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NBNCo’s MDU Dilemma

Who’d have thought it? Connecting fibre into every apartment is proving to be somewhat problematic. First there’s getting the approval of owners, renters and body corporates. Then there’s the issue of how to physically connect in a way that’s cost effective and aesthetically acceptable. It often fell in the too hard basket when Telstra and Optus were rolling out their HFC networks. But NBNCo has to do it.

In this week’s CrossTalk Field Manager Troy Mercieca talks through the issues with wiring up an apartment complex. Industry commentator Kevin Morgan points out how in most markets the solution is VDSL – fibre to the apartment, then using the existing copper within the building. Jason Ashton, CEO at Big Air suggests that might, in many cases, guarantee faster speeds than fibre.

Whatever the solution, it’s clear that NBNCo has a lot on its plate. It stems from having a national government sponsored organisation charged with resolving a myriad of local issues, of which the MDU problem is one. Project manager Andrew Franz suggests an alternative approach to a broadband rollout – one which involves local companies, with knowledge of local issues, pitching to manage the local build. It might just have a point.

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