NEC marks progress on DSLAM rollout

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NEC marks progress on DSLAM rollout

Leverages Nextgen rollout.

NEC has rolled out 18 of a planned 62 DSLAMs in three states on the back of the Federal Government's $250 million Regional Broadband Blackspot Program.

The company said it expected to roll out the remaining 44 by the end of the year, bringing its national network of DSLAMs to 156 nationally.

The rollout, announced back in March, meant NEC was providing services for the first time to areas outside of major capital cities and large regional towns.

"There really wasn't a focus on how big the town was," Richard McCarthy, network technology manager for NEC Nextep, told iTnews. "If we had access to the town, we considered it."

The DSLAMs would serve NEC's approximately 100 customers, which included carriers and private networks run by large retailers and system integrators.

Nextgen had so far completed blackspot links at Geraldton in Western Australia, Victor Harbor in South Australia and Gippsland in Victoria, with further links at Broken Hill and Darwin expected to follow by September.

NEC's expansion followed similar attempts to leverage faster backhaul connections into regional towns, with iiNet planning further DSLAMs in and around Geraldton.

Internode had also planned to expand its network in its home state of South Australia, as one of the first customers at Victor Harbor.

Nextgen hoped to light up 100 Gbps technology over the backhaul links in coming months, though the technology was yesterday miscontrued by independent MP and NBN committee chairman Rob Oakeshott as a speed boost to NBN end-users.

NEC hoped to double the number of customers on its network through its DSLAM upgrade, which came in tandem with upgrades to the Nextep MPLS core network and national fibre backhaul links.

However, McCarthy was unable to pinpoint the return on investment expected from the DSLAM rollout, which would come in close quarters to the National Broadband Network rollout in some regional towns.

Larger carriers often pinpoint a return of 18 to 24 months for individual DSLAM equipment rollouts in metropolitan areas with significant up-take.

NEC had yet to spark discussions with NBN Co around potentially becoming a sub-wholesaler to the national network.

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