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2009 News Releases




WIA Welcomes Fibre-to-the-Home Decision

Date : 07 / 04 / 2009
Author : Phil Wait - VK2DKN

The Australian Federal Government today announced its decision on Australias National Broadband Network. In a surprise move, instead of deploying a widely expected half-way-house fibre-to-the-node (FttN) solution from a consortium of companies, the Government is moving ahead with its own full-blown 100Mb/s fibre to the home rollout, (FttH). The reported A$43billion project will include a mix of government and private sector funding which may or may not include telecommunications companies.

Telecommunications analyst Paul Budde states:
"This is the most ambitious infrastructure ever undertaken in Australia and will be the most ambitious FttH network anywhere undertaken in the world. The Australian Government is one of the few governments who, in a holistic way, understand the importance of broadband across the various sectors. This network is not just for high-speed Internet and entertainment but, more importantly, for healthcare, education, smart grids, etc".

This is good news for Australian’s in general, and also for Australian radio amateurs. Australia’s largest telecommunications carrier, Telstra, was excluded from the original selection process on the grounds of submitting a non-compliant bid, however, as Telstra owns most of the copper cable in the ground, any fibre-to-the-node solution which did not include Telstra would have resulted in a variety of 'alternative' access technologies used to connect the ‘node’ to customers premises. Although there may be many steps along the way, the predominant access technology in Australian cities will now be fibre, and in less populated areas will likely be wireless.

This decision would appear to remove the possibility of widespread interference to radio communications from any network-wide adoption of BPL technology, but still leaves as a concern the possibility of interference from in-home use of BPL as an internal distribution technology.

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