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Northpower in 10Gbps world first test run

Whangarei-based fibre provider Northpower says it has demonstrated 10Gbps network speeds.

A press release from Northpower partner Calix says this is the world’s first live test of its NG-Pon2 technology.

Northpower’s test served 10Gbps to both a business and to a residential home.

NG-Pon2 is a standard developed by the International Telecommunications Union. It is backwards compatible with existing Pon networks, so, in theory, could roll out across the entire New Zealand UFB network.

In Whangarei, Northpower used the same Calix software defined network technology it uses elsewhere to achieve 10Gbps. Calix Gigahubs handled the customer end.

Symmetric means 10Gbps up and down

NG-Pon can handle up to 40Gbps of total capacity and speeds of up to 10Gbps per customer. It’s symmetrical, so the 10Gbps speed is both up and down.

A feature of NG-Pon2 is that is uses multiple wavelengths on a single fibre. A network operator can divide these up for use by different service providers without needing separate Pons. In practice, providers can change or update services without interfering with other providers.

Northpower says it plans to expand the use of NG-Pon2 on its network.

It says a benefit of the Calix SDN is that it reduces the need for frequent hardware upgrades. This keeps costs down.

Northpower ahead of demand

Of course nobody needs fibre that fast today. But that’s not the point. At the dawn of personal computing Microsoft boss Bill Gates said computers would never need more than 640K of ram. Look how that turned out.

Virtual reality applications are on the way which will easily use 1Gbps. Northpower customers will be able to run that and still have headroom for other applications.

Northpower has shown there’s a straightforward upgrade path to 10Gbps. It’ll be ready when speed demands rise. And it’s there today for any Whangarei resident with say, a large hadron collider in their garden.

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