NBN Co has revealed a timeline of three major releases of its service portal and B2B gateway that provide the technical interface between the network builder and access seekers (ISPs).
Access seekers that want to do business with NBN Co will have a choice of whether they want to use the service portal or gateway, according to NBN Co's manager of industry integration Martin Pittard.
Some of that decision would come down to the access seeker's size; the portal was generally pitched as a "channel for small ISPs... that don't want to integrate at a higher level" with NBN Co's systems.
The portal was generally aimed at processing low volumes of transactions, but even ISPs that used the gateway could flick between the two systems to resolve difficult portions of transactions.
Pittard said that NBN Co planned to expand the capabilities of the portal when it was trialled with access seekers servicing mainland first release sites.
Trial service providers would be able to perform address queries (whether a resident was in the fibre footprint), basic ordering, ticket status and "basic billing".
Invoices would be made available as PDF or XML files initially to help ISPs understand charges that appeared on the invoices.
"Billing event files will come a bit later," Pittard said.
From October, NBN Co planned the "integrated launch of the service portal and B2B gateway".
Pittard said that the systems would support queries from prospective customers on whether they could get the NBN at their service location "and if not, when" and offer enhanced ordering.
"It will support a richer set of ways you can interact with end users," he said. "So even if the end user doesn't have NBN service yet but they really want a speed change [on their order] we can support that".
The release would also allow proactive communication of any delays provisioning the NBN service.
A third release scheduled for the first quarter of next year would see the introduction of batch processing of orders.
"It will be able to accommodate large numbers of address queries or orders, plus full lifecycle ticket management," Pittard said.
"The focus here is so you can assure a growing customer base."
Detailed technical specifications for the B2B gateway were to be released by the end of June. NBN Co revised the specifications late last week, adding data about expected service level agreements for specific queries.
A developer's guide for integrating with the B2B gateway was currently being put together.
Technical features of service portal
Meanwhile, NBN Co's service activation centre technical manager Anthony Links said the service portal was being created using an iterative approach to software development.
The portal also used role-based access control for different users within retail service providers.
NBN Co was also working to develop a "delegated administrative capability" where access seekers would be able to create new user accounts for the portal without needing to ask an NBN Co employee.
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