TransACT selects Alcatel-Lucent for FTTH rollout in Canberra

Greenfield project to reach 1,000 premises by 2013

Canberra-based telecommunications carrier, TransACT, has selected Alcatel-Lucent to complete a fibre to the home (FTTH) rollout to new greenfield sites in Canberra.

The network will cover 1,000 premises and an anticipated population of 2,500 people by 2013.

Project developers in Canberra, in conjunction with the Land Development Agency, issued a tender for the FTTH project last year, which was subsequently won by TransACT.

After a highly competitive tender process, involving eight other providers, Alcatel-Lucent was chosen as the preferred technology provider.

The first network project will be in Forde, a new suburb in Gungahlin, Canberra.

The deployment is TransACT's first venture into Gigabit passive optical network (GPON) FTTH technology.

Residents will receive broadband speeds of up to 30Mbps, subscription television with real-time video on-demand and unlimited free local calls to over 30,000 other TransACT phone customers, as well as competitive national and international call rates.

TransACT project manager, Rod Barrett, said the FTTH network is now a key consideration for inclusion when assessing broadband deployments in suburbs.

"We needed a solutions provider that could accommodate our customers' increasing demand for our existing bandwidth-hungry product offerings, including Video on Demand (VoD), Voice over IP (VoIP) and IPTV services," Barrett said.

"We chose Alcatel-Lucent because of its technology leadership in GPON and the proven reliability and scalability of its platform for widespread deployment."

Alcatel-Lucent Australasia, managing director, Hilary Mine, said FTTH was the natural progression for a reliable high speed broadband multiservice network in 'greenfields' and will deliver solid social and economic benefits to a community.

"The TransACT contract demonstrates our commitment to accelerating high speed broadband services across the country, and reinforces our global leadership in greenfield and brownfield broadband fibre deployments," Mine said.

Under the terms of the contract, Alcatel-Lucent will deliver its 7342 GPON ISAM Fiber-to-the-User product, along with the Optical Network Terminals (ONTs) and the related management software.

TransACT will also be working with Alcatel-Lucent on future FTTH bids in the Canberra area.

Alcatel-Lucent has shipped more than 142 million DSL lines to date and engaged in more than 65 FTTx projects around the world, with more than 35 using GPON.

Ovum principal consultant, Leith Campbell, estimates that by the end of 2009, there will be approximately 13.8 million FTTH subscribers globally, 82 percent of whom will reside in the Asia-Pacific region.

However, he said FTTH activity in the region is concentrated in Japan, Republic of Korea and Taiwan.

Campbell said the Australian government should promote FTTH where it is cost justified and accelerate the rollout of FTTN.

"But the political will to act is missing," he said.

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