NBN Co has launched its fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) access technology, with a limited release for a number of homes and businesses in Melbourne and Sydney.
Some 1000 homes and businesses in the suburbs of Coburg in Melbourne and Miranda in Sydney will receive the new technology, with the aim of “optimising the customer experience” before releasing a larger footprint in the second half of this year.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates that NBN Co is an adopter of new and innovative technologies to provide Australians with access to fast broadband,” NBN Co chief customer officer for residential Brad Whitcomb said.
“Over the past few months, we have been working closely with service providers to test our systems and processes, the performance of the NBN FTTC access technology, as well as the new self-installation experience.”
He added that the NBN will continue to gain insights as it navigates the complexity of the build and any potential issues which may arise when connecting to the network.
Whitcomb also said the decision to go with a limited volume release meant a small number of homes and businesses will now have a new date to connect to an NBN service
“We are committed to working with internet providers to optimise the customer experience of people who connect to the network using NBN services over the FTTC network before we make services available to a larger footprint.”
The Australian Labor Party criticised the move as too little, too late.
Michelle Rowland, shadow minister for Communications, said: “After five years, and on the eve of its 30th Newspoll, the Turnbull government remarkably wants to give itself a pat on the back for deploying some fibre.
“Labor welcomes the development of more fibre, but this is little consolation for the 4 million premises locked into Malcolm Turnbull’s second-rate copper.”
Networking provider NetComm Wireless will supply hardware for the FTTC project, providing network access devices to business and residential customers.
It will supply reverse-powered distribution point units (DPU) and network connection device (NCD) technologies, which allow for bypassing “costly and disruptive” civil works on private property.
“We are honoured to be NBN’s supplier on this important world first project. It is the product of Australian innovation and ingenuity and the benefits to Australian households and businesses will be profound,” NetComm managing director Ken Sheridan said.
“Having met NBN’s exacting technical and quality standards, our solution is receiving significant interest from leading telcos in global markets and leading to export sales.”