NBN Co's HFC build will be DOCSIS 3.1 ready, but use 3.0 only

Arris named as HFC supplier

NBN Co has settled on its key partner for the HFC part of its network, with Arris nominated to provide cable termination and passive equipment.

The deal, reported by Comms Day as being worth AU$400m, sees Arris, the company that acquired Motorola's HFC business, pip Cisco for the cable network business.

Arris executives today told The Register that the equipment it will use will deliver a service using DOCSIS 3.0, a gigabit-capable standard, and will be upgradable to ten-gigabit-capable DOCSIS 3.1 should NBN Co chose to upgrade in future.

Arris CTO Joshau Eum said the nodes for the network will be "shoebox"-sized and can be deployed on poles, in the ground or even on a strand of wire.

Arris will deliver speeds that mirror existing NBN Co speeds, meaning they will top out at 100mbps downloads, with node-to-premises cable runs of up to 10kms (when signal-to-noise ratios are right) claimed, as signal does not degrade as quickly with Arris' planned kit.

Arris' president for network, cloud and services Bruce McLelland, said the company expects to have deployed in some exchanges by year's end.

And NBN Co spokesperson said the project will proceed exchange-by-exchange, as telcos surrender control. The spokesperson said a roadmap for HFC deployment will be revealed "soon".

Key products used in the build will be Arris' E6000 edge router, CORWave forward path transmitters, OM4100 optical receivers, and service assurance solutions.

NBN Co CTO Dennis Steiger spoke briefly today and Arris is charged with "putting at its [the NFC network's] heart a new engine."

"We are not rebadging the existing HFC networks from Telstra and Optus," he said. "We are substantially building a new network."

The US$1.3 billion vendor will also be responsible for the HFC deployment and network integration work. ®

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