NBN Co is seeking to reassure Australians that the FTTN technology currently being trialled is delivering super fast speeds with one trial customer so happy he now states “the sky is the limit”.
Previously championed and then abandoned by the former Labor Federal Government and re-instated by the current Coalition Government, FTTN is “Fibre to the Node”, a technology that puts fibre to the end of streets into a bar-fridge sized “node”, and uses the existing copper network to connect houses to the node for very fast broadband.
Saying it is using “new technology to help deliver the NBN quicker, more efficiently and cheaper”, NBN Co points to one of the first FTTN trial customers, small business owner and part-time skydiver Martin McInnes from Umina on the Central Coast of New South Wales, who says he is very happy.
Mr McInnes says he is able to reach download speeds of up to 96 mbps and upload speeds of up to 30 mbps, which he says has helped him to reduce the time it takes to perform daily work tasks and open up his business to international clients.
He also states that: “Since connecting to my Telstra NBN service, the faster download times have helped me save 10 to 15 minutes off my daily work schedule. This roughly gives me an extra day off each month which I’m planning to use to pick up my passion for skydiving again – something that my previous workload prevented me from doing.
“The NBN is also bringing us closer to the opportunities of other Australian inner cities. I’m already seeing exciting prospects for my business such as taking on new clients in areas outside of the Central Coast now that I have the bandwidth to support High Definition (HD) video conferencing applications”.
Mr McInnes statement had an asterisk next to it, leading to an explanatory statement further in NBN Co’s press release, which wanted everyone to be aware that: “your experience including the speeds actually achieved over the NBN depends on the technology over which services are delivered to your premises and some factors outside our control like your equipment quality, software, broadband plans and how your service provider designs its network.”
It also would have been good for NBN Co to have found a few more happy trial customers but perhaps those customers and their happy quotes will appear in future NBN Co media releases.
The return to FTTN technology after the former Labor Government’s plan to roll fibre out to each and every home, apartment and business in Australia is being made, as NBN Co explains, “in order to roll out the National Broadband Network (NBN) quicker, more efficiently and cheaper for all Australians”.
The Company says “the technology marries fibre optic cables with Telstra’s copper lines in a street side node cabinet to deliver fast broadband to homes and businesses.”
A major FTTN trial to test the planning, design and construction of 1000 nodes across Queensland and New South Wales is underway in conjunction with Telstra, with NBN Co today announcing plans to independently build more than 300 additional nodes within Woy Woy, New South Wales and Warner, Queensland.
NBN Co’s CEO Bill Morrow said: “These initiatives are key components in progressing NBN Co’s move to a mix of broadband technologies which will help us scale-up the NBN rollout across the country.
“The early results and real customer experiences such as Mr McInnes’s demonstrate that existing technologies such as the copper network are capable of playing a vital role in delivering the NBN quicker, more efficiently and cheaper for all Australians.
“Our plans to build more than 300 additional nodes on top of our construction trial with Telstra will see us benchmark industry best practices as we gear up for wide-scale deployment of the FTTN technology.”
Senior Analyst for Ovum Kamalini Ganguly said:
“FTTN is a cost-effective method delivering fast broadband. This technology can deliver enough bandwidth to enable consumer applications such as teleworking, telehealth and multi-media online gaming.
“AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and Belgacom are among some of the operators that have successfully deployed FTTN broadband rollouts around the world.”
Today’s announcement continues the momentum of the NBN rollout with more than 238,000 homes and businesses already connected to the network. NBN Co also announced this week that build preparation works and construction are underway to bring the NBN to a further 59,000 premises across the country.
NBN Co is trying to get the NBN built as quickly as possible, especially now that the current Coalition Federal Government wants a mix of broadband technologies to make up the future completed NBN network, and also says it is “planning a wide-scale commercial rollout of technologies including FTTN next year. This is subject to reaching agreement with Telstra on changes to the Definitive Agreements.”
Finally, another of NBN Co’s disclaimers says the Company “provides services to its wholesale customers, telephone and internet service providers, and does not provide services directly to end users. This trial involved testing speeds over physical network layers rather than end user speeds.”
“End user experience including the speeds actually achieved over the NBN depends on some factors outside our control like equipment quality, software, broadband plans and how the end user’s service provider designs its network.”