Fibre to the Curb, also known as Fibre to the Distribution Point, is the next step for Multi Technology Mix NBN. It is expected to gain a large footprint in all copper laden premises by 2018. It is also being initiated for initial deployment in select Sydney and Melbourne areas via agreements with three delivery partners Downer EDI Limited, Fulton Hogan Construction, and Service Stream. The upcoming projects will use a standardised process to install the first wave of FTTC connections in line with the dynamic and upgradeable approach of NBN, and also stay within all advancements of future broadband technology.
FTTC is poised to become the main standard for the future of Multi Technology Mix NBN when the technology is finally fully implemented. The current deployment is already underway with all necessary elements. Here are five main reasons / facts / advantages that clearly make FTTC a main future fixture of the National Broadband Technology.
Makes use of existing facilities / Copper and Fibre fusion
Among the main reasons why the NBN Co. adapted copper and HFC (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial) networks is it already exists in many locations and premises. Rather than installing new connections, one can get a source fibre line and install it to the premises direct to the copper network, with little to no need for construction and installation of other elements. It solved a huge part of the demand for NBN, while making sure there would be no extra work, costs, effort, and changes made, also short cutting the timeframe for the whole process.
It has also initiated the whole copper and fibre hybrid connection, with no need to disengage the copper elements and the need for installing new technology, and / or the need to construct and install fibre connection facilities in order to get the fibre to the premises.
Time and Cost Cutting efficiency
The key to the set-up of an FTTC connection is the use of short and close distance connections. The copper loops are short, while the fibre source line is brought direct to the curb, as close as possible to the premises. We connect as close and easy as possible to the existing copper connection via the DPU. This eliminates extra work, complications, the extra costs, and long timeframes involved when installing the components of a regular old FTTN connection, and other Multi Technology Mix NBN facilities.
We get at least three main advantages to this compared to older Multi Tech Mix: cutting costs, short cutting timeframes, and not needing a power source for the connection. The trick is the use of reverse power feed from the premises, instead of a new connection to supply power from elsewhere (separate power connection from a power grid, or from the telco or Retailer ISP). This also adds to the cost and time cutting advantages yet again, proving to be a more feasible sub format.
It uses XG.Fast technology
One of the reasons why the previous discussion on power source is made possible is because it uses this technology: XG.Fast. Last year, initial trials for its suitability for FTTC’s short copper loop technology yielded up to 8Gbps in downstream rates. This is a good sign that it is going the right direction by becoming at par with regular pure Fibre NBN.
XG.Fast developed from early G.Fast technology, which was developed from VDSL, which makes sense when we think of its connection to copper technology. It is a method to cancel interference and further optimise downstream and upstream rates using the same existing copper technology. The result is a far better method of delivery that cancels out all interruptions. While implementing FTTC’s short copper loop is already an advancement, the technology of XG.Fast makes it and completes it, enabling faster speeds and performance: two main concerns for Multi Technology Mix before.
Better than older Multi Technology Mix NBN
The two previous discussions clearly state the obvious: FTTC will be a better format to the main FTTN / FTTx Multi Technology Mix NBN. It is after all the next evolutionary step, with added features. Where there are additional costs, timeframes, and challenges to face with the older previous versions, FTTC eliminates them and offers a much superior format using the latest technology for copper and copper optimisation.
Although FTTC is going to be new installs in the initial wave, we don’t have word yet if older Multi Technology Mix NBN can be upgraded to it. For one, the method is different, even if it uses the same existing copper connections at the premises. Some of these do not have the same connection point or bridge, and two it remains to be seen if NBN Co. is aiming to upgrade and / or replace older FTTN / FTTx connections to FTTC. But with the coming years of its development, it might be an option available soon.
At par with pure fibre NBN
One of the main reasons why many subscribers and other people were critical of FTTN and other non-pure fibre fixed line Multi Technology Mix NBN connections was the limitation of the copper networks themselves and the technology. Fibre is resilient against all the common natural factors, and performs better in speed and reliability.
FTTC performs at a level the same, and possibly a little better than pure fibre. Although physically it isn’t comparable to pure fibre, these factors can be alleviated. More importantly, the speed and performance are the key factors that are easily matched. Before, the negative implication of having a part copper NBN connection had many concerns. In the future, it won’t be problem anymore as FTTC becomes an equal format that delivers the same level of quality, performance, and speed as any other NBN formats.