NBN joins cable broadband R&D group

NBN announced this morning that it had been accepted as a member of CableLabs, an international RD and standards body focused on cable networks.

CableLabs is a non-profit organisation that counts close to 60 companies as members; NBN is the first Oceania-based company to join the organisation.

According to CableLabs, it restricts membership to operators of cable networks, excluding operators of non-cable network platforms, manufacturers and content providers.

NBN is eligible for membership courtesy of the hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) assets it is taking ownership of through deals with Telstra and Optus.

HFC is one of the major fixed-line technologies being employed in the rollout of the National Broadband Network, though NBN in September last year announced that it would scale down its plans for cable.

NBN revealed it had decided to almost completely ditch its use of Optus’ HFC network — instead expanding its fibre to the curb (FTTC) rollout (earlier this month NBN said it had increased, again, the number of premises it planned to connect with FTTC).

“NBN is delighted and honoured to have been accepted as a member of CableLabs. This is a great reflection of the work the team is doing to deliver a world class HFC network here in Australia,” NBN’s chief technology officer, Dennis Steiger, said in a statement.

“Our story here at NBN is unique globally and we are really excited about working alongside CableLabs to deliver the best HFC product in the market,” the CTO said.

NBN has previously outlined its plans to use some of the standards developed by CableLabs to boost the speeds that can be delivered to HFC end users.

Early last year Steiger described as a game-changer an announcement from CableLabs that it had proved the viability of full duplex communication over HFC using the DOCSIS 3.1 standard.

NBN has for several years indicated it planned to deploy DOCSIS 3.1, which could potentially deliver 1000/100 megabit per second speeds across HFC. A DOCSIS 3.1 Full Duplex network could potentially deliver 10/10 gigabit per second connections, CableLabs said in its 2016 announcement.

“CableLabs has been driving some amazing innovations in our industry with things like DOCSIS 3.1 and Full Duplex DOCSIS and we really look forward to being part of this organisation in the coming years,” Steiger said.

“We are very pleased to welcome Australia’s National Broadband Network to CableLabs as our 56th member and our first in Australia,” CableLabs president and CEO Phil McKinney said.

“As the research and development lab for the global cable industry, we are looking forward to supporting NBN’s deployment of DOCSIS 3.1 in its integrated optical fibre and coaxial cable network.

“NBN’s deployment, alongside our other members, will deliver new customer experiences that are faster and more efficient.”


Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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