Telecommunications boxes in large commercial and multi-residential buildings have become the focal point of trials aimed at finding ways to speed up the rollout of the National Broadband Network and deliver faster broadband services.
Announcing a three-month pilot plan involving up to ten large office complexes and apartment blocks, NBN Co, the company responsible for construction of the National Broadband Network, says it will trial a system which will see fibre optic cables delivered to a telecommunications connection box (or node) typically located in the communications room of the building. That node will in turn connect to the existing in-building wiring.
NBN co-chief operating officer Gary McLaren says such an arrangement, known as fibre-to-the-building, enables ISPs to deliver extremely fast broadband speeds to individual offices and apartments, adding that it is one of a number of examples of advanced broadband technologies being rolled out around the world.
“Our goal is to ensure that all Australians can have access to very fast broadband as soon, as cost-effectively and as affordably as possible,” McLaren said, adding that data collected from the pilot program will assist the network builder in developing future services. “The pilot is an essential step along the way to determining the right mix of technologies to do just that.”
The latest developments are part of NBN Co efforts to examine alternative methods of network delivery under a comprehensive review of the network roll-out which also includes examination of current financial and operational performance.
The review, along with a purge of the NBN Co board, was demanded by new Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull in September amid reports the network building will miss its roll-out target for June next year by more than half a million premises and faces a deteriorating financial position.
The review will be submitted to the government in early December and will form input into the company’s 2014-17 Corporate Plan to be delivered to the government in the first half of next year.