Source: nbn™'s fibre-to-the-kerb will be VDSL at 100/40Mbps

But Optus still gets its $800m payday, even though its network was too expensive to upgrade

The Register has learned that the fibre-to-the-distribution-point (FTTdp) technology to be used in Australia's national broadband network (NBN) will use VDSL and be capable of 100/40Mbps speeds.

Sources familiar with nbn™ design decisions tell The Register that nbn™, the company building and operating Australian's NBN, decided on VDSL as a replacement for the Optus hybrid fibre-coax network after realising FTTdp would be cheaper and faster to deploy. But not so fast that we'll see FTTdp launched before 2018.

We further understand that each distribution point will serve one to four premises and that the distribution points will be upgradeable should G.Fast or XG.Fast become viable.

Our source's account concurs with the version of events NBN™ imparted to us on its March charm offensive that we covered with a video that, at about the 3:15 mark shows the extensive wiring required to bring HFC to a multi-dwelling unit. And that work is on top of the effort needed to ready the Optus HFC network for use as a broadband medium, which as we explained yesterday is extensive because Optus did not build the network to carry data.

Our video also shows different models of distribution point provided by nbn™ with four and one connections respectively.

With the Optus network not proving fit for purpose, readers may therefore wonder why nbn™ paid AU$800m to acquire it. An nbn™ spokesperson explains “The $800 million is compensation for Optus' customers, as they leave their old network and join the nbn™ network. It has to be paid regardless of what technology we build and whether we use their infrastructure or not.”

The spokesperson told us nbn™ “went back in 2014 and agreed that we will still pay the compensation, but we got access to the infrastructure to upgrade it if we wanted to.” nbn™ therefore sees the access to possible upgrades as representing value beyond its original arrangement with Optus. ®

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