NBN starts high rise trials in Melbourne

NBN starts high rise trials in Melbourne

Summary: The first high rise apartments have been connected to the national broadband network using the cheaper, multi-technology approach taken by the Coalition government.

TOPICS: NBN, Australia

Trials have begun in eight high rise Melbourne buildings of fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) technology that runs fibre optic cable to the basement, then uses existing copper telephone wires to connect individual apartments and offices.

The company building the network, NBN Co, has signed up service providers Telstra, Optus, iiNet, and M2 for the three month trial.

NBN Co chief technology officer Gary McLaren said the trial would evaluate the construction, performance, and customer experience of FTTB.

"A lot of it is the operational interworking of our equipment with the retail service provider," McLaren said.

Internet users taking part in the trial will need to obtain a new modem from their internet service provider.

McLaren said FTTB technology used VDSL2 with vectoring equipment, so customers would need to upgrade from their ADSL modem.

"That's the difference people will notice in their apartment or their office — there will be a change of that piece of equipment," he said.

Pricing of internet plans and equipment is set by the retail service providers.

FTTB could eventually be used to connect about 12,000 buildings to the NBN, containing some one million apartments and offices.

The original NBN plan from the former Labor government proposed connecting high capacity fibre optic cable to every single premises in the country, including apartments.

The Coalition government changed the plan to include a mix of technologies that were slower but cheaper and faster to roll out, including technologies using existing copper networks.

Many apartment buildings have still received fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) links.

McLaren said tests had shown FTTB could deliver download speeds of 100 Mbps and upload speeds of 40 Mbps.

He said the age of buildings was not a determining factor in whether FTTB or FTTP is used.

There will be up to 200 premises connected during the trial, which is taking place across eight buildings in the Melbourne suburbs of Carlton, Parkville, and Brunswick.

Topics: NBN, Australia

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  • NBN rollout.

    Anything below FttP is a waste of taxpayer money by a stupid government that sadly will not be in office when the consequences of their blindness begins, when Australia is disadvantaged from the rest of the world.
    • In building cabling should be a body corporate responsibility.

      Government and NBN should just get the fiber to the basement.
      Building owners should either use their existing copper or pay for the installation of fiber themselves.
      This will make NBN rollout a lot less complex and quicker.
      Residents in individual buildings can decide what is right for them.
  • Isn't it internal wiring too?

    Currently the Internet is run to the building and the internal wiring must be maintained by the Strata group. This article does not clarify whether customers would ONLY need a new modem or the owners would ADDITIONALLY need to update their wiring. The owners of most units are not the customers, and I know that if there is a choice in the matter, few owners would want to pay this additional charge just so their tenants can become faster uploaders. You need a majority of owners in Strata elections so I just don't see this being feasible.