NBN sings the praises of fibre to the basement

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NBN Co has provided a list of the first 43 apartment buildings to receive its fibre to the basement services, where individual units will be served via VDSL over copper, and has waxed lyrical about the advantages of the technology over fibre to the individual dwelling for multidwelling buildings.

The first 43 buildings contain some 6000 homes, 2000 of which are expected to be ready for service by the end of March. However NBN Co will not provide services direct to end users and has yet to finalise its wholesale FTTB product that will enable retail service providers to connect and serve residents of these buildings.

The 43 apartment blocks are in the Sydney CBD and the suburbs of Alexandria, Balmain, Elizabeth Bay, Darlinghurst, Erskineville, Mascot, Potts Point, Pyrmont, Randwick, Rushcutters Bay and Woolloomooloo; in Canberra and the Melbourne suburbs of Brunswick, Carlton, Keysborough and Parkville.

Writing on the NBN Co blog NBN Co’s chief customer officer, John Simon, said: “Retail service providers will be able to sell NBN services to customers in these MDUs once we launch our commercial FTTB product.

We have been conducting pilot trials of our FTTB services for a while – working alongside our RSP customers - and have been delighted with the results we have achieved with our FTTB trial users reporting very high rates of satisfaction with the service.”

He claimed that installing FTTB in high-rise buildings was a smoother process than installing fibre to the premises. “It’s no secret that NBN Co has long wrestled with the problem of delivering full fibre-to-the-premises services to MDUs,” Simon said.

“No two MDUs are the same and each requires its own design for delivering FTTP services, a very complex process. There’s also the added complication that delivering FTTP services to MDUs means deploying the extensive new internal building wiring required – something which can be extremely time-consuming.”

He added: “The beauty of FTTB is that we don’t have to deal with either of these problems. We simply install new NBN equipment in the communications room of each building (ordinarily located in the basement) and we are ready to provide access to fast broadband via existing in-building wiring.”

And he claimed that users would experience speeds comparable to those offered on NBN Co’s FTTP service, saying: “Trial users are receiving an average of 89Mbps download and 36Mbps upload via vectored VDSL.”

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