ISP Orcon wants to go one better than Telecom by moving straight to VDSL2, the second-generation very high data-rate Digital Subscriber Line service, straight-away instead of going with ADSL2+, which Telecom is planning to offer next year.
VDSL2 is “standardised” by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as an enhancement to the original VDSL, which provides very high data speeds over short distances. By using up to 30MHz of bandwidth over twisted copper pairs, VDSL2 can provide up to 100Mbit/s capacity in both directions up to 500 metres from the DSLAM. At 1,000 metres, the speed drops to 50Mbit/s and from two kilometres VDSL2 performs the same as ADSL2+, which Telecom is proposing to roll out late next year.
The high-speed broadband-over-copper technology is seen as a way to leverage existing networks instead of replacing them with fibre-optic ones. VDSL2 provides the high bit rates necessary for multiple internet television (IPTV) channels per customer. Each channel requires around 6Mbit/s dedicated bandwidth for real-time TV, according to industry measures. That is a speed that first-generation ADSL cannot provide. Overseas, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom plan to roll out VDSL2 in 2007.
Scott Bartlett, Orcon’s manager of operations and regulatory affairs, confirms that the ISP is looking to go with the newer broadband technology, and says the provider is waiting for local loop unbundling (LLU) to come into existence.
Orcon’s technology partner is Siemens. Bartlett says the two have built mock telephone exchanges in preparation for VDSL2. If LLU happens, Bartlett says “it would take four to five weeks for us to go into the exchanges and have the service ready.”