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Fibre to the home comes to Canberra

Canberra telco TransACT will be deploying fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) in the city from this month, with more FTTH tenders on the table.

Canberra telco TransACT will be deploying fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) in the city from this month, with more FTTH tenders on the table.

From today, TransACT will switch on its fibre-to-the-home network on a test basis, with the service set to go live officially at the end of the month. The fibre network will be used in a new development in Forde, in the Gungahlin district of Canberra, and is expected to cover up to 1500 users within the next three years.

As well as free-to-air TV and video on demand, residents of Forde will be offered a choice between two broadband packages using the fibre network -- a 10Mbps/2Mbps, for "mum and dad" users, and a 30Mbps/10Mbps, aimed at power users and businesspeople working from home.

According to Rod Barrett, project manager for TransACT, speed boosts may be considered in future. "We'll bring it in line with the rest of our upgrades," he said. "Right at the moment, we think the 10/2Mbps product is a good one and we'll have to see what the take up for the 30Mbps is."

TransACT chose Alcatel-Lucent to supply the kit for its fibre deployment. The rollout uses Alcatel-Lucent's 7342 GPON ISAM Fibre-to-the-User product, optical network terminals and the related management software, citing reasons of reliability and scalability for its choice. The pair are also set to collaborate on FTTH networks in the future.

In order to stimulate take-up, the developers behind the Forde greenfield site will give residents an incentive to use the fibre service in the form of AU$600 towards a subscription -- the equivalent of six months' cost for the service.

TransACT has already responded to other fibre tenders in new developments around Canberra, including the suburbs of Crace and Franklin.

"Fibre is another tool in our toolkit," Barrett said. "We're looking at fibre to the unit in medium density units in consultation with developers. It's logical to rollout fibre."

According to industry analysts Ovum, by the end of 2009, there are expected to be approximately 13.8 million FTTH subscribers globally, 82 percent of whom will reside in the Asia-Pacific region, chiefly in Japan, Republic of Korea and Taiwan.


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