NBN Co to start fibre-to-the-basement field trials

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NBN Co to start fibre-to-the-basement field trials

Fresh from the lab to an MDU near you.

NBN Co will begin fibre-to-the-basement technology trials in a mix of multi-dwelling units and other complex premises types in the first quarter of next year.

The company will target a total of 10 MDUs that will include apartment blocks and shopping centres, although the exact scope and locations of trial sites are still being finalised.

Retail service providers will be asked to participate in the trials via the product development forum, which is open to all of NBN Co's customers.

The field trials come after a successful round of lab tests of various fibre-to-the-basement technologies and configurations, including on equipment by Alcatel-Lucent, though it is understood trial equipment from multiple vendors was used.

Comment is being sought from an NBN Co spokesperson.

An Alcatel-Lucent spokesperson told iTnews: "These are important steps to accelerate the process of review around the NBN and to increase flexibility in the deployment model.

"We're very pleased to support NBN Co as we do with our partners around the world to explore the most efficient models for delivering improved high speed broadband".

Alcatel-Lucent has also recently been involved in a separate set of fibre-to-the-node technology trials with Telstra.

The Australian reported that adoption of FTTB technologies by NBN Co could enable the network operator to work down a backlog of premises that have been passed but aren't physically connected to the NBN.

The existence of such premises — known as 'service class zero' — caused controversy when it emerged back in July that they could not order a retail broadband service, despite being counted as being "passed" by the NBN.

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