Telstra seeks direct line to NBN Co's PoI plans

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Telstra seeks direct line to NBN Co's PoI plans

Irked by learning of changes through discussion paper.

Telstra has sought a new direct line of communication with NBN Co after learning of a series of changes to NBN points of interconnect from a regulatory discussion paper.

The incumbent disclosed the talks in a brief response (pdf) to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) August discussion paper (pdf), which revealed the relocation of 10 PoIs and sought views on how much information should be made public about PoI locations.

Telstra expressed appreciation for "the update from the Commission in relation to the PoI list", but appeared to have been caught off-guard by some of the changes.

"We understand from this that the North Parramatta exchange PoI is being relocated to Parramatta and that nine other NBN Co PoIs are being relocated," executive director of regulatory affairs, Jane van Beelen, noted.

In future, it appeared Telstra wanted to be notified of such changes directly rather than through a third party such as a regulator.

"There still remains a number of outstanding issues in relation to the adequacy and timeliness of the information that is being provided to RSPs [retail service providers] by NBN Co about its PoIs," van Beelen said.

Telstra highlighted information around delays in the PoI rollout process, PoI availability and the end-of-life of the interim PoIs as data points it wanted to be receiving from NBN Co directly.

"This kind of information is crucial for RSPs as it affects RSP capital expenditure plans and the planning for deployment of infrastructure at the PoIs," van Beelen said.

"The absence of such information may result in unnecessarily long lead times for RSP infrastructure deployment at the PoI, financial losses to the RSP, and delays in the delivery of services to end users where NBN Co's network has been rolled out.

"Telstra has recently engaged with NBN Co to resolve these matters, and remains hopeful that an appropriate and constructive resolution will be reached between NBN Co and RSPs."

Public-facing PoI disclosures

Telstra had no problem with ACCC recommendations to withhold publication of PoI locations to parties that did not have non-disclosure arrangements with NBN Co.

The ACCC had sought industry views on how much information about PoIs could be published without creating an unnecessary security risk to the NBN.

Optus economic regulation manager Luke van Hooft suggested several inclusions of information to the PoI public record, including the "corresponding exchange service area (ESA) name for each NBN PoI" and "sufficient information to allow cross-referencing with the NBN fibre serving areas (FSAs)".

"We note that the number of FSAs served per NBN PoI is included in the public list, but there is inadequate information to allow access seekers to determine which FSA is served by which NBN PoI," van Hooft noted (pdf).

"Given that FSA information is publicly available, its inclusion within the public NBN PoI list should have no implications for national security and therefore Optus cannot see any reason for its exclusion."

Satellite RSP Activ8Me did not respond to the issues raised in the ACCC paper, instead arguing for a satellite-specific PoI construct that would not impose a backhaul burden on RSPs seeking to service NBN satellite customers nationally (pdf).

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