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gfast map nov

Dark Green: Firm commitments from incumbent: BT (10M), Belgacom, Australian NBN, Swisscom,  Austria, Bezeq Israel, Chunghwa Taiwan, Telus Canada, Telekom South Africa, SK Korea, (U.S.) AT&T, Century, Frontier, Windstream, Belgium, Omantel

Mid Pink: Smaller carriers in Germany, Norway, Finland, Japan

Light Green: Incumbent likely:  France, Germany, Italy

wombat-from-wikipediaWould have been the third largest announced deployment of Australia's National Broadband Network has decided to use DSL to bypass some of the cable network they bought from Optus. They are calling this FTTdp, which everywhere else in the world means For unclear and probably political reasons, they are planning to use VDSL at much lower speeds. nbn has come way over budget, the cause of the problems. 

The remedial work on the cable was getting expensive. The first reports spoke of 700,000, but nbn was coy about the details. Petroc Wilson at CommsDay looked more closely; nbn is talking fast but not totally committing to it. The Register and I have since confirmed nbn may use slower technologies. The difference in cost between and VDSL should be modest, based on the bill of materials. 

Whether VDSL or, I'm very surprised nbn isn't choosing to use the coax in place they bought from Optus, even if they aren't going DOCSIS. Australian press reports and the opposition party have long said there were expensive problems with the Optus system, but that's more likely electronics rather than the coax itself. For, coax has twice the reach, better performance, and a robust margin for interference. 

"The results using coax were flawless,"

 Curtis Frankenfeld of Century told me of their live deployment over coax. Over phone wire, early deployments and trials worldwide have shown that 500-800 meg is normal for on short loops(< 100 meters or so.) Over phone wire, speed drops severely after ~300 meters. Over the thicker coax, distance for higher speeds doubles or triples. On coax, there's less noise and hence different customers can be provisioned different upstream/downstream ratios (DTA.) Jennie does video, so I need as much upstream as practical. If my neighbor hosts Virtual Reality game-playing, she might want mostly downstream. Sckipio and Adtran believe they are ready to do DTA over coax. The early results from coax suggest that nbn should look very hard at finding a way to use the thicker cable, doubling and quadrupling the speeds of many customers. The longer reach means more customers could be served. (I'm guessing here, without hard data on the network.) 

British Telecom has announced 10M lines, Chunghwa in Taiwan about 4M, and nbn's 700,000 would put them third if they used AT&T will almost certainly come in for a few million; they have been talking a great deal about, although there's no formal announcement. nbn has been looking hard at since early 2015. Their trials have shown can go to 800 megabits, but that's not guaranteed. BT is not building to the distribution point but using existing cabinets with longer loops. Many or most of BT's customers will get 200-300 megabits, rather than the 500 meg originally promised by the CEO.

Separately, Chunghwa has cut their capital spending literally in half and seems to have stopped building the promised - or anything else except a data center. They had originally promised fiber to almost everyone in the country but something is going very wrong there.

Wombats are less likely to chew up coax.

Here's the pr 

28 September 2016

nbn pushes fibre to the curb for up to 700,000 homes and businesses

nbn adds new tech to the mix, provides more detail on Corporate Plan deployment footprint.

nbn today confirmed its newest access technology, Fibre-to-the-Distribution-Point (FTTdp), also known as Fibre-to-the-curb, would be deployed to a potential footprint of up to 700,000 premises across the country.

The company stated FTTdp would be considered for deployment to select premises that had previously been ear-marked for either Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN) or Hybrid-Fibre Coaxial (HFC) in areas served solely by the Optus HFC network.

nbn Chief Network Engineering Officer, Peter Ryan, said: "We have tested FTTdp over the last year and we're confident we can now deploy the technology in areas where it makes better sense from a customer experience, deployment efficiency and cost perspective. This includes premises in the FTTN footprint that have too high a cost per premises (CPP) and premises served solely by the legacy Optus HFC footprint that are yet to be made ready for service.

"When we consider the advancements we've made in FTTdp, combined with the up-to-date learnings we have on the Optus HFC network, nbn has confirmed it will deploy FTTdp in those areas where the use of the Optus HFC network was planned, with the exception of the already launched network in Redcliffe, Queensland.

"The move to FTTdp was outlined in the 2017 Corporate Plan where we stated nbn's overall HFC footprint would be between 2.5 and 3.2 million by 2020, with more premises being served by FTTN, Fibre-to-the-Building and FTTdp. These ranges reflect nbn’s flexible and technology-agnostic approach.

“HFC remains a highly valued part of our MTM deployment, however in balancing the requirements to convert Optus’s current network architecture and design to be nbn-ready, and the opportunity to introduce FTTdp, makes the new technology compelling in these selected areas.”

Ryan added: "We have successfully launched nbn on HFC around the country and we are very encouraged by the performance we are seeing on the network.”

nbn's goal is to connect all Australians as quickly and cost effectively as possible, while ensuring upgrade options are available to meet future demand.

Key points Optus-nbn agreement

  • ·The original Optus agreement signed in June 2011 saw nbn agree to pay Optus for the progressive migration of subscribers to the nbn™ network and the eventual decommissioning of the Optus HFC network. 
  • ·The total value of the agreement was estimated to be approximately $800 million on a post-tax net present value (NPV) basis.
  • ·The revised agreement in December 2014 gave nbn the option to use and acquire parts of the Optus HFC network to deliver nbn™ services if we chose to do so.
  • ·This option was agreed at no additional overall cost to the taxpayer and the Optus HFC network remains the property of the SingTel Optus Group untilnbn™ exercises its option for the transfer of relevant parts of that HFC network.

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I’m still working through remarkable presentations from the Broadband Forum events. Michael Weissman, Bernd Hesse and team did a remarkable job choosing the speakers.

Deutsche Telecom: 35b Supervectoring Delayed to 2019
Broadcom is now over 3 years late. DT briefed German reporters after their financial call and revealed 35b was now delayed until 2019. 35b should deliver 200+ meg downloads 500-600 meters, a crucial tool for DT, which is losing share to cable. Cable now covers about 70% of Germany and is expanding. DT now only offers 50-100 megabit DSL while cable is often 400 megabits, going to a gigabit. 

The problem is software; the hardware is shipping and supposedly will work. DT says 35b is not ready to turn on. Broadcom in 2015 said 35b was in "production" in the press release below. Alcatel in early 2016 said to expect complete systems very soon. "35g is very similar to 17a so there should be little delay."

Broadcom's problems are leading major telcos and vendors to have a plan B, using Sckipio DT itself is planning extensive deployments in 2019, mostly in apartment buildings.

Gigabit 100 Meters - Unless the Wires are Lousy
Speeds are fine, "Unless there's a line problem." I've been reporting for three years that ~10% of lines have problems. In the chart by Rami Verbin of Sckipio, he finds goes ~130 meters on good lines. Poor lines have about half the reach. 

His chart roughly matches the reports from Swisscom, Belgacom, and England for both & vectored DSL. The 10% with problems can cause the majority of the line-related complaints to support. The angry customers drive up cost.

Rami's solution to reach the gigabit is bonding, supported on the Sckipio chips. Verbin made some additional points:

  • 4 gigabits is possible by bonding two decent 2 gigabit lines.
  • Even in a service from remote cabinets, ~25% are close enough to get a full gigabit."
  • cDTA and iDTA are practical ways to deliver much higher upstream by switching some bandwidth from downstream to upstream only when needed.
  • 35B will probably be similar but Deutsche Telecom doesn't expect to deploy until 2019.

AT&T Wants Coax 2-5 Gigabit Very Soon.
AT&T faces intense competition from cable, talking about 10 gigabits in both directions. (Cable will only be 1 gig down, ~100 meg up, until ~2021.) AT&T wants something to brag about as well.

AT&T gained millions of lines of coax as part of the DirecTV deal. Alcatel and Huawei are leading the development of G.mgfast. That uses 424 MHz, full duplex, to achieve ~2.5 gigabits in both directions. The reach on telco twisted pair is only about 30 meters. On coax, those speeds can probably extend far enough to service most apartment buildings. Using 848 MHz, speeds can reach 5 gigabits. The ITU standards group has been aiming for 2019-2020 for G.mgfast, too slow for AT&T's marketers. David Titus wants a high-speed standard for coax "early in 2018." He believes that is "doable."

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