NBN Co has decided to scrap its plans to use the majority of its Optus’ hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) network, opting instead to use fibre-to-the-distribution point (FTTdp) technology for around 700,000 homes and businesses across the country.
The network builder said bringing the Optus HFC network up to the standard required for the NBN would be too expensive and take too long.
Under the latest plan, the company will keep 25,000 Optus HFC premises in Redcliffe in Queensland, given it had already launched in that area.The original deal, however, struck with Optus back in 2011, was to upgrade around 450,000 premises within the Optus HFC network.
“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,” according to NBN Co chief network engineering officer, Peter Ryan.
“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.”
Ryan said HFC remains a highly valued part of the 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.”
FTTdp, also called fibre to curb, involves rolling out optical fibre significantly closer to end users’ premises than the fibre to the node (FTTN) technology used elsewhere in the network, but like FTTN employs copper phonelines for the final connection to a home or business.