Tony Cross, Chief Architect of Australia’s nbn (National Broadband Network), has announced in his Keynote Address at the Broadband World Forum 2015 event in London that the company has conducted its first trial of new copper acceleration technology G.Fast and hopes to be in a position to launch the technology in 2017.
“We have conducted our first G.Fast trial in an office building in Melbourne and achieved total throughput of 600Mbps on CAT-3 cabling that was around 20 years old,” Cross said.
“We could not use the full G.Fast spectrum range in the trial because of active VDSL lines in the same bundle – had we used the full G.Fast spectrum range we would have achieved speeds of around 800Mbps.”
The G.Fast test in Melbourne was conducted using equipment from Alcatel-Lucent and in separate testing work at its National Test Facility in Melbourne nbn has achieved speeds of 970Mbps on copper lengths of around 20 metres.
Cross said that the next step for nbn would be to launch further G.Fast trials in the first half of 2016 in partnership with nbn’s Retail Service Providers in order for nbn to get a better understanding of how the technology would work in the field.
“One of the things that most excites us about G.Fast is the flexibility that it gives us,” Cross said.
“We could deploy it in apartment buildings by simply installing new equipment into the basement. We could supply a group of houses via a Fibre-to-the-Distribution-Point model or even just a single premises if need be.
“G.Fast really allows us to remove the need to actually enter premises to deliver ultra-fast speeds – that has always been the major barrier to delivering a full Fibre-to-the-Premises solution.”
Cross told the conference that the arrival of G.Fast would also allow nbn to look at introducing new products into the market – including symmetrical broadband speeds.
“With G.Fast we think RSPs could offer end-users a range of product plans including symmetrical speeds of, for example, 300Mbps download and upload, something that would hold great value for commercial end-users who wanted to have access to extremely fast upload speeds,” he said.
“We have already seen at this conference the very positive approach that BT is taking towards deploying G.Fast over the coming years and we look forward to learning from them and other global operators about this very exciting technology as we look to bring better broadband to all Australians.”