Superior NBN technology is coming to more than 1000 Melbourne and Sydney properties because pre-existing infrastructure will make it more affordable.
NBN Co is rolling out a limited release of fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg and the Sydney suburb of Miranda.
“The areas selected for the FTTC access technology were chosen based on a number of factors such as availability of existing infrastructure and the cost to build and deploy the technology,” an NBN Co spokesperson told The New Daily on Sunday.
“This follows the same design and planning principles of all technologies included in the NBN access network rollout.”
Launching FTTC on Sunday, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said it was part of NBN’s mandate to “use the technology that makes sense in an area to see the NBN rolled out fastest and at the lowest cost”.
“What determines who gets FTTC is the cost, and NBN looks area by area at what makes sense in a given area in terms of cost and logistics to roll out the NBN as fast as possible.”
FTTC delivers fibre optic cable to a pit outside the home or business, rather than a junction box down the street under the government’s fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technology.
Today I joined @ScottMorrisonMP in his electorate to launch world leading NBN technology, Fibre To The Curb which is already connected to Rebecca’s house. FTTC is already delivering 80mbps during peak times for Rebecca. pic.twitter.com/lq4AklvW8p
— Mitch Fifield (@SenatorFifield) April 8, 2018
Having fibre closer to the home ensures faster speeds.
Existing copper lines are then used to connect from the pit at the end of the driveway to the premises.
It avoids the need to dig up driveways, gardens or through walls, as with fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP), advocated by Labor.
A larger release of FTTC is due in the second half of this year. Mr Fifield said about one million premises should have the technology by 2020, but said that figure could change.
“Over the next few years, one million premises around the country will be connected to high-speed broadband using FTTC,” Mr Fifield said in a statement.
He said FTTC can deliver the same 100 Mbps speeds as FTTP but at a lower cost, in much less time and with far less disruption to properties.
Mr Fifield guaranteed all premises would get at least 25 Mbps, with 90 per cent above 50 and 72 per cent at 100 Mbps.
“The Turnbull government is keeping broadband bills down and taxes lower by rollout the NBN sooner and more affordably,” he said.
NBN Co’s chief customer officer for residential, Brad Whitcomb, said new “copper acceleration technology” known as G.fast could deliver even faster speeds in selected areas by the end of the year.
Mr Whitcomb said NBN has been working closely with service providers to test the new FTTC over the past few months.
“As with the introduction of any new technology, we will continue to gain insights as we navigate the complexity of the build as well as potential issues which can arise when people connect to the network,” he said in a statement.
The NBN is expected to be connected to every premises by 2020.