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NBN Co doubles transit network capacity

NBN Co doubles transit network capacity

New CloudWave Optics technology helps make capacity upgrade possible

The company building the national broadband network NBN Co has flicked the switch on a major upgrade to double bandwidth capacity along its 60,000km fibre optic backbone.

The upgrade will see NBN Co increase maximum capacity on its transit network from 9.6Tbps to 19.2Tbps per fibre link.

Fibre links between Eastern Creek and Asquith in Sydney, and the 3,600km route between Brisbane, Queensland and Darwin in the Northern Territory, will be the first part of the upgrade, as it eventually rolls out across the country.

The Darwin to Brisbane link is set to go live in December and will support capacity growth on NBN Co’s Sky Muster satellite network.

According to NBN Co, the capacity upgrade was possible due to the installation of new optical transmission technology - from network equipment maker Coriant’s CloudWave Optics.

The new technology can support per-wavelength transmission rates of 200Gbps on optical transport backbone networks, and can be upgraded to 400Gbps when required.

NBN Co will deploy the new technology at points-of-interconnect (POI) sites, large fibre access nodes and highly trafficked routes.

“This upgrade will ensure we can continue to deliver a reliable and high-quality broadband network for our wholesale customers even as high-bandwidth applications and the growth of internet usage continue to drive demand for network capacity,” NBN Co chief network deployment officer, Kathrine Dyer, said.

“We have a clear product roadmap to continually upgrade this network with extra capacity as demand grows. With the upgrade to CloudWave Optics technology, we will be able to further increase total capacity on our Transit network. Coriant is helping us achieve these upgrades as we scale this build and move towards our goal of connecting eight million homes and businesses by 2020."

In August, NBN Co released an update to its corporate plan, covering the period 2019 - 2022, projecting revenue of $3.9 billion in FY20, down $1 billion from its previous forecasts.

The corporate plan also revealed it expected peak funding for the new network to be $51 billion — within the range forecast in its previous plan but still $2 billion higher than expected.

It will seek the additional $2 billion from private sector debt.

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