NBN interconnect locations revealed, addresses kept secret

Summary:A list of suburbs where Australia's National Broadband Network will have a point of interconnect has been published, but the street addresses remain a secret.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has published a list of the suburbs where the National Broadband Network's (NBN's) 121 points of interconnect (POI) are located, but for security reasons, the exact addresses have been kept secret.

A POI is where two networks meet and exchange information. For the NBN, this is where NBN Co passes on data carried over the national network to the internet service providers' networks. Where the points of interconnect are located determines how much backhaul a provider would have to supply in order to connect customers to the NBN. How much backhaul the supplier has to provide has a significant impact on the price of the service it can offer consumers.

After publishing a draft list in May 2011, and changing 10 locations in August 2012, the ACCC has today published (PDF) the "list in force" of POI locations, but the actual addresses of the POIs have been kept secret.

"Due to concerns about the security of infrastructure assets, the ACCC has decided that the actual street addresses of each POI will be kept confidential. The ACCC considers that the descriptors included in the public list of POIs are sufficient to enable stakeholders to determine the general location of POIs," the ACCC said.

The street address can be obtained directly from NBN Co, and it is widely assumed that many of the POI locations correlate to the locations of existing Telstra exchanges.

The ACCC indicated in August that it was considering keeping the POI locations secret on the advice of the Attorney-General's Department.

"That was advocated to us by NBN Co on the advice, as I understand it, of the Attorney-General's Department, citing security concerns," the ACCC's General Manager of Communications Michael Cosgrave said.

He said that this policy is similar to how the ACCC does not release the locations of Telstra's exchanges — although it was pointed out that many people know where the exchanges are, anyway.

New South Wales has the highest number of POIs, with 41 serving the state in total, followed by 30 in Victoria, 22 in Queensland, 14 in Western Australia, nine in South Australia, two each for the ACT and Tasmania, and one for the Northern Territory.

Topics: NBN, Australia

About

Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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