NBN Co hits 105Mbps in limited FTTN trial

105Mbps down and 45Mbps up for one shop 100 metres from node

NBN Co achieved 105 megabits per second download speeds in a of test of fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technology at a shop on the New South Wales Central Coast.

The test at the single premise in Umina achieved upload speeds of 45Mbps.

Engineers installed a VDSL modem in the shopfront and connected the existing copper telephone line to a node cabinet in the street about 100 metres away. The node cabinet converted the signal from the copper into pulses of light to travel over optical fibres.

The test was part of an FTTN pilot taking place in Umina and Epping in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. NBN Co is testing FTTN as one of a number of technologies to be used in its new mixed technology approach to the National Broadband Network.

Last week, the Coalition government officially signed the death warrant for the previous plan by Labor to roll out fibre to the premise to most homes and businesses.

NBN Co has been instructed to alter the network's rollout to employ a mix of technologies, including FTTN, limited FTTP, and HFC.

“Once active, the next step will see NBN Co invite retail service providers to take part in a limited FTTN end user trial in these locations,” said NBN Co chief operating officer, Greg Adcock.

“The aim will be to test the delivery and end user experience of high speed broadband via FTTN to a small number of premises at each location.”

NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow said the test was a key milestone for the NBN. “It demonstrates that existing technologies such as the copper network are capable of playing a vital role in delivering high speed broadband to Australians,” he said.

Adam Bender covers telco and enterprise tech issues for Computerworld and is the author of dystopian sci-fi novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

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