08 May More Lessons from Australia – FTTH is Simply Too Costly to Deploy
Our most recent blog, Lessons from Oceania: G.Fast is Worth a Look, examined how both the Australian and New Zealand governments are taking a serious look at G.fast as an affordable alternative to FTTH technology. As Australia’s National Broadband Company (NBN Co), a national, open access network, struggles with the government’s mandate to supply 93 percent of Australian home with high-speed broadband service by 2021, it seems they have even bigger financial concerns.
Providing adequate high-speed broadband service is clearly more expensive than the NBN Co thought. The Rust Report, an independent Australian technology news source, penned that the NBN Co reported losses of nearly $500 million in its first-half financial year 2015 results. The chief culprit contributing to the $500 million loss according the The Rust Report: NBNCo losses reach $497 million, is NBN Co.’s investment in FTTH technology.
Part of NBN’s losses are attributable to “brownfields” (established neighborhoods with copper connections). According to NBN Co’s results, the typical unit cost in a “brownfield” is $4,316, rather than the previous estimate of about $2,400. The NBN builder notes that it intends to reduce the cost of the network by using alternative technologies such as fiber-to-the-node and HFC cable to connect a greater number of premises.
G.fast is another technology primed to reduce “brownfield” installation costs. G.fast utilizes the twisted copper pairs found in existing phone lines and can deliver speeds up to 1 Gbps; it can be deployed in half the time it takes to lay fiber. Moreover, it’s less costly and less disruptive than laying fiber as it does not require egress into the user’s home. G.fast is rapidly nearing commercial deployment and global telcos are taking notice. Recently, British Telecom announced its third G.fast trial in Swansea, England. Over the next few months, more telcos will take a hard look at G.fast as a means for bringing ultra-high-speed bandwidth to the masses quickly and affordably.
In Australia, there’s hope for NBN Co. Sckipio Technologies will be announcing a partnership that enhances the ability to maximize G.fast solutions for brownfield solutions. Stay tuned for our next news release on brownfield deployments and will help lower the costs for coveted high-speed broadband in Australia and countries around the globe.