NBN has announced a Melbourne suburb as the first in the world to receive fibre-to-the-kerb broadband connections.
First trials will be conducted in Coburg North, in northern Melbourne, in the second half of this year with commercial services expected in the first half of 2018.
“We are delighted to be leading the world in the deployment of [fibre-to-the-kerb] technology. This demonstrates that NBN is on the cutting edge of technological advancement in the global telecoms market,” said chief network engineering officer Peter Ryan.
The NBN started as fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) under the Labor government, which the Coalition replaced with fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) using the old copper lines from the nearest exchange point to the premises, resulting in much slower speeds.
The new fibre-to-the-kerb configuration – also known as fibre-to-the-distribution point (FTTdp) — brings fibre all the way to the “kerb” or telecom pit in front of the house or business, meaning the length of copper is reduced for better performance than FTTN. Testing of fibre-to-the-kerb in Sydney and Melbourne, according to the NBN, achieved the company’s maximum consumer speed of 100Mbps.
A list of the first 42 suburbs to receive the technology was revealed earlier this month, with the NBN this morning narrowing the first beneficiaries to Burnside, Brooklyn, Coburg North, “pockets” of Collingwood, Cremorne, Richmond Carolyn Springs, Derrimut, Frankston and Williamstown around Melbourne; and Sydney’s Alexandria, Botany, Caringbah South, Cronulla, Denham Court, Erskineville, Gladesville, Horningsea Park, Hunters Hill, Lugano, Mona Vale, Peakhurst, Revesby, Tennyson Point, Woolooware and Woronora Heights.
Fibre-to-the-kerb will eventually cover 700,000 homes and businesses nationally.
“Our goal is to deliver broadband in the most cost and time efficient manner possible and FTTC will help us do this in many parts of the NBN network,” Ryan said.
The details come a day after the national network builder upgraded its “address checker” webpage to allow customers to view when the NBN would be ready for their home or business plus the exact technology type, so they have an expectation of the eventual performance.
“The number one question we get asked is ‘when am I getting the NBN?’ and today’s update to our website provides the answer to that very question,” chief customer officer John Simon said.
The upgrade of the address checker came after Telstra last month offered to fill the information gap by publishing NBN performance data based on geography later this year.