Home Telecoms & NBN NBN Co sees future shrouded in copper

NBN Co sees future shrouded in copper

The company building our broadband network is at it again, extolling the virtues of making data flow more quickly over existing copper lines rather than installing FttP connections.

In its latest PR blog, NBN Co has made it clear that it is pinning its hopes of "upgrading" current ADSL users using fibre to the distribution point and G.Fast, "the latest standardised evolution of DSL connections".

According to NBN Co, technologies like G.Fast and Nokia’s experimental XG.FAST, have the potential of eliminating the necessity of running fibre all the way to the home because of their phenomenal speed potential speed over copper.

NBN Co says G.Fast “has demonstrated fibre-like bandwidth of up to 1Gbps download trial speeds over existing landline copper cabling of around 100m, and up to 400Mbps download trial speeds over around 300m in lab trials".

And beyond that, Nokia’s XG.FAST (which is still in very early experimental stages) could deliver 10Gbps over DSL copper.

But wait, that’s not all! NBN Co says that “XG.FAST isn’t the final upgrade path for DSL-based technologies on the horizon.”

Our government-owned broadband network builder says there is an exciting new possible technology called TDSL, capable of delivering terabit speeds over copper.

Of course, as NBN Co points out, TDSL is currently only "theoretical" and has not yet even been tested in a laboratory.

And what of running fibre all the way to the home or business premise? Well that “requires specific NBN Co equipment to be installed by an NBN Co installer both externally and internally for a home or business". And of course, that's bad!

So for now, giving ADSL users faster broadband will be achieved upgrading their VDSL2 technology using G.Fast because if “there is no need for an nbn installer to enter the premises, users could have the option to install a compatible G.fast device themselves".

In May, during a Senate Estimates hearing, NBN Co boss Bill Morrow revealed that to date the company he heads has bought more than 15000km of copper wire and plans to buy even more during its continuing NBN rollout.


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Stan Beer


Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.