Friday, 26 October 2018 06:32

FttH alternative needed for higher broadband speeds: NetComm exec

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FttH alternative needed for higher broadband speeds: NetComm exec Courtesy NBN Co

Rolling out fibre to the home is an expensive exercise and alternative methods need to be found to provide people with broadband that can yield speeds above 100Mbps, the marketing and communications director of NetComm, Els Baert, claims.

She told the Broadband World Forum in Berlin on Thursday that half the premises connected worldwide had speeds of less than 100Mbps and a combination of solutions was needed to offer the speeds that were needed by users.

“Many operators have ramped up their fibre rollout to offer high-speed services, but the take-up is less than expected, limiting the number of end-users who are enjoying a fast connection,” said Baert.

“New technologies open up new opportunities, providing they are easy to deploy.”

Baert said Gfast and 4G could be used for ultra-fast connectivity, but each posed its own problems in deployment.

“Gfast can deliver gigabit speeds over copper when fibre runs within 200 metres of the home, but this means installing new active equipment in the field," she said.

"Running power lines is expensive and even in multi-dwelling units, accessible power is not easy to find.

“Standard plugs can easily become unplugged, a separate power meter is needed and there remains a lack of clarity over who will be paying for the electricity.

"With more people living in MDUs than in any other type of home, this poses a big challenge to providers.

“The missing link is a Reverse Powered Gfast Distribution Point Unit (DPU), as self-installation and self-activation limits the need for outside help and therefore speeds up the process.”

Baert said in cases where there was no copper lead-in or fibre could not be brought to within 200 metres of a dwelling, 4G LTE could provide a solution as it offered more bandwidth and lent itself to a fixed wireless service.

She said existing mobile networks were not built for fixed broadband services and operators needed to extend the “trusted zone” in order to use fixed wireless as an efficient alternative to fixed broadband.

“The trusted zone removes the fear of less control as it provides the operator with more visibility and management capabilities over the broadband experience," she added

"This means the installation process is optimised to ensure the best possible performance and the device at home can be monitored remotely, which helps to reduce the costs and disruption to the local area.”

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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