Did NBN Co really listen on Layer 3?

Did NBN Co really listen on Layer 3?

Summary: There's no doubt that NBN Co has a big job on its hands and some fundamental decisions need to be made quickly. The question is, are they being made too quickly? In this week's Twisted Wire we look at whether, in the rush to reach conclusions, the NBN Co's own consultation process has not been as inclusive as it should be.

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There's no doubt that NBN Co has a big job on its hands and some fundamental decisions need to be made quickly. The question is, are they being made too quickly? In this week's Twisted Wire we look at whether, in the rush to reach conclusions, the NBN Co's own consultation process has not been as inclusive as it should be.

Before it starts pushing fibre into the ground the NBN Co has got to get agreement on exactly what it is it's building. Already two big questions have been addressed — the points at which retailers connect to the network and whether to offer a Layer 2 or Layer 3 product.

We looked at the points of interconnect proposal last week and questioned the need to pull all traffic back from areas where there was insufficient backhaul competition. Have a listen to the program here.

This week we look at the other key decision — the adoption of Layer 2 as the service standard. A Layer 2 wholesale offering means retail service providers will each need to manage the delivery of IP traffic (Layer 3) across the network. By and large, the telco industry supports this approach and existing internet service providers don't give much credence to the idea of a Layer 3 wholesale product. Of course, they could have a vested interest — why would they want to make it easier for new entrants to buy directly from the NBN Co?

In today's program we hear the arguments for a Layer 3 product presented to the Senate Select Committee Hearing on the National Broadband Network last Thursday. These points have all been covered in documents presented as part of the NBN Co consultation process, but there's a question as to how much consideration they were given. As you'll hear in this podcast, the NBN Co's response document (PDF) to industry submissions doesn't seem to mention the detractors. We try and help out by giving the side of the story the NBN Co missed out on.

You'll hear from:

  • Tony Hill, president of the Internet Society of Australia
  • Rosemary Sinclair, managing director of the Australian Telecommunications Users Group
  • Dermot Cox, marketing director of C-COR Broadband
  • Mike Quigley, chief executive officer of the NBN Co

Running Time: 19 minutes 22 seconds

Topics: Government, Broadband, Government AU, NBN

About

Phil Dobbie has a wealth of radio and business experience. He started his career in commercial radio in the UK and, since coming to Australia in 1991, has held senior marketing and management roles with Telstra, OzEmail, the British Tourist Authority and other telecommunications, media, travel and advertising businesses.

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  • Meanwhile, Alcatel-Lucent has announced that they can now boost broadband over copper to 300M bps - 3 times what our $43 Billion fibre network is supposed to provide (while all along using the existing infrastructure). So Conroy's credibility and the future commercial value of the NBN is pretty much down the tube...
    Art-b45b4
  • Phil: really enjoy your program - listen every week. I esp like your humour thrown in :)

    @Art - while that maybe true, keep in mind that Fibre (as a technology) is not limited to 100MB/s - In fact i think it was talked about in an earlier Twisted Wire podcast.
    andolyne
  • Alcatel-Lucent also announced in September that they had boosted fiber speeds to 100 km Petabit/s (as 15.5 Tb/s over 7000km), and 70TB/s over a single 240km fiber has been achieved - fibre will be a sufficient physical medium for a very long time.

    In comparison, building infrastructure around copper is like building a transport system based on walking tracks - the fundamental physical limits of copper can't be overcome.
    rd1-a9591