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2015-10-23

nbn G.Fast trials

Technology update: nbn G.Fast trials hit 600Mbps

NBN has hit speeds of over 600Mbps over 100m of nearly 20-year old CAT-3 copper in its first field trials of start-of-the-art DSL technology G.Fast. 

G.Fast is a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) product capable of supporting very high speed broadband over relatively short copper loops. 

It is likely to be particularly suited to providing high speed connections in multi-unit dwellings (MDUs) when fibre has been provided up to the Main Distribution Frame (MDF) –typically located in the basement. 

But it could eventually be used more widely to supply Fibre to the Node/Curb services as technical problems are resolved. 

Industry newsletter Communications Day reports that the current nbn trial is taking place in a Victorian office block that already has a Fibre to the Basement (FTTB) connection and a number of VDSL services in place.  

Because G.Fast uses some of the same frequencies as VDSL, technologies (i.e. VDSL “masking”) that prevent interference between the two services have to be used and this limits G.Fast speeds. 

Without that masking the national network builder says that full speeds would have been just shy of 800Mbps.  

Of course these are still trials and nbn says it is unlikely that a commercial product will be available for a few years yet. In the UK, though, British Telecom says it will begin deploying G.Fast commercially during 2016-17, providing regulatory support for such investment continues. 

BT has been trialling the technology across some 2,000 premises since August this year and says it has been reaching speeds of between 300Mbps and 500 Mbps for its customers.

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