In preparation for internal training, I have been interviewing CIO's and our sales and delivery teams, to get a feel for how the NBN is going and the opportunities it represents.
From a CIO perspective, the stress of matching IT systems and processes to business objectives is bad enough, without the added concern about whether the underlying network infrastructure can support the plan.
CIOs want network access to be the least of their problems, and any investment that clears a path for application optimisation, will be warmly received.
However, the new piece of information I gleaned from recent interviews is that the disruption opportunity is not just about higher quality bandwidth, but the opportunity to simplify branch network architectures.
Making things simpler from a network perspective is often overlooked in terms of providing a platform for innovation with the convergence of applications onto, for example, a fixed Ethernet primary access, possibly with mobile backup, fostering CPE standardisation in the branch which can reduce operational costs.
This standardisation theme brings me to something many argue has made the simple complex for NBN and Multi Technology Mix (MTM).
The picture below shows how, what many saw as a simple 93/7 per cent FTTP/Wireless/Satellite deployment, has become complex with the addition of FTTN, FTTB and HFC options:
The key question I am often asked - is MTM really better and is the complexity worth it?
That's a tough one. There are some significant practical FTTP challenges that MTM has addressed - in particular the sensible use of existing in-premise copper cabling within multi-tenanted buildings - but there is certainly lobbying underway to get the best quality technology option, which irrespective of VDSL developments, will remain full fibre FTTP delivery.
Technology choice is a proposed solution to this challenge - providing a user pays mechanism to change physical delivery - but as we have already seen, continued technology evolution via copper, HFC and wireless will assure a uniform experience, closing the gap to the premium all-fibre option.
I am ready to be shouted down on this one, but MTM is supporting accelerated NBN rollout - getting better services to more customers sooner - so I am going to say MTM is a positive move.
I am pretty excited about our upcoming training sessions and look forward to sharing more observations in this blog while "on the road".
For more networking go to Telstra Exchange.