nbn co rolls out first G.fast DPUs
nbn co has plugged in the first G.fast capable distribution point units (DPUs) on the fibre-to-the-curb component of the nbn.
G.fast is a copper acceleration technology designed to wring gigabit-level speeds out of existing last-mile copper networks. The technology uses higher-spectrum frequencies up to 212 MHz to deliver such speeds over short distances of up to around 100 m.
According to nbn co, most FTTC connections use just 40 m of copper links between the premises and the DPU and fibre cable in the curbside telecom pit, making G.fast a perfect fit.
With the deployment, nbn co has become the first operator in the world to deliver G.fast to end users via in-ground DPUs. Other early Gfast adopters such as Openreach in the UK and SK Broadband in South Korea have deployed the standard from their existing fibre-to-the-node street cabinets.
“To put it plainly, G.fast gives us the ability to deliver greater speeds to end users who are connected to the nbn broadband access network on our FTTC technology,” nbn co Chief Network Engineering Officer Peter Ryan said in a blog post announcing the launch.
But he clarified that the company has no immediate plans to launch G.fast-based services. The DPUs that have been deployed for the rollout, which have been provided by partners Nokia and ADTRAN, are capable of working in dual VDSL2 and Gfast mode, and will operate in VDSL2 mode in the immediate future as trials of the technology continue.
“However, putting G.fast capability in the ground now is a futureproofing step. Down the track, all we need do is enable the protocol standard remotely and issue relevant end users with a new G.fast-capable modem. These premises will then have access to the ultrafast speeds that G.fast can deliver,” he said.
“It makes economic sense for nbn co to hold off providing G.fast services until there are sufficient market signals from phone and internet providers for us to proceed. After all, there is no sense in us offering ultrafast G.fast wholesale services until end-user demand is there to buy them.”
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