NBN Eyeing G.Fast Launch: Trials Deliver Nearly 970 Mbps
NBN chief architect Tony Cross has advised via a blog post that NBN “has taken its first steps towards a potential G.Fast future” for some end users, having conducted its first field trials at an office block in Melbourne in recent weeks.
Cross advised that speeds of more than 600 Mbps were achieved on a 100 m stretch of copper over 20 years old.
“In fact, had we not reduced the frequency band used in the trial to avoid affecting other broadband services being delivered over the other copper lines, our trial speeds could have reached around 800 Mbps,” Cross wrote.
Meanwhile, NBN trials of G.Fast at its National Test Facility in Melbourne achieved trial speeds of 970 Mbps over a 20 metre stretch of copper.
The next step will be to engage with retail service providers for wider field trials, Cross advised, writing that NBN is excited about the flexibility G.Fast provides.
“We could deploy it in apartment buildings by simply installing new equipment into the basement,” Cross wrote. “We could supply a group of houses via a fibre-to-the-distribution-point model or even just a single premises if need be. There are numerous options. G.Fast really allows us to remove the need to actually enter premises to deliver ultra-fast speeds.”
Cross wrote that with G.Fast NBN thinks retail service providers could offer end-users a range of product plans, including symmetrical speeds such as 300 Mbps download and upload, and that it would allow NBN “to deliver ultra-fast speeds without actually needing to enter people’s homes”, enabling “a much smoother rollout”.
NBN last week defended the capabilities of fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technology, with Tony Brown, NBN public affairs manager, writing via a blog post that NBN is “supercharging existing copper network lines and pay-TV cables”.
Shadow Minister for Communications Jason Clare had last week told attendees at the CommsDay Melbourne congress that the NBN’s FTTN technology “will be gone”, with it being a question of when not if it will happen.
“Decades from now I am sure we will look back and wonder what this debate about fibre and copper was all about,” Clare had commented.
“And that’s because the network we will be using will be essentially a fibre network. Fibre-to-the-node will be gone. It’s not a question of if this will happen. It’s when it will happen and how it will be done.”