New Zealand company Chorus – the network infrastructure arm of Telecom until a 2011 demerger – has launched a wholesale VDSL-based offering that will be available from 7 June.
The company said the VDSL will be offered as an interim solution while fibre-to-the-premises is rolled out in areas covered by NZ's Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) program. Chorus will also offer it in areas where fibre-to-node has been deployed as part of the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI).
VDSL uses copper for the 'last mile' connection to premises, but delivers faster speeds than the more common ADSL/ADSL2 broadband connections.
NBN vs. the world: The New Zealand experience
Australian shadow communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has said high speeds can be delivered on VDSL on a fibre-to-the-node network, “especially with vectoring”.
Chorus will offer VDSL as part of its Basic Unbundled Bitstream Access (BUBA) product family under the Unbundled Bitstream Access (UBA) standard terms determination.
Retail service providers (RSPs) will then develop their own plans for users.
Chorus said speeds on VDSL would depend on the distance of premises from the exchange or cabinet, but around 66 per cent of the company's lines have a VDSL capability of 20Mbps or higher.
New Zealand already has an extensive fibre-to-the-node network, with the UFB initiative building on that network to extend fibre to 75 per cent of the population.
“In some areas fibre will not be available until 2019, so in those regions Chorus VDSL provides an important interim step,” Victoria Crone, GM sales and marketing at Chorus, said in a statement.
“VDSL technology also has significant potential in rural areas and is a natural complement to the Rural Broadband Initiative because about 55 per cent of the 400,000 premises outside of UFB areas will be within reach of Chorus VDSL at the end of the Rural Broadband Initiative roll out.”
Chorus said it already has around 3000 users on VDSL and will offer the technology until mid-2015. It will cease to offer it as fibre-to-the-premise is rolled out under the UFB initiative.
“Fibre is the superior technology and we are clear that VDSL is a stepping stone to fibre. As such, we are offering VDSL in Chorus UFB areas in the interim, but will not sell any new VDSL connections once our fibre build is complete in Chorus regions,” Crone said.
“Supporting the RSPs to offer their customers much faster broadband speeds today is an important stepping stone towards the fibre future.
“The industry experience is that better broadband stimulates demand for even greater speed and bandwidth, so we’re confident that the better broadband experience offered by Chorus VDSL will encourage migration to fibre’s superior service as it becomes available.”
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