Nextgen shows off 100Gbps fibre speeds for NBN application

Network integrator demonstrate the same technology used its regional NBN blackspot rollout

Nextgen is showing off 100Gbps speeds over the same fibre technology platform as the one being used in its rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) Regional Backbone Blackspot program.

The company won the Blackspot tender from the Federal Government last December.

The scheduled demonstration at its Melbourne headquarters on September 7 will demonstrate integration between IP and optic equipment over the network integrator’s fibre network.

“The primary purpose of the demonstration is we are continuously designing and evolving our network so we can support the future on a lowest cost per bit basis and as much innovation as we can apply to the market,” Nextgen managing director, Phil Sykes, said.

A number of companies have announced the lighting up of fibre optic cables at 40Gbps and 100Gbps but Nextgen’s demonstration went beyond that, Sykes claimed.

“We’re loading the cable at 100Gbps but we are also manipulating the IP packet of 100Gbps as well,” he said. “What this allows us to do is then apply classes of service and quality of service controls to the IP packet stream at 100Gbps, which is really a novel approach here.”

On high capacity networks that are currently running at 10Gbps, service providers are able to establish a difference of service to provide Layer 2 virtual local area networks (LANs).

“That works well at 10Gbps but to then take that to 100Gbps is a huge step and that is the step we are taking here,” Sykes said.

The NBN had initially promised up to 100Mbps download speeds. More recently, NBNco CEO, Mike Quigley, mentioned possible speeds of up to 1Gbps. With Nextgen deploying the same technology used in the 100Gbps demonstration for the Blackspot program, Sykes hopes to eventual replicate such high speeds on the NBN.

“We are working towards the goal of being able to support a large number of residential customers through the ISPs we provide backhaul services to,” he said. “Similarly, we want to do this for mobile phone tower backhaul as well as to business customers that are already taking 1Gbps connections into their business practices in a number of locations.”

Nextgen’s Blackspot program rollout is progressing according to schedule and the company has laid down more than 2000km of fibre.

The program involves connecting locations such as Toowoomba, Geraldton, Broken Hill, Victor Harbor and south-west Gippsland to major capital cities with 6000km of fibre.

The network integrator is looking at an early February timeframe for a number of locations. The Toowoomba to Darwin and Perth to Geraldton links are set to be finished in November 2011.

Despite NBN uncertainty generated by a hung Parliament in this year’s election, Nextgen was unaffected, Sykes said.

“Our contract was let in December last year,” he said. “That has not been affected by the election at all because the work was committed and we are well underway.”