Case Studies

2017 NBN Scaling Excellence Award


2017 NBN Scaling Excellence Award

Recognising our strong partnership, NetComm Wireless was recently named winner of the 2017 nbn Scaling Excellence Award for outstanding contribution to the nbn™ Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC) rollout. NetComm Wireless developed a Distribution Point solution tailored to nbn’s unique needs, and was consequently recognised for facilitating the fast and economical rollout of nbn FTTC, which is scheduled for launch by mid-2018.


nbn aims to provide fast broadband to every home and business in Australia by 2020, with a commitment to provide peak wholesale download data rates of at least 25 megabits per second (Mbps) to all premises, and at least 50 Mbps peak wholesale download data rates to 90 per cent of the fixed line network.

Completing this nationwide rollout quickly and costeffectively with minimal disruption to the end-user is a huge technical challenge. Particularly, in areas earmarked for fixed line services, getting fibre all the way from the local exchange to the premises has proven to be costly and impractical.

What nbn needed was a scalable solution that delivers on broadband speed objectives without adding further cost and inconvenience to the end user.


As part of its multi-technology mix, nbn decided to include Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC) and selected NetComm Wireless to solve the connectivity challenge with VDSL2 Fibre to the Distribution Point (FTTdp) units specifically engineered to minimise deployment costs and increase the rollout speed of Australia’s largest infrastructure project.

NetComm Wireless’ Distribution Point Units (DPUs) are installed in the telecommunications pits outside of premises to push fibre to the front boundary, and connect to existing copper lines for the final connection into households. The fibre-to-copper innovation is installed without requiring access to private property - thereby reducing the time and cost of deploying new lead-in cables.

The solution provides a fast, convenient and viable alternative to Fibre to the Premise (FTTP), but - most importantly for nbn – our DPUs gave a scalable option for nbn with a competitive Total Cost of Ownership.

NetComm Wireless’ custom engineered DPUs are unique in the global market – and are specifically tailored for the nbn™ FTTC network.

NetComm Wireless’ fit-for-purpose DPUs integrate network grade diagnostics, performance monitoring and remote management functions to enable a seamless transition from the legacy copper network to the nbn. The highly scalable technology is specially tailored to enable enhanced broadband performance through the extension of managed connectivity; and is reverse-powered from the premises to optimise time and cost:


It is rare for mass-scale access technology networks to reach construction milestones on schedule. NetComm Wireless was first to reach nbn testing milestones, and enabled nbn to go to market with a fit-for-purpose solution that meets aggressive network deployment timelines.

That’s because not only is our solution specifically designed to meet nbn’s integration requirements, as well as those of the legacy copper network, but also because we were technically able to include new requirements quickly and efficiently as the project went on.


But our real added-value was in helping nbn lower their total roll-out cost:

FTTC will allow nbn to reduce their roll out cost to approximately $2,9001 per household for DPU, a significant reduction in cost when compared to FTTP which costs $4,403 per premises in brownfield areas.

To increase the speed of deployment and optimise cost, NetComm Wireless delivers the complete solution, including the features, accessories and services needed to reduce nbn’s total cost of ownership:

nbn™ FTTC uses a 4-port DPU that is designed to serve up to four premises using a single device. The DPU is specially engineered to convert a single fibre line into four VDSL2 lines to reduce costs and increase the speed of deployment. Engineered specifically for the nbn use case, NetComm Wireless’ DPU withstands Australia’s harsh operating conditions, including heat and floods, while enabling the unique transition from legacy services to nbn with POTS switching technology.

Our DPU also adds value through specific specifications, such as reverse-power, remote management and unique installation tools that enable field installers to more rapidly install and diagnose faults.

In the process, NetComm Wireless developed and delivered the world’s first reverse powered fibre DPU to nbn, providing a distinct competitive advantage. The reverse power is particularly important as it removes the need for an onsite power supply, drawing power equally from the end user premises, over distances up to 150m of copper cables! This technological research and development was undertaken to meet the requirements of nbn for FTTC even before international standards had been established.


NetComm Wireless’ award is a testament not only to our engineering expertise, but to our underlying culture of excellence.

We actively listened to nbn’s unique FTTC roll-out challenge and innovated reverse-powered DPUs specially designed, delivering on all fronts: time to market, cost optimisation and world-leading innovation and excellence.

To conclude, we want to thank nbn for their trust and partnership.

Ken Sheridan, NetComm Wireless CEO said:

“NetComm Wireless and nbn have collaborated for many years in a fast-changing environment and it is a tremendous honour to receive this recognition for our efforts in getting the nbn FTTC DPU product up and running. Specially engineered for the precise needs of nbn, our DPUs will allow nbn to increase the speed of deployment and deliver an excellent customer experience sooner.”

Kat Stapleton, nbn EGM for procurement, said:

“The nbn supply conference is a terrific opportunity for us to collaborate, share and problem-solve together as an industry and to learn from one another.

This year’s event was another successful conference and we were delighted with the participation and attendance from our key suppliers. We congratulate all the award winners, and in particular NetComm Wireless who were awarded the nbn 2017 Scaling Excellence award.”

1 nbn Corporate Plan 2018 – 2021 - indicative price per household.