NBN Co calls for ISPs for FttB pilot

Following successful lab trials of fibre to the building technology, NBN Co is now seeking ISPs to begin testing out the technology in the real world.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

As foreshadowed yesterday, NBN Co's chief technology officer Gary McLaren has called on the industry to participate in a fibre to the basement pilot to kick off early in 2014.

As part of the statement of expectations provided to the company by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull after the election in September, NBN Co was asked to assess alternate technologies for the NBN rollout, including VDSL.

Yesterday, McLaren indicated that trials of VDSL2 and vectoring had been successful, with NBN Co able to translate its product across to VDSL in the lab, and higher download and upload speeds noticeable when vectoring was switched on.

Today the company announced a pilot that will see fibre to the building rolled out to up to 10 office blocks and apartment buildings to cover up to 1,000 premises.

McLaren said the trial would commence in early 2014 and would run for three months to help NBN Co determine the best technology for the revised rollout.

"Our goal is to ensure that all Australians can have access to very fast broadband as soon, as cost-effectively and as affordably as possible," McLaren said in a statement.

"The pilot is an essential step along the way to determining the right mix of technologies to do just that."

The location of the trial has yet to be determined.

Telstra is currently running its own VDSL pilot, and TPG has announced plans to offer fibre to the basement for up to 500,000 premises across five capital cities.

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