NBN Co deploys ADTRAN second-gen Gfast DPUs in fiber-to-the-curb architecture

NBN Co, the company responsible for constructing Australia’s open access National Broadband Network (nbn), has launched deployment of in-ground second generation Gfast distribution point units (DPUs) from ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN). The company asserts it is the first to deploy Gfast DPUs buried underground in a fiber to the curb (FTTC) architecture.

NBN Co, the company responsible for constructing Australia’s open access National Broadband Network (nbn), has launched deployment of in-ground second generation Gfast distribution point units (DPUs) from ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN). The company asserts it is the first to deploy Gfast DPUs buried underground in a fiber to the curb (FTTC) architecture.

Second-generation DPUs are based on Amendment 3 of the ITU-T’s Gfast recommendations. The DPUs, which ADTRAN unveiled last month, therefore are equipped to support gigabit service delivery (see “ADTRAN launches second-generation Gfast DPUs”) and take advantage of reverse powering, in which the customers supply the DPUs power once it is connected to the premises. In a blog on the network operator’s website, NBN Chief Network Engineering Officer Peter Ryan writes that these “trial DPUs” initially will operate in VDSL2 mode and support the same 50- and 100-Mbps services as the network’s fiber-to-the -node (FTTN) equipment. However, with a typical distance of 40 m between the DPU and the premises it serves, the FTTC infrastructure would be capable of delivering gigabit broadband. Ryan writes NBN Co doesn’t currently see demand for speeds greater than 100 Mbps and will rely on the service providers who use the infrastructure to signal when a move to Gfast mode becomes necessary.

Kurt Raaflaub, head of strategic solutions marketing at ADTRAN, says the company has shipped “hundreds of thousands” of its four-port DPUs to NBN Co. The network operator has installed the first G.fast DPUs in Rockdale, a Sydney suburb. Raaflaub estimates that NBN Co eventually could serve well over a million customers via its Gfast FTTC footprint. ADTRAN had revealed last year NBN Co's intention to deploy the system house's Gfast technology (see "nbn to deploy ADTRAN Gfast technology on Australia's national broadband network").

The nbn, after initially being envisioned as an all-fiber network, has evolved into a mixed media infrastructure (see "Australian PM: We'll do broadband build ourselves" and "NBN Co revises Australian national broadband deployment plans"). NBN Co expects to complete its roll out by June 2020.

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