Regional Australians to receive faster Nextep DSLAM network speeds

Enhancements to NEC’s wholesale Nextep regional digital subscriber line access multiplexer (DSLAM) and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) networks mean subscribers in 62 regional areas across Australia will gain access to theoretical speeds of up to 20 megabits per second on its assymetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) service.

NEC plans to add 62 new DSLAMs across five backbone lines in remote areas of NSW, Queensland, Victoria, SA, NET and WA. Three backbone lines are already in operation and the remainder are scheduled for completion by December 2011.

NEC Australia Nextep assistant general manager, Richard McCarthy, said the enhancements would also mean customers on its single pair high speed digital subscriber line (SHDSL) network will gain access to speeds ranging from one megabit up to 4 megabit.

“Those speeds are dependent on the area and the coverage of that area though,” he said. “We’re very confident about the [customer] uptake given that it is a brand new offering. I can’t comment on uptake numbers but we now have a network that can provide a lot of capacity in those communities and will complement the existing coverage that we have across 92 per cent of the population.”

The Nextep fibre network is part of a $250 million NBN Regional Backbone Blackspots Program (RBBP) to provide coverage for remote areas. NEC is using transmission services from Nextgen Networks and providing wholesale access into regional centres as part of the federal government’s program.

In addition to the faster broadband speeds, Nextep, through its 100 partners who onsell services, will offer customers high speed private networks, support for voice, data and video services and Cloud-based offerings such as data outsourcing via internet or private networks. As NEC wholesales the DSLAM services, it would not provide the names of existing customers.

McCarthy also moved to assure enterprise and SMB customers that its Cloud offerings had several security measures in place, including the use of data encryption, and outlined a “robust” process for service level agreements to its partners.

“Nextep has been in existence for 10 years and we see this part of the NEC business ramping up over time. I can’t outline what other [fibre] projects we have planned, though,” he said.

Turning to other parts of NEC’s core business, solutions management director, Chris Munro, said the vendor would continue to support its unified communications business for enterprise and government customer and would also focus on IT services development.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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