nbn has launched its commercial Fibre to the Node (FTTN) product.
It claims this is a key step towards its goal of connecting eight million premises to the nbn network by 2020.
The FTTN technology delivers fast broadband via fibre-optic cable that runs to a neighbourhood node/cabinet and from there using the copper lines to deliver high-speed broadband ultimately via VDSL technology.
nbn claims this makes deployment faster than other broadband technologies such as FTTP, as the entire connection from the exchange to most homes and businesses won’t need to be replaced – but with short distances between end-users and the FTTN cabinet very high speeds can still be achieved.
The initial FTTN rollout has launched in Belmont, NSW, with nbn aiming to have 500,000 FTTN premises Ready for Service (RFS) by mid-2016 and 3.7 million by mid-2018.
With a much simpler installation process on FTTN (as compared to other technologies such as FTTP), nbn also said in a statement it expects that it will also be able to activate end-users much faster than on other broadband technologies.
More than 1.6 million homes and businesses are expected to be connected to the nbn network via FTTN technology by mid-2018.
nbn has already signed Wholesale Broadband Agreements (WBA) with more than 20 Retail Service Providers (RSPs) including Telstra, Optus, Optus Wholesale, Exetel, TPG, iiNet, AAPT, SkyMesh, Harbour ISP and M2 Group (Dodo, iPrimus, Commander) to sell FTTN services.
nbn chief customer officer, John Simon, said: “The launch of FTTN technology will help us get fast broadband to Australians more quickly and with less inconvenience to end-users.
“We are looking forward to getting this part of the nbn network fully built out and allowing Australians to enjoy the huge benefits of fast broadband.”
nbn chief architect, Tony Cross, said overseas experience in markets such as the UK and Germany had proven the value of FTTN in delivering fast broadband services to millions of premises both quickly and cost effectively.
“Our own FTTN end-user trials have been hugely encouraging in showing that FTTN can deliver great speeds to Australians, with most end-users on the trial getting wholesale speeds of 100Mbps [download]) and 40Mbps [upload],” he said.