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nbn announces equipment supplier for new Fibre-to-the-Curb technology

22 November 2016

nbn has signed an agreement with local technology vendor, NetComm Wireless, for the supply of Distribution Point Units (DPUs) in the company's Fibre to-the-Curb (FTTC) network.

nbn will shortly begin full design work for the initial areas to be served by the new technology and will be one of the first operators in the world to launch a large-scale FTTC network.

This agreement represents another step towards nbn’s deployment of FTTC services, planned for launch in 2018, and will see Netcomm Wireless providing both one-port and four-port DPUs. 

FTTC works by delivering fibre all the way to the telecom pit outside a premises where it connects into a DPU that then uses the existing copper line from the pit to the home. This saves 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 provides another valuable access technology in nbn's fast deployment toolkit as the company seeks to connect 8 million premises to the nbn™ network by 2020. FTTC will now provide up to 700,000 premises with access to the nbn™ network. This is an increase on the original estimate of approximately 300,000 homes that are not well suited for FTTN or FTTP as they are located in outer-suburban or semi-rural areas.

The increase is primarily those premises where Optus had exclusive pay TV services. nbn made this decision for a number of reasons, but essentially the advancement in FTTC technology made it commercially and operationally more attractive for these areas.

nbn 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 will use current VDSL technology when it launches commercial FTTC services in order to make it simpler for our Retail Service Providers (RSPs) to offer services to end-user premises.

Because FTTC delivers fibre so close to end-user premises it provides a great platform for nbn to deploy new copper-acceleration technologies such as and XG.FAST in the future if end-user demand for much higher speeds arise.

In addition, as an upgrade to or XG.FAST requires only a new DPU and modem for the end-user premises, it is likely that nbn will be able to offer end-users the ability to upgrade services on-demand.


nbn Chief Network Engineering Officer, Peter Ryan, said:

nbn is delighted to bring NetComm Wireless on board as a technology partner. 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.”


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