When the original NBN plan for Australia, it was designed with the infrastructure as fibre, leaving the theoretical limit being the speed of light. In reality, current networking equipment at both ends limits the connection to around 1Gbps. With the right infrastructure in place, it paved the way for both your home and provider endpoints to be upgraded in the future to deliver even faster speeds.
Although the proportion of the NBN that will run on fibre is smaller than originally planned, nbn and Nokia have confirmed that 10Gbps speeds are possible in the future. This would be achieved with the not so sexy technology name of NG-PON2.
NBN Co chief technology officer Dennis Steiger said,
“The NG-PON2 trials we have conducted with Nokia have shown us the huge potential this very exciting technology has in terms of helping us deliver on future consumer demand for data at speed.”
Ray Owen, head of Oceania at Nokia said,
“NBN Co is a valued and long-term customer, and we are committed to bringing our latest innovations to them and the country of Australia.
The trial of our universal NG-PON solution reflects that commitment, and demonstrates how we can help evolve NBN Co’s network now and in the long term to meet the increasing data demand of subscribers across the country.”
Those who follow the NBN rollout closely will know there’s been a lot of contention of the usefulness and demand for even 1Gbps speeds, so imagining a push to 10x that is hard to wrap your head around. In reality, we’re either talking about businesses who need that much speed, when time, really is money and faster internet has a meaningful impact on your bottom line.
From a consumer’s perspective, there’s really isn’t practical reasons you’d need 10Gbps today, but it’d be a brave, probably foolish person to suggest the increasing internet consumption wouldn’t continue to rise. Fast forward 10 years, we probably will have 8K TVs, the content of which will certainly come over the internet, not broadcast over the air. Maybe there’s a day where the need to compress video is eliminated by network speeds and we can watch original content direct from Hollywood editing studios direct to our lounge rooms, but that’s very, very far away.
The difficult reality of all this is that people who aren’t connected to the NBN via fibre will continue to see a gap in capabilities widen between copper and fibre customers. There’s definitely work being done on copper technology like G.fast or XG.FAST, but that’s like strapping rockets to a turtle, the thing you’re trying to speed up is ultimately slower than its competitor.
Don’t expect it anytime soon, but it is good to know, even faster speeds are on their way and have been achieved in lab conditions. Side note.. not a single mention of uploads in the release, guess we don’t upload things in the future.