Australia's NBN FTTB trials achieve 108 Mbps, but higher speeds planned

Australia's NBN Co. reported that in its initial trial of fiber to the basement (FTTB) in Melbourne, it was able to hit speeds of 108/48 Mbps, reports The Australian Financial Review.

During the FTTB trial, the service provider connected an apartment building to fiber while using the existing copper wiring to deliver broadband services to each resident.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, an advocate of a hybrid copper and fiber approach for the country's national broadband network, told The Australian Financial Review that these speeds are "blisteringly fast and at a fraction of the cost of taking the fiber into every apartment."

Today, the NBN offers 100 and 40 Mbps speeds and expects to introduce plans that will be 10 times faster this month.

Under the Australian government's revised National Broadband Network (NBN) plan, 12,000 large buildings across Australia would be connected with a FTTB network. In October, NBN said it would test the technology at 1,000 units in 2014.

Despite offering slower speeds than bringing fiber to every unit, advocates of the FTTB approach point out that it can be more easily installed in apartments because it requires fewer local government approvals and less time to connect customers.  

NBN Co. will face competition from TPG, which has begun its own FTTB initiative that it said will serve 500,000 businesses and apartments.

For more:
- The Australian Financial Review has this article

Related articles:
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NBN Co. names former Telstra boss Switkowski as chairman
Former Telstra boss in line to head NBN Co.
NBN would spur growth of HbbTV, save Seven West business, exec says
Australians relatively happy with telecom service

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