Friday, 26 May 2017 05:45

NBN's NG-PON2 trials widen gap between FttP and FttN Featured


Recently completed trials by NBN Co of new NG-PON2 technology have achieved expected speeds of 10Gbps over the broadband provider's FttP connections, further widening the performance gap between the FttN and FttP portions of the network.

Only two million homes in Australia will be getting NBN connections with fibre-to-the-premises, according to the company. The Coalition government, elected in 2013, changed Labor's rollout plan from 93% FttP and the balance wireless or satellite, to one with a mix of technologies: FttP, FttN, FttDP, wireless, HFC and satellite.

"NG-PON2 is not only potentially great news for the two million homes that will be able to access services over FTTP on the NBN co network, it could also be great news for end users connected to services over our other technologies, particularly for Fibre-to-the-Building (FttB), and our upcoming connection technology Fibre-to-the-Curb (FttC), which we expect to launch next year.," Daniel, Willis, general manager for FttX technologies in NBN Co's technology office, wrote.

Trials of NG-PON were announced last month, along with Nokia.

According to NBN Co, there is not much work involved in making the existing FttP connections suitable to carry this enhanced signal.

"All we should really need to do is upgrade the NBN electronics that are operating over the fibre, including the NTD installed within the end user premises – we shouldn’t need to carry out any significant extra work in the street or pull new cables as the fibre deployed by NBN Co already supports technologies like NG-PON2, with potential capacity for further growth still," Willis said.

"We would also not need to replace the residential gateway devices within an end user premises, which have a similar, but not identical function to a traditional router."

The company has not been willing to provide a break-up of exactly how many premises will be served by the technologies other than FttP; the FttP figure, too, was mentioned in this blog post.

In the post, Willis claimed that people did not need gigabit speeds at the moment. After asking why trials of NG-PON2 were being carried out now rather than have staff concentrate on the ongoing rollout, Willis said: "We need to be ready if applications emerge that actually do require Gigabit speeds – that is why we need to understand technologies like NG-PON2 as well as we can."

FttC is better known as fibre to the distribution point – in Australian terms, fibre up to the nature strip in front of one's home.

"Although FttC will initially launch with VDSL2 technology offering wholesale speeds up to 100/40Mbps to RSPs, we have the possibility in the future of delivering Gigabit capable over both FttC and FttB networks – not to mention XG.FAST, which in a demonstration by NBN Co in 2016 achieved peak trial speeds up to 8Gbps over short copper lines," Willis wrote.

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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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