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NBN Australia testing 100 Gbps FTTH technology on active network

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In Short:

Australia’s NBN Co, working with Nokia, has achieved record-breaking download speeds of 83 Gbps on their full-fibre network. This milestone marks the first time such high-speed technology has been tested in a real-world setting. The demonstrations showcased the network’s ability to support multiple next-gen technologies, paving the way for faster and more efficient broadband services. This breakthrough has the potential to revolutionize Australia’s internet infrastructure.


NBN Australia Trials 100 Gbps FTTH Technology on Live Network
Australian government-owned wholesale network NBN Co has achieved wholesale download speeds of 83 Gbps on the live NBN full-fibre (FTTH) access network using Nokia’s prototype 100 Gbps technology. NBN said this is the first time the prototype technology has been employed in the ‘real world’ outside of a lab setting.

Gigabit Fiber Milestone

NBN, for the first time, combined signals of 10 Gbps, 25 Gbps, 50 Gbps, and 100 Gbps on a single NBN fibre running between the operator’s exchange building and an empty FTTH-connected home. The companies claimed it was the first time this type of test – which used Nokia’s Lightspan platform – has been run outside of a lab setting.

The demonstrations showed that the fibre deployed on the NBN network has the capability to support the coexistence of multiple next-generation broadband technologies, including XGSPON, 25GS PON, 50G PON, and 100G PON.

Multi-Gigabit Possibilities

Two demonstrations were run on a single NBN fibre: The first demonstration included, XGSPON, 25GS PON, and 50G PON signals combined to achieve an aggregate Layer 1 PON speed of 85 Gbps (downstream), or Layer 2 download speeds of 71 Gbps (8 Gbps, 21 Gbps, and 42 Gbps, respectively) after accounting for protocol overheads.

In another demonstration, XGSPON, 25GS PON, and 100 gigabit signals combined to achieve an aggregate Layer 1 PON speed of 135 Gbps (downstream), or Layer 2 download speeds of 112 Gbps (8 Gbps, 21 Gbps, and 83 Gbps, respectively) after accounting for protocol overheads.

These technologies have the potential to both increase broadband speeds and capacity across the NBN FTTP network and can offer a range of benefits, NBN said. The demonstration was held at an FTTP exchange station in Sydney and involved researchers and representatives from Nokia’s Bell Labs, University of Technology Sydney, and the Technology Council of Australia.

The demonstration also showed that the NBN FTTP network can support the coexistence of multiple Passive Optical Network (PON) technologies on the same fibre, offering a potential future where newer technologies can work simultaneously with current-day FTTP technologies and services. This could support the evolution to multi-gigabit technologies without any need to change NBN’s existing laid cable, the company said.

NBN said: “This is an incredible result and demonstrates the fibre we continue to upgrade the network with today is only limited by the capabilities of the equipment that will connect to it into the future.”

NBN and Nokia previously achieved symmetrical speeds of 21 Gbps in live field demonstrations in October 2023, as reported by TelecomTalk.


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