NetComm Wireless demos 1Gbps FttDP G.fast DPU with BT Openreach

NetComm Wireless and BT's Openreach division have announced achieving speeds exceeding 1Gbps using an FttDP G.fast distribution point unit.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Australian telecommunications technology company NetComm Wireless has announced attaining 1.66Gbps aggregate speeds across a reverse-powered fibre-to-the-distribution-point (FttDP) G.fast distribution point unit (DPU) in partnership with BT Openreach.

Conducted in Ipswich in the United Kingdom, the DPU trial used 40 metres of copper lead-in cable as well as spectrum frequency of up to 212MHz.

The DPU, designed and built by NetComm Wireless, can be installed on either a telegraph pole or in a pit to provide aggregate gigabit speeds when within 150 metres of a premises, according to the company.

"NetComm Wireless began developing FttDP DPUs when it became clear that an alternative to fibre to the premises was needed," NetComm Wireless COO Timo Brouwer said.

At the end of last year, a report conducted by Ovum and commissioned by BT and Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) company said that G.fast could be used to enable more bandwidth over existing network assets in order to improve its capacity to compete with more costly fibre-to-the-premises (FttP) networks.

"Our aim is to make ultra-fast broadband available to 12 million homes and businesses in the UK by the end of 2020, and we're embracing a mix of technologies with G.fast and FttP to achieve that," Openreach CEO Clive Selley said last year.

"We have pioneered G.fast in our labs, driven the global standards, and have been working closely with our communications provider customers on the trials."

However, BT then said in May that Openreach would be consulting with industry and consumers on potentially rolling out a full-fibre broadband network following the UK government in November saying it would be encouraging the replacement of the predominantly fibre-to-the-node (FttN) network with FttP, announcing a £1 billion fund that it hopes will kickstart private investment.

"We aspire to be the UK's digital champion. To achieve this, we're ready to invest in the UK's digital infrastructure, in continued improvements in our customer service, and in new technologies to further enhance customer experience," BT CEO Gavin Patterson said in May.

"To that end, Openreach has today announced that it is consulting with customers and industry stakeholders on the business case that could support better rural broadband and a large-scale fibre-to-the-premises rollout across the UK."

The Openreach broadband network had passed 26.5 million premises as of the end of March, while its ultrafast network -- comprising FttP and G.fast connections -- had passed 500,000 premises.

NetComm Wireless in November also signed on to provide NBN's FttDP DPUs and related services.

Under the deal, NetComm Wireless will supply NBN with one-port and four-port DPUs to be installed in pits outside premises to connect the legacy copper with fibre within NBN's FttDP footprint of 1 million premises.

ZDNet revealed last year, however, that NBN will be launching its FttDP network not with new G.fast as per its trials, but instead with old VDSL technology.

NetComm Wireless is also working with NBN on its fixed-wireless network, most recently helping the broadband company attain gigabit speeds and developing a fixed-wireless network terminating device that allows a 100/40Mbps fixed-wireless product.

"The NBN contracts have been a real cornerstone of part of our growth over the last five years; it's been a great win for us to have," NetComm Wireless CTO Steve Collins told ZDNet.

"It enabled us to jump from Australia to other places in the world."

One such piece of overseas business saw NetComm Wireless last month announce that it will be partnering with United States carrier AT&T to improve fixed-wireless broadband across regional areas.

NetComm Wireless will supply AT&T with outdoor wireless antennas enabling connectivity speeds of at least 10Mbps to under-served premises across 18 states, having already deployed their first phase across Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

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