NBN: Queensland govt calls for more FTTC, FTTP and less FTTN

State government hints it may make some of its fibre network capacity available to non-NBN network operators

The Queensland government has called on NBN to increase its use of fibre to the premises (FTTP) and fibre to the curb (FTTC, also known as fibre to the distribution point or FTTdp) and decrease its use of fibre to the node (FTTN).

NBN recently announced that it would boost its use of FTTC, using the technology to hook up a number of households and businesses it had previously intended to connect with hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) or FTTN.

However, the company has rejected calls to ditch FTTN. FTTN has proved controversial because it relies on copper wiring for the final connection to a home or business. It also relies on the use of independently powered node; the greater the copper length used to connect a home to a node, the worse the potential bandwidth available to the end user. (FTTC also employs copper but the length is significantly shorter.)

The Queensland government said that increasing the use of FTTC and FTTP would “improve the resilience, performance and future growth capacity of the NBN”.

The comments were made in a submission to an inquiry into the rollout of the National Broadband Network in rural and regional areas. That inquiry is one of two currently being undertaken by parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network.

“The Queensland Government would welcome the opportunity to have greater input into and visibility of the NBN rollout schedule where the delivery of Queensland Government services is potentially impacted, particularly where critical public safety services are concerned e.g. hospital care, emergency calls and traffic control,” the submission states.

The state government also called on NBN to minimise the number of premises forced to rely on the Sky Muster satellite service.

The submission argues that NBN should consider making ongoing and additional cuts to the capacity charge (CVC) it levies on retail service providers (RSPs). NBN said yesterday that it was preparing to roll out a new pricing model from May that will bundle capacity and access charges. The company hopes to encourage RSPs to sell more high-speed plans while also avoiding any congestion related to under-provisioning of CVC by RSPs.

The Queensland government said it had seen “a significant increase in the deployment and adoption of non-NBN fixed wireless services across rural and regional Queensland.”

“In many cases, these operators have been able to gain significant presence in areas that are scheduled to receive NBN fixed line or fixed wireless services and are yet to receive them, or areas that will not be receiving either of these services and will become reliant on Sky Muster satellite services,” the submission states

“While the Queensland Government recognises nbn Co as the primary operator in delivering broadband digital connectivity, the Queensland Government is encouraged to see independent operators stepping forward to provide improved and alternative digital connectivity technology choices to rural and regional Queensland,” it adds.

“The Queensland Government has committed to undertake a due diligence assessment of the viability of providing access to spare capacity in the Queensland Government's optical fibre network to improve digital connectivity for Queenslanders.”

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Tags broadbandNetworkingnbn coTelecommunicationsqueenslandqueensland governmentNational Broadband Network (NBN)

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