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NBN launches FTTN, promises 'very high speeds' still achieveable

By Heather Wright
Mon 21 Sep 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The NBN has launched its commercial fibre to the node product, saying ‘most’ end-users on the trial got wholesale speeds of 100Mbps download and 40Mbps upload.

Fibre to the node (FTTN) delivers fast broadband via fibre-optic cable that runs to a neighbourhood node/cabinet, using the copper lines from there to the end premise – rather than using fibre all the way to the premises.

John Simon, NBN chief customer officer, says the launch will enable NBN to get fast broadband to Australians ‘more quickly and with less inconvenience’ for end-users.

“[It] makes deployment faster than other broadband technologies such as FTTP, as the entire connection from the exchange to most homes and businesses won’t need to be replaced – but with short distances between end-users and the FTTN cabinet very high speeds can still be achieved,” NBN says.

Tony Cross, NBN chief architect, says overseas experience in countries such as the United Kingdom and Germany has proven the value of FTTN in delivering fast broadband services quickly and cost effectively.

“Our own FTTN end-user trials have been hugely encouraging in showing that FTTN can deliver great speeds to Australians, with most end-users on the trial getting wholesale speeds of 100Mbps (download) and 40Mbps (upload),” Cross says.

NBN expects to activate end users much faster on FTTN than on other broadband technologies, with more than 1.6 million homes and businesses expected to be connected to the network via FTTN by mid-2018.

The FTTN rollout has launched in NSW’s Belmont, with NBN aiming to have 500,0000 FTTN premises ready for service by mid-2016, with 3.7 million ready by mid-2018.

NBN says it has inked wholesale broadband agreements with more than 20 retail service providers, including Telstra, Optus, Optus Wholesale, Exetel, TPG, iiNet, AAPT, SkyMesh, Harbour ISP and M2 Group, which includes Dodo, iPrimus and Commander.

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