NBN planner critiques 121-point design

 

Concerns the network will be less resilient.

A key designer of the National Broadband Network has publicly criticised the regulator-mandated requirement to build 121 points of interconnect, claiming it reduces the network’s resiliency.

Peter Ferris, general manager of design and planning at NBN Co, told attendees at the annual Australian Network Operators Group (AusNOG) conference this week that the mandate would result in a greater number of services being affected by any one weakness in the network.
He said the wholesaler had worked to build redundancy where possible into the network. Geographically diverse fibre paths had been scheduled for installation between each point of interconnect (or “aggregation node”)  and fibre access node, as well as a manually patched diversity between each node and the fibre distribution hub which would ultimately connect to premises.

Though homes would receive a single fibre path without redundancy on that element, NBN Co had planned to offer point-to-point services to large enterprise as one of multiple product drops to be introduced in coming years. It had begun leaving approximately 24 fibres in every 200 for each fibre distribution hub for specialised business services.

“When we move into our business-grade services, the architecture that’s been put in place allows the provision of a geographically diverse path from any location in a fibre distribution area back to the FAN site,” Ferris said.

However, a mandate last year from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission - and accepted by government - required all premises served by fibre, fixed wireless or satellite products on the NBN to be addressed at a single point of interconnect.

The ACCC mandated NBN Co build 121 points, or aggregation nodes, to promote backhaul competition. It over-rode NBN Co’s own proposition at the time to build two redundant points of interconnect in each of seven major areas across the country.

The ultimate decision led to the NBN having “121 single points of failure”, according to Ferris, who is commonly credited with having formulated the 14-point plan.

The mandate meant that, should a single point of interconnect go down, it could potentially disrupt services to up to 150,000 premises.

His criticism echoed similar comments made among potential access seekers, including Internode regulatory affairs manager John Lindsay, who told a Senate inquiry into emergency communications last month that the plan could dilute the NBN’s effectiveness in event of a natural disaster.

“It does not make a lot of sense when you talk to network engineers, who actually design for
building resilient telecommunications networks, because they look for a lot of physical redundancy,” Lindsay said at the time. “They want a function that can be performed at one location to be able to be performed at a second and, ideally, even a third location, so that if a physical location is unavailable that function can be performed somewhere else.

“They are also trying to make sure that when one location fails that it does not take out millions or hundreds of thousands of services. Ideally, it will have a fairly localised impact.”

The ACCC’s mandate had stretched to the physical location of the points of interconnect, which in some cases forced NBN Co to split the aggregation node and the point it was designed to house.

“We did not have space to put our aggregation node equipment in all of those locations so we have cases where the point of interconnect and the aggregation node is in different locations,” Ferris said.

The situation had already occurred at the NBN second release site of Riverstone in Sydney’s north-west, where NBN Co was required to place the aggregation node in Richmond and the point of interconnect in Windsor in order to allow easier access by service providers.

The two locations were connected by a single Optical Distribution Frame extension, also covered by geographically diverse fibre routes.

Despite continued consternation around the 121 point plan, the competition watchdog has yet to indicate whether it would be willing to move on the issue.

iTnews understands NBN Co would technically be able to move back to its original, 14-point plan in the future but would require a differing regulatory mechanism from the Federal Government or ACCC to do so.
 
Remember to sign up to our new Telecommunications bulletin to stay connected with a concise online wrap of Australiaís telecommunications and ISP industry.

Fibre resiliency a plus

Despite the network design issue, Ferris believed the fibre being rolled out by NBN Co itself would prove resilient enough to serve Australia for more than 50 years.

He pointed to Verizon’s FiOS fibre rollout in the US as an example of the cable’s resiliency. The project, which had passed 16 million homes to date with fibre-to-the-premises technology, had so far registered a fault rate of 0.9 per 100 services.

That, compared to more than 10 faults per 100 services for the Australian copper access network, meant fibre would prove a more effective technology for up to 60 years, Ferris said.

NBN Co had already slated use of 60,000 kilometres worth of existing fibre in regional areas and 5000 kilometres in metropolitan areas as part of the network, much of which would be served through the interim and final deal with Telstra.

The deal would also cover use of 130,000 kilometres worth of Telstra-owned duct space, used where Telstra had combined power and existing infrastructure.

The continued use of Telstra infrastructure, including 900 of the incumbent’s exchanges, would come as relief to service providers, Ferris said, as “the reliability of that infrastructure is currently well known in the industry”.

“That’s the level [of reliability] we’ll be operating at,” he said.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


NBN planner critiques 121-point design
 
 
 
Top Stories
Hockey flags billion-dollar Centrelink mainframe replacement
Claims 30 year-old tech is holding Govt back.
 
Ombudsman wants to monitor warrantless metadata access
Requests ability to report publicly.
 
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  20%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  12%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  23%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1516

Vote