Home Telecoms & NBN NBN Co home wiring checks 'deserve applause – and condemnation'
NBN Co home wiring checks 'deserve applause – and condemnation' Featured

One of Australia's better-known network experts says the move by NBN Co, the company building Australia's national broadband network, to use a diagnostic tool to check home wiring to see if it may be causing speed issues should be both applauded and condemned.

Mark Gregory (below, right), an associate professor in network engineering at RMIT University, told iTWire in response to a query that "the announcement should be applauded because there is an urgent need to identify and fix the network connectivity problems caused by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's decision to use obsolete FttN technologies".

NBN Co's acting chief technology officer Carolyn Phiddian said in a blog post on 20 September that, "in coming weeks we will begin a trial of a new diagnostic tool that we hope will quickly and accurately detect premises that may be suffering from speed issues related to in-home wiring faults".

Phiddian added that NBN Co had decided on the trial "after an internal study we conducted earlier this year on nearly 800 premises found that, of those studied, speed performance issues identified in one in two premises on FttN networks were caused by in-home wiring. In many of these cases poor wiring caused download speeds to degrade by more than 50%".

The original plan for the NBN, proposed by a Labor Government in 2009, envisioned rolling out fibre-to-the-premises (FttP) to 93% of premises, with the remainder to be served by wireless or satellite.

mark gregory vert

Four years later, when a Coalition Government was elected, the plan was changed with fibre-to-the-node (FttN) becoming the option for a majority of premises and HFC cable also being added to the mix. Initially there were plans to use both Optus and Telstra cable but the former was found to be unfit for purpose.

Later, fibre-to-the-kerb (FttK) — what NBN Co calls fibre-to-the-curb (FttC) — has been adopted for some residences. NBN Co has used the term fibre-to-the-distribution-point (FttDP) and FttC interchangeably.

But Gregory has, in the past, been careful to point out the distinction between the two: FttDP means that the last bit of copper leading to a customer's premises is about 40 metres while FttC or FttK means fibre is rolled out to within 300 to 400 metres of premises to either a pit or pole, and copper cables used for the lead-in.

Regarding the home wiring checks, Gregory said the announcement should also be condemned.

"Technical problems with the ageing copper were identified as a key reason why FttN should not be used long before the decision was taken by Turnbull to adopt a second-rate solution that has condemned Australia to third-world broadband status," he said.

Australia now stands at 50th in the global rankings for average Internet connection speeds, according to content delivery network Akamai.

Gregory said the copper remediation costs were likely to be passed onto consumers. "And maintenance costs for the copper network are about twice that for FttP whilst providing a far inferior service to consumers," he pointed out.

Gregory, who has been a critic of the so-called multi-technology mix solution chosen by the Coalition for the NBN, added: "There is nothing in the announcement by NBN Co that is encouraging other than to identify that a game of catch-up has already commenced and will continue until FttP replaces the inferior FttN."

47 REASONS TO ATTEND YOW! 2018

With 4 keynotes + 33 talks + 10 in-depth workshops from world-class speakers, YOW! is your chance to learn more about the latest software trends, practices and technologies and interact with many of the people who created them.

Speakers this year include Anita Sengupta (Rocket Scientist and Sr. VP Engineering at Hyperloop One), Brendan Gregg (Sr. Performance Architect Netflix), Jessica Kerr (Developer, Speaker, Writer and Lead Engineer at Atomist) and Kent Beck (Author Extreme Programming, Test Driven Development).

YOW! 2018 is a great place to network with the best and brightest software developers in Australia. You’ll be amazed by the great ideas (and perhaps great talent) you’ll take back to the office!

Register now for YOW! Conference

· Sydney 29-30 November
· Brisbane 3-4 December
· Melbourne 6-7 December

Register now for YOW! Workshops

· Sydney 27-28 November
· Melbourne 4-5 December

REGISTER NOW!

LEARN HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF A CYBER ATTACK

Australia is a cyber espionage hot spot.

As we automate, script and move to the cloud, more and more businesses are reliant on infrastructure that has the high potential to be exposed to risk.

It only takes one awry email to expose an accounts’ payable process, and for cyber attackers to cost a business thousands of dollars.

In the free white paper ‘6 Steps to Improve your Business Cyber Security’ you’ll learn some simple steps you should be taking to prevent devastating and malicious cyber attacks from destroying your business.

Cyber security can no longer be ignored, in this white paper you’ll learn:

· How does business security get breached?
· What can it cost to get it wrong?
· 6 actionable tips

DOWNLOAD NOW!

Sam Varghese

website statistics

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

Popular News

 

Telecommunications

 

Sponsored News

 

 

 

 

Connect