Only two million homes in Australia will be getting NBN connections with fibre-to-the-premises, according to the company. The Coalition government, elected in 2013, changed Labor's rollout plan from 93% FttP and the balance wireless or satellite, to one with a mix of technologies: FttP, FttN, FttDP, wireless, HFC and satellite.
"NG-PON2 is not only potentially great news for the two million homes that will be able to access services over FTTP on the NBN co network, it could also be great news for end users connected to services over our other technologies, particularly for Fibre-to-the-Building (FttB), and our upcoming connection technology Fibre-to-the-Curb (FttC), which we expect to launch next year.," Daniel, Willis, general manager for FttX technologies in NBN Co's technology office, wrote.
Trials of NG-PON were announced last month, along with Nokia.
According to NBN Co, there is not much work involved in making the existing FttP connections suitable to carry this enhanced signal.
"We would also not need to replace the residential gateway devices within an end user premises, which have a similar, but not identical function to a traditional router."
The company has not been willing to provide a break-up of exactly how many premises will be served by the technologies other than FttP; the FttP figure, too, was mentioned in this blog post.
In the post, Willis claimed that people did not need gigabit speeds at the moment. After asking why trials of NG-PON2 were being carried out now rather than have staff concentrate on the ongoing rollout, Willis said: "We need to be ready if applications emerge that actually do require Gigabit speeds – that is why we need to understand technologies like NG-PON2 as well as we can."
FttC is better known as fibre to the distribution point – in Australian terms, fibre up to the nature strip in front of one's home.
"Although FttC will initially launch with VDSL2 technology offering wholesale speeds up to 100/40Mbps to RSPs, we have the possibility in the future of delivering Gigabit capable G.fast over both FttC and FttB networks – not to mention XG.FAST, which in a demonstration by NBN Co in 2016 achieved peak trial speeds up to 8Gbps over short copper lines," Willis wrote.