.

FTTN will play a massive role in helping us reach our core target of having 8 million happy homes connected to the nbn™ network by 2020.

Indeed we anticipate that around 38 per cent of all premises will be connected to our network via either FTTN or Fibre to the Building (FTTB).

Good news for all

The launch of our FTTN technology is great news on many levels - but its particularly great news for those Australians currently without good quality broadband because we will be able to get them access to fast services sooner.

FTTN basically involves us running fibre to street cabinets and then using the existing copper lines to connect to individual premises. 

So as long as you have an existing phone line or broadband service, we should be able to connect you to the nbn™ network pretty easily and quickly once your area is Ready For Service (RFS).

One of the best things about FTTN is that end-users will be able to self-install their equipment once they have been sent a new modem by their RSP.

Our recent FTTN trials up in Belmont, NSW saw end-users within 400 metres of the cabinet getting speeds of up to 100Mbps/40Mbps – even end-users located over 700 metres from the cabinet were still getting speeds of over 60Mbps/20Mbps.*

Moreover, with new technologies like G.Fast becoming available, those speeds could be increased if there is a need to do so.

Watch: Federico Guillen of Alcatel-Lucent explains the Fibre to the Node technology in a discussion with nbn's Tony Cross.

Getting subs on board faster

This faster on-boarding of end-users is also fantastic news for nbn as we aim to hit our annual revenue target of $4 billion per year by 2020 - because we can only sell services to RSPs if we are able to connect people to the network.

Under the FTTP model, we have yet to even reach 1 million Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) customer premises being Ready for Service after nearly five years of building the network - and we have still only brought on board 362,000 FTTP end-users in brownfield areas.

By contrast, nbn is currently on track to have 500,000 FTTN premises RFS by June 2016 - less than nine months after launching the technology - and we anticipate we will have 3.7 million FTTN premises Ready for Service by June 2018.

This is the great beauty of the FTTN technology, it scales up very quickly.

What's more, the faster FTTN installation process should enable us to reach 1.67 million FTTN active end-users by mid-2018 - making FTTN our most widely accessed technology by that point.

Opportunities open sooner

By getting the FTTN technology rolled out faster than we could deploy other technologies we are able to provide Australians with access to enjoy the benefits of fast broadband quicker.

RSPs will offer a range of plans that could provide access to the joys of online video streaming or getting young students access to the huge educational benefits that the Internet brings to all levels of education.

It could also be by allowing small businesses - for whom broadband is a critical tool - to connect to the global market to sell their goods and services and to run their businesses more efficiently via new technologies like Cloud computing.**

Access to the nbn™ network really is allowing Australians to do great things, but none of this would be possible without the extraordinary efforts of our staff and I would like to take this opportunity to say a very big thank you to the huge effort they have made to make today's launch possible.

Video: Meet Phillip Roddom, a retired truck driver from Lake Macquarie in northern NSW, who is connected the nbn™ network via Fibre to the Node technology.