Telstra plots wholesale systems upgrade

Ry Crozier | Jul 20, 2012 1:41 PM
Huge-scale data cleansing exercise.

Telstra has shed light on planned works to its service qualification systems to help meet its obligations around migrating customers onto the National Broadband Network.

The carrier said in a letter (pdf) to the competition watchdog this week that it would expand one of its current service qualification systems, MSQ, to act as "a single, integrated SQ system to interface with NBN Co systems".

The expanded MSQ system would be used to determine whether orders for fixed-line services lodged with Telstra — either through wholesale channels from ISPs, or with Telstra's retail arm directly — qualified for a copper service or an NBN fibre connection.

The new MSQ will be used to implement a "largely automated" decision-tree to determine the fixed-line eligibility of a particular premises.

Telstra acknowledged that "the key to the success of the decision tree is for NBN Co and Telstra [service qualification] systems to be linked and to function using consistent addressing information".

Telstra's B2B gateway to NBN Co's service qualification system is connected through MSQ.

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Bringing the MSQ interface into Telstra's wholesale ordering system, LinxOnline, will enable ISPs that acquire both copper and NBN-based services through Telstra "to get a consistent answer about NBN availability whether they make an SQ [service qualification] request for NBN services through their interface with the NBN Co SQ system or they make an SQ request through [LinxOnline] to Telstra".

LinxOnline is better known by the acroyms LOLO and LOLIG, referring to browser-based and gateway versions of the wholesale ordering system, respectively.

Telstra's existing service qualification architecture has wholesale customers poll a different system — Enhanced Service Qualification, or ESQ — through LOLO and LOLIG, which does not interface with NBN Co's systems.

Future database alignment

Telstra acknowledged the complexity in its service qualification architecture.

Legacy systems, it said, were "built independently, each with their own SQ process, address management database and with limited (or sometimes no) address resolution".

Address and copper asset data that underpins the service qualification systems is stored in several databases, including the Network Plant Assignment Management System (NPAMS) and the Address DataBase of Records (ADBoR).

Telstra said that while the addresses stored in those databases, used to cross-check service qualification requests, are "generally accurate, [they] can suffer from variable quality and consistency as might be expected of any large database compiled over many years".

To combat any inaccuracy between the databases, Telstra is undertaking a "data cleansing" of addresses "on a scale it has not undertaken before".

The end result will be an "alignment" of address data in NPAMS, ADBoR and other legacy databases.

The carrier said it "anticipates this exercise will take some time to complete", as matching would be both automated and manually-driven.

The MSQ changes and data cleansing activities are expected to be completed by mid-February of next year, ahead of the beginning of certain obligations laid out in the migration plan such as removing sale of copper lines, disconnection and order stability.

The obligations take effect in March next year (pdf).