Telstra, Alcatel-Lucent demonstrate 100 Mbps over existing copper

Telstra, Australia's incumbent telco, said it was able to transmit up to 100 Mbps of bandwidth over existing copper networks leveraging Alcatel-Lucent's (NYSE: ALU) VDSL2 and vectoring technology.

The trials, which began in September, come as the country's coalition government looks at using fiber to the node (FTTN) hybrid fiber/copper network as part of its National Broadband Network (NBN) plan. Initially, the NBN was using a fiber to the home (FTTH) architecture.

As reported in The Australian, the Labor Party's $37.3 billion proposal, which would deliver up to 1 Gbps to each premise, was scheduled to be completed in the middle of 2012. However, the coalition said it would only be able to deliver up to 25 Mbps over a FTTN-based architecture by 2019.

In addition to demonstrating higher speeds over copper, Alcatel-Lucent is also participating with the NBN Co. to test fiber to the basement (FTTB) technology for multi-dwelling units (MDUs). With a FTTB architecture, a service provider would bring fiber into a building and leverage the existing copper infrastructure to deliver services to each end customer.

Sean O'Halloran, president of Alcatel-Lucent Australia, told the The Australian that the new approach to building out the NBN is it gives them various options to deliver higher speed services.

"They were kind of restricted in looking at some of the efficiencies that they could have got in connecting premises," he said. "What I like about the approach with the coalition is they're adding another access technology, which gives NBN Co. a lot more flexibility."

As the new government looks at different alternative technologies for the NBN, they have also employed Deloitte, Korda Mentha and Boston Consulting Group to conduct a 60-day audit of NBN Co's operations. They plan to issue a report of the audit's findings in December.

For more:
- The Australian has this article

Related articles:
NBN Co. continues to miss broadband rollout targets
NBN Co. names former Telstra boss Switkowski as chairman
Telstra to lay off 1,100 employees, more cuts to come
NBN Co. board members resign amid cost overruns, delays

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