'Two fibres per home' plan unveiled

Crown Fibre Holdings CTO reveals plan at recent event

Two fibres will run into every home under the ultrafast broadband deployment plan, John Greenhough, chief technical officer of Crown Fibre Holdings (CFH), told an audience at the recent Huawei Broadband Summit in Auckland.

There are likely to be more than two fibres into each business and school, a statement from CFH adds.

“Two fibres will be available from the premise to the first concentration point (typically a splitter in a point-to-multipoint network),” says a CFH spokesman.

“This is to provision for future capability and to allow for future unbundling of the network.” This last phrase, he adds, refers to open access on point-to-multipoint services, which will not be required until after January 1, 2020.

“All suppliers will be required to provide a minimum of four Ethernet ports on a standard point-to-multipoint service,” the spokesman says. “Priority users provided on a point-to-point service have a wider range of options. The Telecommunications Carriers Forum has released a Layer 2 Service specification for public comment.”

“As stated [at the Huawei event], many aspects of the physical architecture are in the hands of the individual LFCs [local fibre companies],” says the spokesman. “CFH is specifying standard service sets and [service-level agreements], and placing some requirements on LFCs, such as making point-to-point services available to all priority users.”

The public comment from CFH caused some surprise in Australia. A story on web news publication ZDnet.com.au reporting it contrasts the focused attitude in New Zealand with the uncertainty that continues to surround implementation strategies for Australia’s planned National Broadband Network. The ZDNet story sparked a burst of comment on InternetNZ’s members’ email list, with a broad consensus that it is a sensible plan.

The local internet community has shown some puzzlement at the tone of the ZDNet report.

“Scares me we’d consider a deployment of this scale and not drop multiple fibres into the home,” says one comment. “Even if they’re unused today it would be incredibly short-sighted to assume they never will be. The big expense of fibre to the premises is in the casing and laying of the cable, not the fibre itself, so multiple fibres from the beginning would make sense,” says another.

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