NBN Achieves Groundbreaking Speeds with 100G PON Technology

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Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) has marked a historic milestone by utilizing cutting-edge 100G PON technology to achieve speeds of 83 Gbps on its live full fibre access network. This breakthrough, claimed as a world first, signifies a significant leap in broadband capabilities for Australian consumers.

Partnering with Nokia, NBN has been deploying the Lightspan MF-14 optical light terminal (OLT) on its FTTP network since striking a deal with the Finnish technology giant in late 2022. Nokia’s solution boasts a remarkable four-fold increase in capacity compared to previous generations, supporting simultaneous XGSPON, 25GS, 50G, and 100G PON services.

Dion Ljubanovic, NBN’s chief networks officer, emphasized the growing demand for high-speed connectivity driven by emerging technologies like augmented reality and generative artificial intelligence. Forecasts indicate that the average Australian household is expected to download around one terabyte per month within the next decade, placing even greater demands on the network infrastructure.

NBN, in collaboration with researchers from Nokia Bell Labs, conducted groundbreaking demonstrations at one of its FTTP exchanges in Sydney. These demonstrations showcased the potential of combining various PON signals to achieve unprecedented speeds. In the latest demonstration, utilizing XGSPON, 25GS, and 100G PON technologies, NBN achieved downstream speeds of 135 Gbps, with the 100G signal reaching a record-breaking 83 Gbps.

This achievement represents a substantial advancement from NBN’s previous endeavors, underscoring the organization’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of network capabilities. Internal data from NBN indicates a doubling of data demand and usage over the past five years, with households now averaging 22 connected devices and consuming 443 gigabytes per month.

Looking ahead, NBN aims to further enhance network speeds and reliability to meet evolving consumer needs. Plans to increase maximum available speeds on FTTP and hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) networks have been announced, with a rollout expected to reach approximately 9 million premises by December.

Nokia, echoing the sentiment, highlights the broader potential for service providers to leverage advanced services beyond consumer broadband, including enterprise solutions, mobile backhaul, smart city initiatives, and industry 4.0 applications. The flexibility offered by PON technology empowers operators to tailor networks according to specific requirements and future service plans, ensuring scalability and efficiency.

The successful demonstration of 100G PON technology not only signifies a significant achievement for NBN and Nokia but also paves the way for a new era of high-speed connectivity in Australia.

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