NBN trialling fibre to the traffic light

NBN will trial an extension of its fibre networks to non-premises sites such as traffic lights to enable service providers to supply telco services alongside transport infrastructure.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

The National Broadband Network (NBN) company has published a test agreement document for its technical trial of extending its fibre-to-the-premises (FttP) and fibre-to-the-node (FttN) networks to transport infrastructure sites.

Rather than supplying its NBN Ethernet Bitstream Service (NEBS) to end-user premises, the trial will see NBN deliver fibre to non-premises end points, with traffic lights the only example listed.

The purpose is "to enable service providers to supply telecommunications services in connection with transport infrastructure", NBN said in the test agreement document [PDF].

"The test participant must enter into an arrangement with the relevant transport authority end user allowing NBN Co to extend the NBN Co network to the agreed sites and for the non-premises NEBS Technical Trial to occur at the agreed sites," NBN said.

"NBN Co will, at its cost, extend the NBN Co fibre network or the NBN Co FttN network (as applicable) to the agreed sites to facilitate the Non-Premises NEBS Technical Trial."

The network termination device (NTD) "may be in the form of a small form-factor pluggable transceiver", NBN said, with the User Network Interface (UNI) port -- being supplied by NBN -- to be at a passive NTD.

"For each agreed site served by the NBN Co fibre network, NBN Co will determine the form, type, and, if applicable, model of NTD that NBN Co will supply for the purpose of providing test participant with access to the UNI," NBN added.

For trials using the FttN network, NBN said the test participant must operate VDSL2 hardware compatible with the UNI-DSL interface it specifies in the agreement.

The Non-Premises NEBS Technical Trial will kick off next week and continue until the end of March, taking place in ready-for-service FttN and FttP areas across New South Wales, Victoria, or Queensland.

Under NBN's most recent Corporate Plan, 17 percent of Australian premises will be covered by FttP, and 48 percent by a mix of FttN, fibre to the basement (FttB), and fibre to the curb (FttC).

With the rollout having passed the halfway mark this year, NBN has been trialling new technologies across its network, in September also putting out test agreement documents for trials of a new diagnostic tool aimed at remotely finding copper wiring faults.

Cases of wiring faults -- which could also affect those connected by FttB and FttC network technologies -- include degradation from where it is aged or poorly put together, or where unused phone outlets remain connected to the main system.

NBN has partnered with several large retail service providers (RSPs) to conduct the five-week trial, as in-home wiring issues are beyond its own remit. A number of users across NBN's FttN network will be invited by these telcos to take part.

The tool would then be made available to RSPs to help diagnose broadband service issues.

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