NBN FTTP customers could get 10Gbps symmetrical speeds with NG-PON2

Despite conjecture about the demand for super fast internet speeds, engineers inside nbn are powering forward on what’s technically possible on fibre. In partnership with Nokia, nbn have tested Next...

Despite conjecture about the demand for super fast internet speeds, engineers inside nbn are powering forward on what’s technically possible on fibre. In partnership with Nokia, nbn have tested Next Generation Passive Optical Networking (also known as NG-PON2) and achieved a pretty staggering result.

The NG-PON2 tests conducted in Melbourne achieved symmetrical speeds of 10Gbps across a single shared fibre. That’s a massive 10x faster than the top wholesale speed we are able to offer to Retail Service Providers. Current GPON tech allows 1Gbps speeds, but is currently not being offered to Australians by an RSPs.

How it works

NG-PON2 takes advantage of improved size, capacity and cost of modern laser signal transmitting and receiving technology to add multiple new laser ‘colours’ (or wavelengths) to existing optical fibre, each colour transmitting bits at much higher rates than current FTTP technology.

One of the great opportunities with fibre was to simply upgrade the end-points and the speeds would be increased and this is evidence of exactly that. For the 2 million customers who will be connected on FTTP by the end of the rollout, this is geat news, but what of those connected via other technologies in the multi-technology mix? Well this may increase connection speed to the Node boxes in your street, but if the contention over the last mile of copper to your house is the limiting factor, you’ll never reach these speeds.

Does anyone need these speeds now, or even in the medium term? No almost definitely not, but where the technology and cost permits, we should never artificially limit consumer’s speed to the internet because time is the most important asset we all have and waiting for data to download and upload is not time well spent.

All we should really need to do is upgrade the nbn™ electronics that are operating over the fibre, including the NTD installed within the end user premises – we shouldn’t need to carry out any significant extra work in the street or pull new cables as the fibre deployed by nbn already supports technologies like NG-PON2, with potential capacity for further growth still. We would also not need to replace the residential gateway devices within an end user premises, which have a similiar, but not identical function to a traditional router.

As upload continues to increase in importance, symmetrical upload would certainly be appreciated. Right now, those forward leaning FTTP customers are opting for 100/40Mbps plans and you have to ask why. The fibre doesn’t care which direction the bits are flowing in, so we should have symmetrical data rates now and if consumers want to use online backup, share 4K videos and other high-bandwidth activities, then

More information at nbn.

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