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NBN takes up Open Networking Foundation membership

Australia's national broadband wholesaler is looking to speed things up with software-defined networking.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

The company responsible for deploying Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) has gained membership of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), which the company said will give it "global insights" to move away from proprietary platforms.

"By investigating open-source software and building on the work already done by the ONF, we can aim to drive programmable network architectures through disaggregation of control," NBN chief technology officer Ray Owen said.

"This will help to enable us to achieve a faster time to market with our wholesale products and deeper systems integration with retail service providers."

The ONF said NBN will benefit from its access and edge projects, and pointed to its SEBA project that has software controllers within Kubernetes containers on compute nodes.

"Currently supporting XGS-PON and G-PON, our community would like to see SEBA expanded to support additional flavours of PON, DSL, DOCSIS and more," ONF's marketing and ecosystem vice president Timon Sloane said.

"This work has the potential to help vastly transform and optimise NBN Co's access network using next generation open source elements."

The member list of the ONF includes AT&T, China Unicom, Comcast, Dell, T-Mobile, Google, Infosys, Intel, Juniper Networks, NTT, and Samsung.

In September, NBN completed the upgrade of its transit network to 19.2Tbps after partnering with Germany-based SDN provider Coriant.

NBN's transit network -- which allows NBN to connect its fibre access nodes to the 121 points of interconnect where network traffic is passed to retailers, and sends data back to NBN's two data centres -- stretches over 60,000 kilometres long and was originally built using Coriant's hiT 7300 Packet Optical Transport Platform.

The company has given itself a deadline of September to get its fixed wireless congestion issues sorted and have less than 1 percent of its fixed wireless towers affected.

Congestion is defined by the company as having a 30-day average busy hour throughput of under 6Mbps.

Responding to Senate Estimates Questions on Notice, NBN said at the end of October it had 416 cells below the congestion threshold, a reduction on the 465 counted on July 1.

"There is not only a dedicated program of work in place to ensure the cells that are currently below the engineering threshold are upgraded as a priority, but also a proactive upgrade program to ensure that cells don't drop below the engineering threshold," NBN wrote.

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(Image: iStock)
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