VDSL2 standards for NBN to clean up interference

Comms Alliance releases two draft standards for comment

With vectored VDSL2 broadband expected to play a key role in the Coalition’s multi-technology National Broadband Network, the Communications Alliance has updated two related industry standards.

The two draft standards will help equipment suppliers and retail service providers ensure broadband modems on copper lines are able to support high data rates and are also designed to filter out interference to existing services, the Comms Alliance said.

The first standard adds technical requirements for vectored VDSL2 into modems. The second extends DSL filters to cover the VDSL2 frequency band.

The standards were developed by a working committee with representatives from 17 organisations, including NBN Co, telecom carriers, carriage service providers, equipment suppliers and regulators.

NBN Co has purchased VDSL2 vectoring technology from Alcatel-Lucent.

Trials of vectored VDSL2 earlier this year delivered downstream speeds of 100 Mbps for many users, the Comms Alliance said.

A recent test by Bell Labs, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent, achieved broadband speeds of 10 Gbps over a distance of 30 metres, and 1 Gbps over 70 metres, though the vendor cautions speeds would be slower in real-world conditions.

“Vectored VDSL2 has been shown in Australia and elsewhere to be a valuable technology that can deliver near-fibre data rates using, in part, the copper ‘last mile’,” said Comms Alliance CEO John Stanton.

“But unless the technical parameters are set correctly, the speed increase available through vectoring will be largely lost, and VDSL2 can also seriously erode the quality of the legacy services located in its vicinity.”

That’s especially important during the 18-month transition period each area of the country will go through migrating to the NBN, Stanton said. During this time, new and legacy services will need to co-exist without interference to each other, he said.

“These draft Communications Alliance Standards are designed to thread a path through that technological maze, to the benefit of consumers, the NBN project and the service providers that offer services on the NBN.”

The Comms Alliance will take public comments on the draft standards until 25 November.

Adam Bender covers telco and enterprise tech issues for Computerworld and is the author of dystopian sci-fi novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia