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Australia’s NBN begins enabling DOCSIS 3.1 with Arris

Australian national broadband network provider NBN has started enabling DOCSIS 3.1 on its hybrid fibre coax network.

NBN said the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1 would double the downstream capacity on the HFC network, which will serve around three million premises across the country by 2020.

The company said that adding to capacity through the user of higher range spectrum enabled by the technology would benefit NBN, because about 75% of new end-user premises coming onto the NBN network are taking either 50Mbps or 100Mbps services, with nearly 50% of its 4.1 million activated premises now on 50Mbps or above.

NBN is planning to deploy DOCSIS 3.1 technology across the vast majority of its HFC broadband access network by 2020 in both the downstream and upstream, with a target of connecting three million premises by that date.

Dan Whalen

It said that as DOCSIS 3.1 is brought onto the network on an area-by-area basis most end-users should have immediate access to the technology as existing Network Termination Devices (NTD) inside subscribers’ homes will be already fitted with DOCSIS 3.1-capable technology.

NBN has teamed up with technology provider Arris for the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1. Arris said that its technology would double the network’s capacity today while enabling multi-gigabit, Full Duplex DOCSIS and advanced network innovation for future decades.

“NBN Co has worked hard on the introduction of DOCSIS 3.1 onto the HFC network and we are very proud to be able to launch the technology onto the network. This is another example of NBN Co using cutting edge technology to help deliver a better experience for Australians on the nbn broadband access network,” said Ray Owen, chief technology officer of NBN.

“Although DOCSIS 3.1 does enable higher speeds on HFC networks that is not our core focus at this present time. From an NBN Co point of view DOCSIS 3.1 will help us increase capacity on the HFC network far more efficiently than conducting new optical node splits which will, in turn, free up construction resources elsewhere to complete the network build by 2020. In addition, we also look forward to the benefits that DOCSIS 3.1 will help bring on the operational side of the network in delivering a more stable and resilient network for end-users.”

Dan Whalen, president, network and cloud, Arris, said: “We’ve partnered closely with NBN Co to reach its goal of achieving universal connectivity through a scalable network architecture. The launch of its DOCSIS 3.1 initiative is an important milestone that will benefit all end-users on the nbn network. Our collaboration continues to demonstrate that HFC has a strong future. The DOCSIS 3.1 upgrade underscores the network’s extensibility in meeting today’s demand for additional capacity and new services. We will work with NBN Co to leverage this advanced network infrastructure to enable Australia’s digital future.”