NBN upgrades transit network to 19.2Tbps per fibre link

The upgraded capacity on NBN's backbone fibre-optic transit network will initially be available in Sydney before being switched on across the nation.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) company has announced doubling the capacity on its fibre-optic transit network to 19.2Tbps per fibre link in response to increasing traffic and demand.

The upgraded capacity will become available initially in Sydney between Eastern Creek and Asquith, followed by the 3,600km route between Darwin and Brisbane in December -- to support growth on the Sky Muster satellite service -- and will then be switched on progressively across the nation.

"The capacity upgrade has been made possible with the successful installation of new optical transmission technology -- from network equipment maker Coriant's CloudWave Optics -- that supports per-wavelength transmission rates of 200 gigabits per second (Gbps) on optical transport backbone networks," NBN explained.

The technology, which has the capacity to be upgraded to 400Gbps, will be deployed across NBN's 121 points of interconnect, fibre access nodes, and high-traffic routes "as demand dictates".

"We have a clear product roadmap to continually upgrade this network with extra capacity as demand grows," NBN chief network deployment officer Kathrine Dyer added.

"With the upgrade to CloudWave Optics technology, we will be able to further increase total capacity on our transit network. Coriant is helping us achieve these upgrades as we scale this build."

NBN had announced in June last year that it had partnered with Coriant to increase the capacity of its fibre-optic transit network.

Coriant, an optical, IP, and software-defined networking (SDN) solutions provider based in Munich, at the time said it would use its CloudWave Optics software-programmable network solution to provide per-wavelength transmission speeds of 100Gbps using 4 Quadrature Amplitude Moderation (4QAM); 150Gbps using 8QAM; and 200Gbps using 16QAM.

NBN's transit network -- which allows NBN to connect its fibre access nodes to the 121 POIs where network traffic is passed to the retailers, and sends data back to NBN's two datacentres -- stretches over 60,000 kilometres long and was originally built using Coriant's hiT 7300 Packet Optical Transport Platform.

NBN regional rollout inquiry needs more time

The parliamentary joint standing committee into the NBN has also revealed that it needs more time to consider its inquiry on the rollout in regional and rural Australia after receiving multiple submissions -- including from state and territory governments and retail service providers -- and holding public hearings across the nation.

"While the committee intended to table a second report on the rollout of the NBN in regional and rural Australia in September 2018, it requires further time to deliberate on the report," the committee announced on Tuesday.

"The committee intends to table its second report on Monday 22 October 2018 and provides this progress report in the interim."

The joint standing committee had announced in February that after completing its initial report last year, it would be holding inquiries into NBN's business case as well as its rollout in regional and rural Australia.

The joint standing committee had in September recommended that NBN connect as many premises with its fibre-to-the-curb (FttC) and FttP networks as possible, with its final report making 23 recommendations in total.

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