G.fast is coming, so get ready, telcos tell ACCC

Definition matters

The Communications Alliance has told the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission it wants deployment rules to leave room for G.fast in the future.

In this submission (PDF) to the ACCC's Superfast Broadband Access Service (SBAS) declaration inquiry, the industry group notes that it's already working on VDSL2 deployment rules, but G.fast is going to matter one day.

At the moment, G.fast can't be deployed in Australia, because the rules governing the copper don't allow the use of spectrum above 2 MHz (the same issue gets in the way of VDSL2 – which is one reason why the NBN restricts fibre-to-the-node speeds).

“If a service description for an SBAS includes the use of spectrum above 2.2 MHz on the metallic twisted pair cable then it will effectively exclude existing broadband service provided via technology such as ADSL, ADSL2+ and SHDSL”, the submission notes.

It also says that in defining “superfast” services, the ACCC should avoid technology-specific descriptions. That means not only saying “metallic twisted pair” rather than calling it “copper”, because “services can also be provided over aluminium cable”.

The ACCC's service description for SBAS should define it as having “a normal download data rate at Layer 2 of at least 25 Megabits per second”, the submission says. ®

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