What is UFB?
Broadband is defined by the International Telecommunications Union as a service which provides transmission capacity in excess of 2.0 Megabits per second (Mbps). Ultra-Fast Broadband is generally defined as services which deliver much faster speeds, in excess of 25 Mbps. For the purposes of the New Zealand Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband initiative, having access to Ultra-Fast Broadband is taken to mean the availability of broadband services at a minimum speed of 100 Mbps Downstream (from the Internet to the user) and a minimum of 50 Mbps Upstream (from user to the Internet).
Uptake of faster broadband speeds has been increasing rapidly worldwide in recent years in response to the growing popularity of the Internet as a tool of communication, collaboration and commerce. Optical fibre technology is the most commonly preferred means of delivering Ultra-Fast Broadband services worldwide. FTTP or Fibre To The Premise services connect households and businesses to the Internet via optic fibres, which transmit data using pulses of light. Fibre services allow transmission over longer distances and at higher bandwidths (data speeds) than other forms of communications.
To enable improved access to the Internet for both consumers and businesses, a number of nations are investing alongside the private sector in Ultra-Fast Broadband telecommunications. Key examples in the Asia-Pacific region include:
- Australia, where NBN Co aims to connect 93% of all Australian premises with optic fibre-based services, and
- Singapore, where the Open Net initiative aims to achieve 95% coverage by 2012, again delivered via Fibre To The Premise.
CFH and its partners continue to work closely with organisations such as the Telecommunications Carriers’ Forum (TCF) to design and agree Ultra-Fast Broadband standards, products and services which will be attractive in the New Zealand market. In February 2011 the standards for Layer 2 (the electronics which run over the fibre) were approved. A number of areas are still under development, including processes for connections in multi-unit dwellings (MDUs), and order management and provisioning systems (BSS/OSS). Specifications for Ultra-Fast Broadband in New Zealand also have reference to relevant international standards developed by the Metro Ethernet Forum and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
For more information (these links lead to material which is not part of the CFH site):