NBN Cuts HFC Use With New Fibre Tech

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Friday, September 30th, 2016
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NBN Co says 700,000 homes and businesses will have internet connections using new fibre-to-the-distribution-point (FTTdp) technology that will be cheaper than using the legacy Optus cable network.

NBN Co chief network engineering officer Peter Ryan said the company tested FTTdp, also known as fibre-to-the-curb, over the past year, and was upbeat about the benefits.

FTTdp uses fibre cables run to the driveway of premises and will provide “comparable speeds” to more expensive hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) connections, an NBN spokesman said.

FTTdp technology runs fibre down a street and uses a very small node underground to connect to existing copper lines to about four homes.

“We believe FTTdp will be a better commercial option in the Optus HFC areas, because the Optus HFC network requires more upgrade work,” the spokesman.

Mr Ryan said FTTdp would be used in areas listed for fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) connections that had too high a cost-per-premises, plus premises served solely by the Optus HFC network.

About 400,000 of the 700,000 sites slated for FTTdp were to get more expensive HFC connections.

The technology changes won’t have any impact on NBN Co’s estimated roll-out cost of $49 billion, an NBN Co spokesman said.

NBN Co last month said in its 2017 Corporate Plan that the overall HFC footprint would fall to between 2.5 million and 3.2 million from four million.

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