Australia’s Nbn Adds G.fast to Access Network Mix

Will use copper-based platform to goose speeds on fiber-to-the-building, fiber-to-the-curb networks
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Nbn Co., the broadband venture backed by the Australian government, said it will add G.fast to its access network toolkit as it looks to deliver faster speeds on fiber-to-the-building and fiber-to-the-curb networks.

G.fast is a new standard that aims to deliver gigabit-class speeds to DSL and other copper-based networks. By way of recent example, Sckipio, a G.fast chipmaker, is demoing 4 Gbps speeds (3.1 Gbps down and 900 Mbps upstream) at this week’s Broadband World Forum in Berlin, Germany.

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Nbn, which announced its G.fast plans at the Berlin event, said it will start to adopt G.fast in 2018, expanding on its use of other access technologies that include fiber-to-the-premises, HFC and satellite-based broadband service delivery. It has tapped three suppliers – Nokia, Adtran and Netcomm Wireless, for the G.fast portion of its initiative.

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Nbn expects G.fast to help it take speeds beyond 100Mbps delivered today on VDSL technology, and hit up to 1 Gbps using g higher frequencies of either 106 MHz or 212 MHz. G.fast is being used in limited ways by telcos such as AT&T, BT, Swisscom and Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom.

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Nbn said it tested G.fast technology in October 2015 and achieved speeds of 600Mbps on a 20 year-old stretch of 100-meter copper cabling, and will conduct further testing before launch.

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