IT News — Australia’s competition watchdog is “concerned” about the level of Telstra’s involvement in the national broadband network rollout and its effect on competition in the telco sector. Just hours after the telco and NBN announced a $1.6 billion deal for the rollout of Telstra’s hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) network, the ACCC said it was worried the telco could potentially receive a competitive advantage from its various NBN contracts.
IT News — NBN’s proposed changes to its pricing structure for retail service providers won’t address long-held complaints about the costs involved in purchasing bandwidth in the Netflix era, according to Optus.The telco’s head of corporate and regulatory affairs David Epstein today told the CommsDay conference while it was pleasing to see NBN address the heated issue, the changes were not substantial enough.
IT News — NBN chief executive Bill Morrow has revealed the network builder’s board examined a fibre-to-the-distribution point rollout as a replacement to FTTN 12 months ago, with cost and rollout time considerations ultimately scotching the proposal. The revelation was one of a number of contentious topics raised at an often heated senate committee hearing into the NBN today.
IT News — Qantas will tap into the NBN’s Sky Muster satellites to offer free wi-fi inflight from next year, the airline announced today. Qantas has partnered with broadband services provider ViaSat to conduct trials on a single Boeing 737 late this year in expectation of a full rollout across its domestic fleet of A330s and B737s early next year.
IT News — Telstra has warned a parliamentary committee that proposed changes to telecommunications legislation could mean NBN’s business strays into areas that would compete with the network builder’s wholesale network customers.
IT News — The federal government has accused parts of the new housing industry and the mostly fibre-based telcos that service it of being tempted to roll out substandard infrastructure to save money. In a consultation released quietly before Christmas, the Department of Communications proposed new conditions for carriers that service new housing estates and apartment blocks.
Telstra will be paid by NBN to fix faults in its copper network under a new deal signed by the pair today. The telco today announced it had won two contracts – one for three years and the other for four years – to fix faults on its copper network. The two contracts combined will be worth around $80 million in the first year alone, Telstra said.
IT News — Optus has been hit with a $51,000 penalty by the consumer watchdog after the telco claimed it could offer cable broadband services with ‘NBN-like speeds’. The telco made the claim about its existing broadband plans in advertisements that appeared on websites, billboards, shopping centre posters, catalogues and flyers between January and August.
IT News — NBN will move 40,000 premises around Australia off its long-term satellite service and onto fixed wireless and fixed line services to free up capacity for other satellite users. In late October it was revealed NBN planned to set caps for users on the LTSS after experiencing capacity issues on its interim satellite services.
IT News — NBN today began offering its wholesale partners double the speeds currently delivered by its fixed wireless network, launching a new speed tier that boasts up to 50Mbps download and 20Mbps upload. The network builder starting trialling the faster speeds on fixed wireless in regional areas in April this year.
IT News — NBN is considering building over the Optus hybrid fibre-coaxial cable it purchased for $800 million after finding the network is in such a degraded state that it is not fit for purpose. The national network builder’s deal with Optus for its HFC network was approved by the ACCC in August, just two months after it inked a similar deal with Telstra.
IT News — NBN is readying itself to migrate Telstra’s special business services off copper and onto its fibre infrastructure, offering a proposed roadmap to the telco for migration. The roadmap illustrates how business customers on existing symmetric high-speed digital subscriber line (SHDSL) copper broadband connections – used for things like ATM services and ISDN lines – can be migrated.
IT News — NBN should be allowed to develop a separate wholesale business to develop products such as data backhaul connections for improved broadband service and mobile coverage in regional areas, a landmark review has recommended. Presently, 70 percent of Australia’s land mass has no mobile coverage, and service is poor in many other areas, requiring novel approaches to meet the economic challenges of extending existing high speed mobile networks to reach those geographies.
IT News — NBN chief executive Bill Morrow has revealed the network builder bought 1800 kilometres of new copper to be rolled out in fibre-to-the-node deployments. During a senate estimates hearing last night, Morrow was asked about claims made by communications union the CEPU that plastic bags had previously been used in some repairs to the copper network, and that significant amounts of copper would need to be replaced as a result.
IT News — NBN has provided a detailed breakdown of which areas wiill get which of the network’s multi-technology mix products over the next three years in a new construction plan. The three-year plan includes the hybrid-fibre coaxial rollout for the first time, detailing the areas in which just under 3 million premises across Australia will receive the technology.
IT News — The forecast loss NBN will incur for providing fixed-wireless and satellite broadband in rural and remote Australia has been almost halved in a new estimate published by a research unit within the Department of Communications. An earlier government forecast had estimated NBN would lose around $16.8 billion until 2040 for the provision of rural and remote broadband services.
The Australian — Competition tsar Rod Sims has fired a broadside at Telstra over its claim that the ACCC acted outside its powers in a recent wholesale-pricing decision, saying that the telco giant played the “regulatory game hard” and he had a “diametrically opposed” point of view.
Crikey — One of the most powerful forces in the world today, disruptive new technology, will destroy all of the hopes that rode into space this morning on the rocket that launched the first of two NBN National Broadband Network satellites toward geostationary orbits. Even the national broadcaster the ABC made this clear as it streamed the live launch of the first of two Sky Muster space based platforms from French Guiana.
IT News — NBN will equip itself with network monitoring tools to combat the potential for leechers sucking up high amounts of bandwidth on its soon-to-launch long-term satellite service. The network builder today published a request for information from suppliers of deep packet inspection technology, which it said would allow it to “enhance its capacity planning, offer new services and improve congestion management”.
The Australian — While Telstra was involved in installing the first 1000 nodes and is carrying out about 60 per cent of the network planning and design work, Mr Penn said the telco had decided not to get involved in construction despite having preliminary talks with NBN Co. “We are were only going to do it on a basis that commercially works for us and that particular set of arrangement didn’t work for us,” Mr Penn told The Australian.
NBN has handed six contractors deals for the second set of network deployments supporting its multi-technology mix. The list of contractors includes SA Power Networks in the Northern Territory and South Australia, QC Comms in the Australian Capital Territory and parts of New South Wales, with Lend Lease also joining it in NSW. Service Stream and Decon scored deals for additional NBN FTTx builds in Victoria.
IT News — The cost of replacing an inadequate workforce management system contributed to a blowout in NBN’s IT capital expenditure budget, the network builder has revealed. During a recent senate hearing, NBN networks boss JB Rousselot said the company’s IT capex had increased from $900 million to $1.6 billion in the three years prior to the December 2013 revised strategic review.
IT News — NBN has launched its first live services for end users on fibre-to-the-node technology, claiming most ADSL users won’t need an on-premises appointment to switch over to the network. The FTTN go-live follows an end user trial in Belmont, NSW, that covered 43 homes, all of whom were Telstra retail customers. Around 384 premises are served by each FTTN cabinet.
Australia has appeared in content delivery network provider Akamai’s top ten list of sources for denial of service attacks for the first time, as high-speed broadband connections become more commonplace. Akamai’s State of the Internet report saw Australia enter the top ten DDoS source list in the second quarter of this year with around four percent of attacks globally, putting it on par with larger countries such as Germany, Russia and Korea.
IT News — Exetel has signed a two-year deal to purchase NBN carrier aggregation services through Optus Wholesale. Under the deal, Exetel will be provided access to all NBN 121 POIs (points of interconnect) through Optus Wholesale, including backhaul. The arrangement means Exetel can avoid the costs of servicing all 121 POIs on its own. For each region an RSP such as Exetel wants to serve, it needs to purchase a physical port at the POI to connect its backhaul to the NBN network.
IT News — The competition regulator has given the go-ahead to Optus’ agreement to transfer its HFC cable network to the NBN, clearing one of the final regulatory roadblocks to the rollout of the Coalition’s multi-technology mix network. The approval also comes two months after the ACCC gave its approval to Telstra’s revised definitive agreements to hand over its copper and HFC networks to NBN.
IT Web — NBN will give developers the opportunity to ditch aerial cables for free-to-air television in their greenfields developments by offering the infrastructure through fibre. The national network builder today revealed it was working on a TV infrastructure offering for new developments, which it is planning to make available in the first quarter of next year. NBN would charge for the service on top of the fees it levies on developers to connect their apartment blocks and estates with fibre.
IT News — The national network builder will soon be controlled by a new license condition dictating how it shares information on the rollout with retail service providers, despite protestations against the move. Earlier this year the government asked the ACCC to consult with the industry on whether to introduce a new carrier licence condition for NBN (formerly NBN Co), which would govern the rollout information it provides to RSPs.
The federal government is likely to face opposition over its proposal to increase the thickness of overhead cables erected as part of the national broadband network “to the size of your wrist” without requiring local or state planning approvals. Under schedule three of the Telecommunications Act and related regulations, carriers currently have limited immunity from local, state and territory planning and environmental laws when installing overhead cables with a diameter of 30mm or less.
Australia’s national broadband network builder is on track to meet its target of delivering one million serviceable premises and reaching $150 million in telecommunications revenue by the end of the financial year. The company today said its serviceable broadband footprint had reached nearly 900,000 premises as of the end of the March quarter. NBN’s telecommunications revenue cracked $100 million for the March quarter to reach $106 million, its strongest result to date.