NBN Co updates ISP interface roadmap

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NBN Co updates ISP interface roadmap

B2B gateway expected by end of January.

NBN Co has laid out expectations that up to 10,000 transactions a day will pass through its access seeker interface by the end of the year.

Industry integration manager Martin Pittard told access seekers today that he expected the figure to climb to approximately 100,000 transactions a day by the end of 2012.

Access seekers will ultimately interconnect with NBN Co systems through either a service portal targeting smaller ISPs or a business-to-business gateway for larger providers.

All interactions between NBN Co and access seekers such as address searches, orders and service desk tickets, will traverse these channels.

The service portal has been stood up and is being used by all access seekers servicing mainland first release sites.

The first release of NBN Co's B2B gateway is due by the end of January 2012. It was previously scheduled for October 2011.

"The main thing we're focused on for that [B2B] release is address queries, service quality, placing orders and associated notifications around an order," Pittard said.

A second release of the B2B gateway is planned for April 2012. That release is concentrated on invoices and billing event files.

"We plan to have those [billing functions] available in an earlier timeframe through the service portal," Pittard said.

Pittard invited access seekers to apply for admission to a 'sandpit' environment to test the B2B interconnection systems that NBN Co is standing up.

He said larger access seekers would be allowed into the sandpit once a commercial agreement governing non-disclosure, fair use, privacy and confidentiality of "NBN Co's digital certificates" had been secured.

Gateway infrastructure makers and service providers are eligible to use the sandpit.

Pittard said it was important that NBN Co supported the development of products and technology partners that could end up working with service providers to make sure their systems could talk to NBN Co's.

NBN Co was "considering" a similar 'sandpit' environment for smaller access seekers to test out the service portal but had yet to develop one.

For now, access seekers who chose to interface with NBN Co using the service portal would receive training during the onboarding process.

A considerable period of time today was spent extolling the virtues of ebXML technology - the technology that underpinned the B2B gateway.

IBM's DataPower senior product manager Richard Kinard presented at length on the technical benefits of ebXML.

Kinard had designed the WebSphere DataPower B2B appliance XB62, which iTnews revealed in May would act as the physical gateway infrastructure at NBN Co.

Pittard said NBN Co wanted the access seeker interface to promote the "exchange of standard information using standardised processes" that did not disrupt the way access seekers currently operate.

"We're exposing our interfaces, making them open, and working with industry to make them standard and interoperable," he said.

NBN Co plans to release a raft of documentation by the end of the month, including:

  • Developer guides on "how to construct messages and interpret information coming across the ebXML gateway";
  • Message specifications including schema documents for services;
  • CPA deployment profiles that describe the services that access seekers may wish to consumer from NBN Co and the configuration of the message service handler (MSH) at the ISP's end; and
  • A release and change management plan.

NBN Co also expects to unveil a B2B sandpit user guide and B2B certification test procedure documents by the end of November.

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