Tuesday, 04 September 2018 07:04

NetComm extends NBN Co deal to supply FttDP equipment

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Ken Sheridan: "More and more operators around the world are looking for a cost-effective way to a deliver a fibre-like experience." Ken Sheridan: "More and more operators around the world are looking for a cost-effective way to a deliver a fibre-like experience." Supplied

Networking solutions provider NetComm Wireless has extended its agreement with NBN Co, to supply reverse-powered distribution point units, known as High port count DPUs, to the company rolling out Australia's national broadband network, the NBN.

In April, NetComm signed an agreement with NBN Co to supply hardware for the rollout of fibre-to-the-distribution-point connections — what the NBN Co calls fibre-to-the-curb ot FttC — to about a million premises.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange on Monday, NetComm said the High port count DPUs would be provided as both eight-port and a 16-port variants.

These devices would make it possible to extend the FttDP network to locations where the density is greater, for example, multi-dwelling units where bundled copper lines are prevalent.

The new DPUs have advanced interference reduction technology and this, along with Gfast (fibre-like speed) capability, will help maximise throughput speeds to premises.

NetComm chief executive and managing director Ken Sheridan said: “We are very pleased to extend our agreement with NBN Co.

"More and more operators around the world are looking for a cost-effective way to a deliver a fibre-like experience. We are working with a number of Tier 1 operators in Europe and the UK that are trialling this technology.”

The company statement said it saw traction for this solution in other global markets, particularly the UK and Europe.

"It’s the missing link between running fibre down the street and delivering a gigabit service into the premises. Having a higher port count DPU that has reverse powering functionality is a world-first," the company claimed.

"It reduces the overall solution cost and substantially simplifies deployment for the operator."

NetComm said there were no specific unit volumes in the agreement, apart from an initial minimum order commitment of 10,000 units within 18 months.

"NetComm expects initial deliveries of the devices to NBN Co to occur later in FY19, subsequent to the satisfaction of these conditions which include NBN Co's customer acceptance procedures and normal regulatory approvals," the company said.

The terms FttDP and FttC have been used interchangeably in stories about the NBN, but there is a difference, as was pointed out to iTWire some time ago by Mark Gregory, associate professor in network engineering at RMIT.

Gregory said in the case of FttDP, the length of copper that formed the last bit of the connection was typically less than 40 metres.

In the case of FttC, it was a variation of fibre-to-the-node where fibre was rolled out to within 300 to 400 metres of premises to either a pit or pole, and copper cables used for the lead-in.

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Sam Varghese

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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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