How did we end up with Conroy and Rudd picking the best telecoms technologies of the future? They made a pretty big bet, using your money, that fibre to the home was it and a bit. No other technology matched it and it was essential we get it lest we get "left behind".
Apparently some in the telecoms research and development caper didn't get the message to stop further developments. They continued to research and develop other stuff, like making copper wires carry much, much more data at much faster speeds.
It's a pretty compelling (and predictable) economic case when you look at how much copper wire is already in the ground. The owners of those copper cables have a big interest in funding R&D to make the copper work better. And they have. This report slipped through the censors at the Sydney Morning Herald.
Broadband vectoring is real and it works: Alcatel chief
Amsterdam: Described as “pixie dust” by former communications minister Stephen Conroy, vectoring, a technology that helps make copper broadband networks faster, has been defended by the managing director of telco equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent in Australia.
Vectoring is a variation of VDSL2, currently the most advanced technology for delivering broadband services over the telephone network. It is said to turbocharge broadband on copper networks to enable download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) using noise-cancelling technology to minimise interference from wires running in a bundle. Add in G.fast technology, likely to be available in a number of years, and copper could reach download speeds of up to 1.3 gigabits per second at distances of around 70 metres.
If fibre-to-the-node was deployed at distances of 70 metres with VDSL2 vectoring and G.fast, similar download speeds as promised under Labor’s NBN could be achieved, said Alcatel-Lucent’s Australian managing director Seán O'Halloran.
Already, the Coalition has indicated it is likely to use vectoring to complement its fibre-to-the-node network. Alcatel-Lucent is keen to provide such services to the NBN rollout.
“It’s not fairy pixie dust. It works. There’s a secret to it. It does work - absolutely it works," Mr O'Halloran said suggesting Senator Conroy made that statement in the early days of the NBN planning, when vectoring hadn't yet been proven viable.
“And there was a trend if you go back three-four years ago, a lot of operators [were] looking at pushing fibre out as far as they could.”
That had since changed, he said, with a number of telcos using a mixed bag of technology and moving away from a majority fibre-to-the-premises rollouts.
“The world has changed, especially here in Europe,” Mr O'Halloran told IT Pro last week.
“There’s been some financial imperatives and some great research and development in that access technology. So it’s changed.”