In 2016, G.fast looked very promising.
Thousands worked at developing and deploying.
It wasn't enough.
Most carriers are investing
in fiber or 5G instead.
Dark Blue: 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 Blue: Smaller carriers in Germany, Norway, Finland, Japan
- Published: 28 September 2016 28 September 2016
Would have been the third largest announced deployment of G.fast. 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 G.fast. 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 G.fast, 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 G.fast and VDSL should be modest, based on the bill of materials.
Whether VDSL or G.fast, 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 G.fast, 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 G.fast live deployment over coax. Over phone wire, early deployments and trials worldwide have shown that 500-800 meg is normal for G.fast 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 G.fast. AT&T will almost certainly come in for a few million; they have been talking a great deal about G.fast, although there's no formal announcement. nbn has been looking hard at G.fast since early 2015. Their trials have shown G.fast 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 G.fast 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 G.fast - 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
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-
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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