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NBN promises faster copper speeds with G.fast

By Patrick Martlew
Wed 25 Oct 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The National Broadband Network (NBN) has announced the addition of G.fast broadband technology to its Multi-Technology toolkit in 2018, which it says will deliver faster speeds over existing copper lines.

The company says the G.fast technology infrastructure will enable faster speeds to end-users on using a Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) or Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC) network setup, where ultra-high speeds are required.

NBN says G.fast will deliver speeds above the 100Mbps levels delivered by VDSL technology,  even achieving 1Gbps speeds over copper lines by using higher frequencies of either 106MHz or 212MHz – compared to 17MHz on VDSL.

JB Rousselot, NBN chief strategy officer says, “Bringing G.fast technology to the NBN access network in 2018 again shows our commitment to being at the cutting edge of emerging technologies.

“Adding G.fast to the toolkit for the FTTC and FTTB networks will allow us to deliver ultra-fast services faster and more cost-effectively than if we had to deliver them on a full Fibre-to-the-Premises connection.”

NBN says it is following in the footsteps of international counterparts with a number of organisations making the technology available globally, including AT&T in the US, BT in the UK, Swisscom and Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom.

NBN trialled G.fast technology in October 2015, and reported speeds of 600Mbps on a 20-year-old stretch of 100-metre copper cabling, and will conduct further testing before launch.

G.fast technology will be supplied by the company's three existing fixed-broadband suppliers Nokia, ADTRAN and Netcomm Wireless.

While Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) and Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) are currently the only formats that support gigabit services, Rousselot says this will change with G.fast.

“Our FTTP and HFC end-users already have the technology to support Gigabit services and adding G.fast over FTTC provides the upgrade path for our FTTN end users to ultimately receive Gigabit speeds too.”

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