The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy today opened another NEC and Opticomm Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) community at Alamanda in Victoria.

Alamanda, along with other NEC enabled Opticomm Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) communities have now gone live across NSW, Victoria and South Australia. The success of the Greenfield roll out has prompted NEC and Opticomm to look at extending FTTP connectivity into existing neighbouring areas, using the infrastructure built in the Greenfield developments as the network ‘hub’.

Senator Conroy in his speech made reference to Alamanda developer Villawood and network operator Opticomm as being the benchmark for telecommunication infrastructure delivery into new housing estates. Conroy highlighted the Government's plans to proceed with legislation early in the new year which will mandate FTTP to be deployed in all new housing estates.

Two of the communities also feature ground breaking ‘smart electricity metering’. Lochiel Park in South Australia is the first commercial implementation of Smart Grid electricity metering, helping home owners and builders meet sustainability design requirements. This aligns with the Federal Government’s decision to invest $100 million in the development of Smart Grid technology to create smarter and more efficient energy networks and highlights the synergy between this technology and broadband connectivity.

The system utilises a dedicated and secure connection on the GPON ONT (Optical Network Terminal – the device that interconnects the home to the FTTP network) to provide real-time data via a touch-screen display installed in each home. The touch screens graphically represent the consumption of electricity, water, gas and the generation of energy from household solar panels, that enable consumers to run scenarios to manage their power usages, and hence calculate their savings, if, for example they turn their air conditioner.

John Norton, Executive General Manager, NEC Australia said: “Communities using smart metering technology, are accessing environmentally responsible and cost saving solutions. This is one of the first practical new applications enabled by a wholesale open access FTTP network, the benefits of which can be brought to the whole of Australia under the NBN scheme. ”

John Norton continued: “The number of sites we have live and expect to go live over the next few months demonstrates the value that developers place on being able to offer FTTP high speed broadband access as part of their value proposition. There is definitely an appetite for high speed broadband in this country and the success of these FTTP networks will create an environment to foster innovation and new ways of delivering services.”

Phil Smith, general manager, OptiComm said: “Our open access wholesale business model delivers choice to customers, and creates an environment in which new services can be created and delivered using NEC’s advanced GPON platform.”

The estate brings to seven live sites that Opticomm is now operating across four states with another ten to come online in the first half of next year.


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