Advanced Television

Australia’s NBN promises gigabit speeds

March 12, 2015

From Nick Snow in Brussels

NBN Co – the Australian government-owned corporation tasked to design, build and operate Australia’s National Broadband Network – has revealed at Cable Congress in Brussels that it is set to become one of the first telecommunications companies in the world to introduce DOCSIS 3.1, which supports download speeds of up to 10Gbps and up to 1Gbps upstream and by delivering data more efficiently can deliver up to 50 per cent more data than is possible over current cable networks. Field trials of the technology will launch in the United States later this year.

More than three million homes and businesses in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and the Gold Coast are earmarked to receive the National Broadband Network over the Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) cables that currently deliver broadband and pay-TV services to Telstra and Optus customers.

In deals struck December 2014, NBN Co will progressively take ownership of these cables and incorporate them into the National Broadband Network.

Announcing the initiative, NBN Co’s Chief Technology Officer, Dennis Steiger, said that NBN would utilise a network that was already deployed across millions of homes and businesses in Australia. “By re-architecting the ratio of homes to a node and the use of the latest technology underpinning DOCSIS 3.1, Australia’s HFC network will become one of the most state-of-the-art technologies used to deploy broadband services,” he claimed.

“Effectively, this technology has the potential to offer speeds equivalent to what’s on offer by full fibre to the premises and up to 100 times faster (up to 10Gbps) than what is currently provided by today’s HFC network. It’s the same philosophy that’s driving our entire multi-technology roll-out. All the technologies we’re using have an upgrade path to deliver higher speeds and greater capacity. That’s good news for families and businesses,” he added.

The DOCSIS 3.1 suite of technical specifications was developed by industry consortium CableLabs and introduced in October 2013.

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