NBN Co to detail points of interconnect

NBN Co has said that it will release more information defining where points of interconnect will be placed on the National Broadband Network (NBN) following broad industry calls for more information.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor

NBN Co has said that it will release more information defining where points of interconnect will be placed on the National Broadband Network (NBN) following a broad industry call for more information.

"There was in-principle support for the positioning of network points of interconnect (PoI) — the places where NBN Co will hand over network traffic to the retail service providers — at locations where there is contestable backhaul, however respondents said they wanted to see more information," NBN Co head of industry engagement Christy Boyce said in a statement.

"We have reservations about exactly how the PoI locations are to be selected and exactly how backhaul carriers will need to modify their product offering to ensure that retail service provider startup costs for a new region are managed," Nextgen Networks said.

AAPT said the decision of where the interconnects were placed was "critically important".

Telstra thought there should be a lot more points of interconnect than the 200 proposed.

Given impassioned submissions on the topic, NBN Co said it would draft and release a more detailed discussion paper on the issue in the next two weeks.

Otherwise, NBN Co said it had received widespread support of its layer two network design.

It said it was still deliberating over the nature of the optical network termination it will use in its network. It wanted to test a number of devices, and has been conducting a request for proposals to help it decide on the best answer.

Points of decision included where to put the devices inside or outside, the standards of cabling, and whether to provide battery backup or not.

It also said it had received support for placing an analog telephone adapter (ATA) in the optical network termination (ONT) to ensure a seamless migration for users to the network.

"While voice via an ATA can be characterised as a transition technology and does involve extra costs, NBN Co believes its inclusion is likely to be in the interests of retail service providers and end users," it said.

"Built in POTS [plain old telephone service] is also an ideal scenario for migration from existing copper services where in-home wiring changes can be minimised," it said.

NBN Co said that the submissions on the issue had been generally supportive.

Telstra wanted details on what exactly would be provided, and pointed out that the features required of the analog service would depend on what the service providers wanted and not what PSTN currently provided.

Optus, however, was not entirely pleased with the idea. It pointed out that the adapter, if placed at the subscriber's premises, would increase the cost of the network termination and wouldn't always be used. "In all cases, the final solution for the legacy voice should be by the [retail service provider]," it said.

Meanwhile, Symbio Networks strongly opposed the integration of the adapter into the network termination.

"The provision of so called legacy voice by means of integrating an ATA with ONT is totally inconsistent with the minimalist approach publicised widely by NBN Co. The provision of voice service in the form of voice over IP (VoIP) via an ATA, just like other services and application, is best provided by [retail service providers] to maximise competition and innovations while delivering the best possible value to customers."

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