Aussie Broadband kicks off network upgrade

NBN retailer Aussie Broadband is buying international capacity on four subsea cable systems, as well as upgrading its core network with Cisco.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Aussie Broadband has announced an upgrade of its nationwide core network, as well as purchasing international capacity across subsea cables, with both projects to be complete by late April.

The National Broadband Network (NBN) retail service provider said it would be using Cisco's ASR9K and NCS5500 platforms for the core network upgrade, allowing the network to support up to half a million customers after it connected the 100,000th customer in January.

Upon the project's completion, Aussie Broadband will have a 400Gbps backbone between points of presence (POPs) that are in the same state; 200Gbps between Sydney and Melbourne; 100Gbps between Sydney and Perth; 100Gbps between Melbourne and Perth; 40Gbps between Sydney and Brisbane; 20Gbps between Sydney and Adelaide; and 10Gbps between Adelaide and Perth.

"We're also delighted to say that we will shortly complete protected 10Gbps links to all NBN POIs other than Tasmania, with the final four links due in the next 30 days," Aussie Broadband Managing Director Phillip Britt said.

Aussie Broadband also worked with Telstra Wholesale on the network upgrade and expansion, with Britt saying his company has already seen a reduction in outages and in areas affected by its stop-sell policy.

The RSP has also been purchasing international capacity, including on the Hawaiki, Southern Cross, and Vocus subsea cable systems, with plans to purchase capacity on Indigo West in the future.

"We have purchased capacity on both legs of Southern Cross and the new Hawaiki Cable system to San Jose and Los Angeles. To match this, we will establish points of presence at Coresite SV1 in San Jose and Coresite One Wilshire in Los Angeles," Britt said.

"We have also purchased capacity on the Vocus Australia Singapore Cable and will acquire capacity on Indigo West once available, again to be matched by a point of presence at Equinix SG1 in Singapore."

(Image: Aussie Broadband)

Speaking with ZDNet in November, Britt had flagged a AU$4 million investment to upgrade its network and capacity as it adds between 5,000 and 7,000 new customers per month.

Its initial network was built for around 130,000 subscribers, but Aussie Broadband predicts that it will reach around 180,000 customers by June this year.

Britt also sees Aussie Broadband growing to more than 200 employees by mid-2019, as it has a policy of one support staff member per 5,000 customers.

Speaking on Aussie Broadband's NBN outage in October, Britt revealed to ZDNet that it was the result of a betting agency customer being targeted during the AFL grand final weekend.

"We have a customer that's a betting agency, and we believe that we were targeted to target them," the MD explained.

"What happened was there was a lot of voice requests hitting our firewall, and we probably didn't have enough capacity in that firewall infrastructure, and we were fairly open about that. Basically, that triggered this cascading failure from there, we lost authentication out to our equipment, so about half the customers couldn't authenticate anymore.

"Part of what we've done to fix that is all the authentication mechanisms now have a separate direct pathway to each of the POIs and the aggregation points that we use, so that if that firewall infrastructure gets hit again ... we might lose access to some of our internal services. We're still working that through, getting those changes made."

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