NBN and FTTC technology
The introduction of FTTC
FTTC (fibre to the curb) was first introduced as a replacement for Optus’ Hybrid-Fibre Coaxial (HFC) cable network.
Due to this all installation with HFC were recently stopped pending investigations into performance.
We are told that NBN has confirmed that it will deploy FTTC in areas where the use of Optus’ HFC network was planned.
An exception being the already launched network in Redcliffe, Queensland.
Reportedly Leaked NBN documents published by Fairfax last year revealed internal concerns about the quality of the Hybrid-Fibre.
Coaxial (HFC) cable, describing it as “not fully fit for purpose”. The documents suggested that some Optus equipment had reached the end of its life and would need replacing.
Since adding FTTC to its bundle of technologies, NBN Co has expanded the scope of the FTTC rollout.
The new technology t will be now be used instead of FTTN in select areas. We believe that the cost of this technology has come down allowing a greater roll-out. Trials have been run in NSW and Victoria and speeds of up to a Gigabyte are possible.
NBN G.fast, what is it?
G.fast is a new technology for carrying faster broadband signals over existing copper wires. This is achieved by adding spectrum to copper, which could be seen as the technology equivalent of adding additional lanes to a highway.
The G.fast standard allows the NBN to get more mileage out of old copper. When testing with G.fast in a Fibre-to-the-Building deployment, NBN was able to achieve speeds of 600Mbps across a 100 metre stretch of 20-year-old copper.
G.fast was designed for copper lines shorter than 250 metres.
This is ideal for a technology like FTTC and means FTTC connections will eventually be able to deliver speeds of up to 1Gbps.
Can I upgrade FTTC to FTTP?
NBN Co offers a “Technology Choice Program” where you can change what technology you use to connect to the NBN.
After FTTC connections become available, there won’t be anything stopping you from requesting an “Individual Premises Switch” to FTTP.
This would see NBN Co remove the final stretch of copper and replace it with fibre optic cable directly to your house.
NBN has yet to provide details on the pricing of an Individual Premise Switch for FTTC customers.
An initial quote will set you back $660. The network builder currently says a premise switch can cost anywhere between a couple of thousand and tens of thousands of dollars.
Given the smaller amount of fibre optic cable required to change a FTTC connection to FTTP, we’d expect a switch to FTTC to be on the lower side of that scale.
Just having FTTC would immediately allow full 100Mbps speeds to any premises regardless of the distance from the local Node.
In conclusion and as an NBN user, supporter and sometimes critic I believe this technology would eliminate most of the complaints against NBN.
Consequently complains with regard to speed and technology would mostly be eliminated.
Plus we would increase the use of higher spend bands.
Furthermore this, in turn, increases the NBN revenue stream and assists our passage to a world standard High-speed Internet.