It's been an interesting week with the NBN. From the PM giving them a pummelling, to demonstrating a fast FttC connection, the infrastructure company has managed to grab a few headlines. And today, they're announcing a new service that's dubbed g.fast that promises gigabit speeds over copper.
The company says they'll be able to blast past the current 100Mbps levels delivered by VDSL by using higher frequencies of either 106MHz or 212MHz – compared to just 17MHz on VDSL. The tech is already being used in other parts of the world so, by the time NBNCo start rolling it out and RSPs offer it as a service, it should be well tested in other locales.
NBNCo first tested the tech a couple of years ago over a 100 year old stretch of copper and achieved 600Mbps which is nothing to be sneezed at.
G.fast technology will be supplied by the company's three existing fixed-broadband suppliers Nokia, ADTRAN and Netcomm Wireless.
Although those speeds sound like overkill for many users, anyone running a business from home or a small office will hungrily gobble up those bits. But I'm still left scratching my head. NBNCo has made a big deal about the download speeds but has made no mention of upload speed.
While the new FttC service that was demonstrated this week delivered 100Mbps of download, it offered 40Mbps upload. Plenty of people I know, particularly in creative businesses where shifting large files is critical, need upload speeds to be bolstered.
Hopefully, someone at NBNCo or in RSP-land hears this and starts offering symmetrical services.