Australia: nbn DOCSIS 3.1 trials hit 1Gbps

Gigabit speeds are around the corner for eligible homes and businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and the Gold Coast. The news comes as a result of Australia’s national broadband network operator nbn’s trials of DOCSIS 3.1 technology on its Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) network – previously Telstra’s pay-TV cable.

In lab trials of the technology conducted in Melbourne, nbn achieved downstream speeds of 1Gbps – on par with the top speed available for retailers on the nbn Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network. The trial delivered upstream speeds of 100 Mbps – more than double the current highest 40 Mbps upload retail speed available on HFC retail services over the nbn network.

nbn will be one of the first operators outside of the US to launch DOCSIS 3.1 technology commercially as an upgrade path for the HFC network and able to deliver Gigabit+ downstream wholesale speeds.

nbn is planning further lab testing of DOCSIS 3.1 in August 2017, then in-field trials in December, ahead of a potential commercial launch of DOCSIS 3.1 services in 2018.

nbn is building a new and upgraded, fast wholesale broadband network to enable communities across Australia to access fast broadband from their retail service provider. The company’s goal is to have universal access for all Australians and eight million homes and businesses activated on the nbn network by 2020.

Bill Morrow, CEO at nbn, described the early tests as “very exciting”, suggesting the initiative was another example of the continued efforts of the nbn team to innovate and plan for Australia’s growing demands for data. “DOCSIS 3.1 is going to be able to provide fantastic gigabit potential for end users – just as our Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network does today. The best news is that we will be able to bring Gigabit broadband to these premises far more quickly, cost effectively and with less disruption to end users than alternate technologies in these busy urban areas.”

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