Australia's NBN Co, the state-owned company building the national broadband network, has revealed it will deploy the G.fast copper acceleration technology on its network from 2018.
The company will adopt G.fast for the fibre-to-the-building and fibre-to-the-curb components of its networks to provide an upgrade path for these users to ultra-fast speeds.
G.fast and the more advanced XG FAST can accelerate the speeds of VDSL lines to fibre-like speeds. XG FAST can deliver speeds of up to 1Gbps depending on the condition and length of the copper last mile.
NBN Co said its trials of the technology in 2015 achieved speeds of 600Mbps over a 20 year old stretch of 100 meter coper cabling. But the average age of a copper connection in Australia is 35 years.
“Adding G.fast to the toolkit for the FTTC and FTTB networks will allow us to deliver ultra-fast services faster and more cost effectively than if we had to deliver them on a full FTTP connection,” NBN Co chief strategy officer JB Rousselot said.
The NBN project as envisioned by the previous labor government would have delivered FTTP connections to 93% of Australian premises, with fixed wireless and satellite technologies reaching the remaining 7%. But this plan was controversially scrapped by the current government in favor of a multi-technology mix of FTTP, FTTN, FTTC, HFC, fixed wireless and satellite.
“Our FTTP and HFC end-users already have the technology to support Gigabit services and adding G.fast over FTTC provides the upgrade path for our FTTN end users to ultimately receive Gigabit speeds too,” Rousselot continued.