The technology improves the online experience for homes and businesses by helping to ensure there is sufficient capacity available to meet demand – especially at peak-usage times. DOCSIS 3.1 technology, already launched by several US cable operators such as Comcast and Cox Communications, significantly improves the spectral efficiency of the HFC network and allows NBN Co to use new higher range spectrum therefore doubling the capacity available.
This will prove a key benefit for NBN Co on our HFC network given that around 75% of new end-user premises coming onto the nbn network are now taking either 50Mbps or 100Mbps services with nearly 50% of our 4.1 million activated premises now on 50Mbps or above speeds. Prior to launching DOCSIS 3.1 the only way NBN Co could increase capacity on the HFC network was by installing new optical nodes; a process known as node-splitting, to reduce the number of premises served by the existing optical nodes on the network.
Using technology from our HFC technology partner ARRIS, NBN Co is planning to deploy DOCSIS 3.1 technology across the vast majority of the nbn HFC broadband access network by 2020 in both the downstream and upstream directions.
As DOCSIS 3.1 is brought onto the network on an area-by-area basis most end-users should have immediate access to the technology as their existing NBN Co Network Termination Device (NTD) inside their home is already fitted with DOCSIS 3.1 capable technology.
The use of Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) modulation technology and a more advanced Forward Error Correction (FEC) method as part of DOCSIS 3.1 will also help to provide a more reliable and stable connection for end-users on the network.