NBN Co reveals start date of FTTN trial

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NBN Co reveals start date of FTTN trial

Releases new product roadmap.

NBN Co will start its trial of fibre-to-the-node technology from May 1, as it consults with industry on its proposed mix of fibre-to-the-node and hybrid-fibre coaxial technology.

In an updated product roadmap released this week, NBN Co outlined updated details and timelines for its NBN rollout from April 2014 until 2016, offering specific dates for the first time.

The document reveals NBN Co will probe the industry for advice on its proposed fibre-to-the-node technology approach for the remainder of this month, release a consultation paper on its long-term satellite strategy in May, and release a paper seeking input on the development of HFC as an NBN technology in June.

NBN Co will continue to trial FTTN and fibre to the basement (FTTB) technology in the meantime.

The document revealed NBN Co will begin its promised FTTN trial between May 1 and October 31, 2014.

The pilot includes the deployment of digital subscriber line access multiplexers (DSLAMs) in around 20 nodes, connecting a total of 400 premises.

The company has previously signalled the trial is likely to require the assistance of Telstra. The two organisations are still in discussion over leased access to the telco’s copper network to trial FTTN in several areas of NSW and Victoria.

NBN Co today told iTnews there was no update on these negotiations.

Any contract would fall outside the existing $11 billion definitive agreements between Telstra and NBN Co, and NBN Co is expected to rent rather than buy access to the copper - the network builder has previously said it did not expect the arrangement to result in a “value transfer”. 

Additionally, NBN Co will continue its trial of fibre-to-the-building technology, which commenced at the start of the year, until the end of this month.

It plans to deploy DSLAMs in around 10 multi-dwelling units which contain an average of between 80-100 commercial and residential premises, it revealed in the roadmap.

NBN Co previously announced it had partnered with iiNet, Telstra, Optus and M2 for the project, which covers several suburbs in Melbourne. The trial has produced download speeds of 108Mbps and upload speeds of 48Mbps.

NBN Co is also planning to migrate services from the interim satellite services - which Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull today announced would receive a $34 million funding injection - to the NBN Co-owned long term satellite service starting from July 2015. 

The LTSS will provide wholesale speeds up to to 12/1 Mbps and 25/5 Mbps, compared to the 6/1Mbps wholesale service currently offered on the ISS.

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