NBN Co to bring skinny fibre to new estates in 2017

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NBN Co to bring skinny fibre to new estates in 2017
Fewer pits, thinner cables coming to new estates.

Readies greenfields for MTM.

NBN Co has revealed plans to begin deploying “skinny fibre” in new housing estates from April next year.

The company today said it expected to be in a position to deploy the thinner fibre cables “in April-May 2017”.

The cable technology – trials of which were revealed in leaks of NBN documents earlier this year – is expected to be “less expensive to deploy” for both NBN Co and housing estate developers.

Developers will need to build less pits and will no longer need to reserve public space to host NBN Co's fibre distribution hub street cabinets.

NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow said back in March that skinny fibre was well-suited to greenfields or fibre to the distribution point (FTTdp) applications.

However, the network builder hasn’t previously revealed when it might begin offering skinny fibre in new estates. The company expects to begin FTTdp deployments next year, assuming it can iron out last minute hurdles.

Housing developers aren’t guaranteed that their estates will be cabled with skinny fibre, or indeed, with fibre-to-the-premises.

NBN Co said today said it was now ready to deploy its “multi-technology mix” (MTM) in new housing estates.

The move was flagged in the government’s telecommunications infrastructure in new developments (TIND) policy last year, and construction contracts agreed in June 2015 were required to enable the policy change.

It appears NBN Co is now ready to begin offering a mix of FTTP, FTTB and FTTN in new estates.

“NBN will assess the most cost effective technology in areas where the network has capacity,” the company said.

“In most circumstances, NBN FTTP is expected to be the preferred technology, however in some developments with small numbers of premises in brownfield areas it may be quicker and more cost effective to utilise the existing network – such as NBN FTTN.”

Developers must now first apply to NBN Co to have their estates cabled in order to find out what technology they are to be allocated.

“How you prepare your property will vary depending on your technology type,” NBN Co said.

“Once you have applied, NBN will advise via your developer agreement the technology selected to most appropriately serve your development.”

NBN Co today released updated technical guidance for housing developers concerning street and in-building infrastructure required to be ready to accept MTM access technologies.

NBN Co and Telstra split responsibility for bringing telecommunications infrastructure to new estates.

It has previously been revealed that Telstra has been cabling some new estates with copper, putting the developments on a path to FTTN.

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