Nbn Eyes DOCSIS 3.1 Launch

Nbn Co., a government-owned unit that is using various technologies to deliver next-gen broadband services to millions of locations in Australia, plans to launch DOCSIS 3.1-based services in the second half of 2017.

The timing of that plan was revealed in a report from Ovum – HFC: Delivering Gigabit Broadand – that was commissioned by nbn that provides an overview of the evolution of hybrid fiber/coax technologies.

DOCSIS 3.1 sets the stage for multi-gigabit broadband, and is designed to support capacities of 10 Gbps down by at least 1 Gbps upstream. A “full-duplex” initiative underway at CableLabs will enable symmetrical speeds via D3.1. Nokia demonstrated a prototype of that approach, called XG-CABLE, in May at the INTX show in Boston.

“At nbn we are planning to launch our DOCSIS 3.1 services in the second half of next year and we have a keen eye on other new emerging technologies such as Full Duplex DOCSIS because of the extraordinary potential that it offers,”  Dennis Steiger, CTO of nbn, said in a statement.

Following earlier trials involving Arris-made DOCSIS modems and network gear, Nbn  Australia launched commercial HFC service in late June, and currently offers up to 100 Mbps down by 40 Mbps up. The plan calls for nbn’s HFC platform to deliver broadband to more than 3 million premises, with 900,000 premises slated to be connected by June 2017.

More broadly, nbn’s plan is to deliver broadband to 12 million premises in Australia via FTTP, FTTN, HFC, fixed wireless and satellite by 2020.

Per Ovum’s report, HFC/cable will hold a 19% of the global broadband market between 2015 and 2020, with global HFC subs rising from 152 million in 2015, to 187 million in 2020. HFC will remain the dominant platform for U.S. broadband, with subs jumping from 59 million to 66 million in that same timeframe, the forecast said.