NBN Co has approached the competition watchdog to relocate 10 points of interconnect planned for the National Broadband Network, in the first major change to its network plans since May last year.
A consultation paper (pdf) issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) revealed plans to alter the 121-point network, shifting the location of eight points of interconnect (PoIs) built by NBN Co and transitioning another PoI from the North Parramatta Telstra exchange to Parramatta in Sydney.
A point of interconnect is where internet service providers connect their networks to the NBN.
NBN Co also included plans to build a new PoI in Acacia Ridge, Queensland, instead of using the Salisbury Telstra exchange as indicated in plans last year.
At the same time, plans to build a custom PoI at Eight Mile in Queensland have been scrapped in favour of using a Telstra exchange in the area, an NBN Co spokeswoman confirmed.
The network builder has already contracted Emerson Network Power to supply 10 custom-built points, built as modular data centres for easy placement at the chosen sites.
The first of these was delivered in March this year.
NBN Co's spokeswoman did not reveal reasons behind the latest changes, and the cause for switching Telstra exchanges and custom facilities at Acacia Ridge and Eight Mile.
The network company has typically focused on two custom PoIs in each state.
However, NBN Co has previously pointed to a need for PoIs to be separated from the aggregation node — where the individual fibre paths from houses and access nodes are aggregated to a single point.
NBN Co executive general manager of planning and design, Peter Ferris, told the AusNOG conference last year that the company had separated these two network components in some areas due to the inadequacy of Telstra infrastructure in the area or lack of space.
"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 ACCC adopted the PoI changes as acceptable within "relevant competition and planning criteria" and sought no further comment from ISPs on the potential impact of the changes.
Through the consultation paper, the competition watchdog also sought to determine the scope of PoI information to be kept on the public record, and that which is to remain confidential.
It suggested ensuring that the physical addresses of each point of interconnect remain confidential, citing "concerns about the security of infrastructure assets".
"Stakeholders will need to contact NBN Co directly if they require the specific physical address details of any of the PoIs," the watchdog said.
Telstra exchanges and their physical locations are largely well-known to both those in the telecommunications industry as well as those in the area.
NBN Co's spokeswoman said the move was "consistent with historical industry practice".