NBN Co releases third broadband agreement

Drops the “Co” and “Bitstream Service” from product name, but retains pricing structure

NBN Co, the company responsible for building and operating the National Broadband Network, released the third version of its Wholesale Broadband Agreement (WBA3) last Friday.

In the new agreement, the company renamed its main product previously known as “NBN Co Ethernet Bitstream Service” (NEBS) to simply “nbn™ Ethernet”.

The new agreement also combines several documents including the product description, technical specifications, price list and fair use policy into a single document now known as the “WBA nbn™ Ethernet Product Module”.

In a separate media release published on the NBN Co website, the company also revealed it plans to trial a new appointments system.  The new system will allow end users to reschedule appointments with installers directly, rather than having to contact through their service provider.

Pricing structure remains unchanged for now

Despite having recently consulted with its retail partners to make changes to current two-component pricing structure, the company did not include a new pricing structure in this version of WBA3.

The company has indicated it will reveal its intentions for the new pricing structure by the end of the year.

NBN Co to trial traffic lights services

Releases technical trial agreement for services to “non-premises transport infrastructure sites”

NBN Co, the company responsible for building and operating the National Broadband Network, has released a new test agreement to test the feasibility of using NBN services to connect transport infrastructure sites like traffic lights and cameras.

According to the test agreement, the trial is set to begin on or around 27th November and will run for approximately 17 weeks.

NBN Co plans to provide test services in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.  Service providers will also need to enter into an agreement with the relevant transport authority in each state to participate in the trial.

Only FTTN and FTTP to be tested

As part of the trial, NBN Co will only test the feasibility of two access technologies in the Multi-Technology Mix.  NBN Co will extend its Fibre to the Node (FTTN) and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) networks to agreed test sites.  However, the company’s third fixed-line access technology HFC will not be part of the trial.

The trial will also make use of a new FTTP small form-factor network termination device (SFP NTD) rather than the standard issue F-NTD used in standard premises.

nbn launches satellite mobility product

Proof-of-concept Wi-Fi trial with Qantas becomes commercial product

Last Friday, the company responsible for building and operating the National Broadband Network (nbn) launched its Large Commercial Passenger Aircraft (LCPA) Satellite Mobility product.

After trialing a proof-of-concept aeronautical satellite product with Qantas earlier this year, the company has released commercial supply agreements including product descriptions and pricing.

Pricing model

nbn will charge satellite mobility (LCPA) customers at a significant premium for both its access and connectivity compared with the standard NEBS (NBN Ethernet Bitstream Service) Satellite product.

On the connectivity side, the Mobility-CVC (M-CVC) will cost $2,310 per Mbps with a minimum order of 100 Mbps. This is compared to $17.50 per Mbps per month for the NEBS product plus a $200 NNI charge.

On the access component, nbn will charge $9,060 per month for each aircraft’s Mobility Beams Virtual Circuit (MB-VC).

Pricing table for nbn’s new Satellite Mobility (LCPA) product (Source: nbn co)

NEBS given traffic priority

nbn states in its LCPA agreement that residential and business customers using the standard NEBS (NBN Ethernet Bitstream Service) product will be given traffic priority over satellite mobility customers.

During any capacity congestion or contention event, nbn will use a Weighted Fair Queuing algorithm to prioritise NEBS traffic over Satellite Mobility product traffic.

The agreement says that, as a result, LCPA traffic will “be adversely affected by nbn™ Ethernet (Satellite) traffic”.

nbn will prioritise traffic from the standard NBN Ethernet Bitstream Service (Satellite) over Satellite Mobility (LCPA) traffic (Source: nbn co)

Standard satellite product also revamped

The LCPA launch comes as nbn revamped its satellite offering for residential and business customers in rural and regional Australia this month. The satellite fair use policy has been relaxed with data allowances doubled across the board.

nbn to pay RSPs for HFC NTD installation

$26 rebate up for grabs for service providers who mail their own NTDs or perform their own professional installations

nbn, the company responsible for building the National Broadband Network, is incentivising retail service providers (RSPs) to provide their own HFC NTD installation or delivery mechanisms.

Last week, nbn released its updated Wholesale Broadband Agreement for July, which includes a new $150 installation fee for the HFC NTD.

Documents published by the network builder today reveal that service providers can participate in business readiness testing (BRT) for more HFC Installation Options. These include HFC NTD delivery or installation by service provider.

A rebate of $26 (excluding GST) will be provided by nbn to participating service providers when they attempt to deliver a self-installation HFC NTD kit to end users or a professional installation is performed.

In addition to the rebate, the professional installation fee will be waived by nbn since the service provider is providing the installation at their own cost.

nbn says this rebate is to help “contribute to [service provider’s] costs associated with […] managing a Customer Professional Installation – HFC or Customer Dispatch NBN Co Self-Install Kit – HFC for the duration of the HFC Installation Options BRT”.

The rebate will be paid for successful activations or when an activation attempt was made and the provider’s overall activation failure rate is less than or equal to 1.5%.

nbn has not specified an end date to this testing agreement.

[Source: nbn]

nbn to charge for HFC NTD install from July

Customers with existing Telstra or Foxtel cable service given self-install option by default

nbn, the company responsible for building the National Broadband Network, will start charging an HFC NTD installation fee from July this year.

This comes as nbn finalises its self-install model which sees end users being mailed their own Network Termination Device in premises with an existing cable installation.

According to its updated WBA price list, nbn will give end users an option of a free self-install kit or a professional install charged at $75 per hour for a minimum of 2 hour (minimum charge $150) excluding GST.

The self-install kit will include a splitter, coaxial cable and the Arris modem acting as the NBN Network Termination Device.

Customers who do not have existing coaxial cabling connecting to the cable network will still be provided with a free initial standard installation.

Missing HFC modems

Unlike NTDs found on nbn’s Fibre or Fixed Wireless networks, the HFC NTD modem is not a wall-mounted installation making it easy for end users to mistakenly remove the devices when moving homes or businesses.

nbn have established that when an HFC Network Termination Device is missing, the new end user will have to request a professional install charged at the same $75 per hour rate for a minimum of 2 hours.

Additional data connections over HFC

Unlike other access technologies on the National Broadband Network with an NTD, the HFC modem only has one active port.

In order to order a second data service, end users will need to order a second Network Termination Device either through a self-install kit or a professional install.

End users with 3 or more existing RF signal terminating devices (such as a cable TV box) will be required to pay a subsequent installation fee charged at $270, plus a labour rate of $75 per hour and any additional material costs.

[Source: nbn]

Sydney bus contract 6 to be privatised – which routes will be affected?

The state government has announced the intention to privatise the operation of bus services in the Sydney Metropolitan Bus Service Contract Region 6 (SMBSC 6).

Government operator State Transit Authority (STA) currently holds contracts 6 – 9, which geographically covers the Inner West, Eastern Suburbs, North Shore and Northern Suburbs. Contract 6 predominantly covers Inner West services, with some services reaching into the Eastern Suburbs, up to the Northern Suburbs and down south to the St George area.

Map showing Sydney Metropolitan Bus Service Contract Region 6

Notwithstanding changes route which may occur between now and privatisation, 223 bus routes will be affected including 59 regular bus routes and 164 school bus routes:

Regular bus routes

Route Name Route Description
401 Lidcombe to Sydney Olympic Park
406 Five Dock to Hurlstone Park
407 Burwood to Strathfield
408 Rookwood Cemetery to Burwood via Flemington
412 Campsie to City Martin Place via Earlwood
413 Campsie to City Martin Place via Canterbury
415 Campsie to Chiswick
418 Bondi Junction to Burwood
422 Kogarah to City Martin Place
423 Kingsgrove to City Martin Place
425 Tempe to Dulwich Hill
426 Dulwich Hill to City Martin Place
428 Canterbury to City Martin Place
430 Kogarah Shuttle
431 Glebe Point to City Martin Place
433 Balmain to Central Pitt St
436 Chiswick to Central Pitt St
437 Chiswick Wharf to Abbotsford Wharf Shuttle
438 Abbotsford to City Martin Place
439 Mortlake to City Martin Place
440 Bronte to Rozelle
441 Birchgrove to City Art Gallery via QVB
442 Balmain East Wharf to City QVB
444 Balmain East Wharf to Campsie
445 Balmain East Wharf to Campsie via Lilyfield LR
460 Five Dock to Concord Hospital via Canada Bay
461 Burwood to City Domain
462 Mortlake to Ashfield
463 Bayview Park to Burwood
464 Ashfield to Mortlake
466 Ashfield to Cabarita Park
470 Lilyfield to City Martin Place
473 Rockdale to Campsie
476 Rockdale to Dolls Point (Loop Service)
477 Miranda to Rockdale
478 Miranda to Rockdale via Ramsgate
479 Rockdale to Kyeemagh (Loop Service)
480 Strathfield to Central Pitt St
483 Strathfield to Central Pitt St via Australian Catholic University Strathfield
487 Bankstown Central to Canterbury
490 Drummoyne to Hurstville
491 Hurstville to Five Dock
492 Drummoyne to Rockdale
493 Roselands to Rockdale
495 Kingsgrove to Bexley North
502 Five Dock to City Town Hall
504 Chiswick to City Domain
508 Drummoyne to City Town Hall
526 Burwood to Rhodes Shopping Centre
L23 PrePay Only – Kingsgrove to City Martin Place (Limited Stops)
L28 PrePay Only – Canterbury to City Martin Place (Limited Stops)
L37 Haberfield to City Town Hall (Limited Stops)
L38 PrePay Only – Abbotsford to City Martin Place (Limited Stops)
L39 PrePay Only – Mortlake to City Martin Place (Limited Stops)
M20 Prepay Only – Botany to Gore Hill
M30 Prepay Only – Sydenham to Mosman
M41 Hurstville to Macquarie Park
X04 PrePay Only – City Domain to Chiswick (Express)
X25 Sydney Olympic Park to Strathfield

 

School bus routes

Route Name Route Description
560s Ashfield Station to Trinity Grammar Summer Hill
561s Balmain to Newington College
562s Trinity Grammar Summer Hill to Ashfield Station
563s Summer Hill Station to Trinity Grammar Summer Hill
565s Kingsgrove Station to Trinity Grammar Summer Hill
566s Trinity Grammar Summer Hill to Kingsgrove Station
567s Rockdale Stn to Moorefield Girls High
568s Strathfield Station to Rosebank College
569s Rosebank College to Pemberton & Arthur Sts Strathfield
570s Rosebank College to Five Dock Shops
571s Rosebank College to Five Dock Shops
572s Rosebank College Five Dock to Croydon Park
573s Rosebank College to Concord Hospital
574s Rosebank College to Homebush Station
575s Homebush Station to Rosebank College
576s Rosebank College to Canterbury Station
577s Rodd Point to St. Patricks Strathfield
578s St. Patricks Strathfield to Five Dock Shops
579s Strathfield Stn to St. Patricks Strathfield
580s St Patricks Strathfield to Punchbowl Rd, Belfield
581s St. Patricks Strathfield to Belmore Station
582s Drummoyne to St. Patricks Strathfield
583s St. Patricks Strathfield to Five Dock Shops
584s St. Patricks Strathfield to Rhodes Station
585s St. Patricks Strathfield to Burwood & Parramatta Rds
586s St. Patricks Strathfield to Burwood & Parramatta Rds
587s St. Patricks Strathfield to Burwood Stn
588s Burwood to St. Patricks Strathfield
589s St. Patricks Strathfield to Ashfield Station
590s De La Salle Ashfield to Hurlstone Park Station
591s De La Salle Ashfield to Rodd Point
592s Bethlehem College to Strathfield Stn
593s Haberfield to Homebush Public School
595s Parramatta Rd & Dalhousie Sts to Burwood Girls High
596s Burwood Girls High to Leichhardt Town Hall
597s Burwood Girls High to Georges River Rd & Burwood Rd
598s Earlwood to Hunters Hill High
600s Strathfield Girls High to Strathfield Stn
601s Strathfield Girls High to Concord Hospital
602s Strathfield Girls High to Ashfield Station
603s Strathfield Girls High to David St & Liverpool Rd, Burwood
604s Burwood Stn to Strathfield Girls High
605s Strathfield Girls High to Burwood Rd & Gipps St,Concord
606s Earlwood to Christian Bros Lewisham
607s Kingsgrove Depot to Christian Bros Lewisham
608s Christian Bros Lewisham to Undercliffe (Cooks River Bridge)
609s Campsie Station to Christian Bros Lewisham
610s Christian Bros Lewisham to Kingsgrove Station
611s Belfield (Punchbowl Rd) to Christian Bros Lewisham
612s Christian Bros Lewisham to Belfield (Punchbowl Rd)
613s Georges River & Burwood Rds to Christian Bros Lewisham
614s Five Dock Shops to Christian Bros Lewisham
615s Concord Shops to Christian Bros Lewisham
616s Concord Shops to Christian Bros Lewisham
617s Campsie Station to Christian Bros Lewisham
618s Campsie Station to Christian Bros Lewisham
619s Christian Bros Lewisham to Campsie Station
620s Christian Bros Lewisham to Earlwood
621s St.Maroun School to Bexley Rd & William St (Kingsgrove)
622s Kingsgrove North High to Belmore Station
623s Kingsgrove North HS to Earlwood
624s Campsie Station to Kingsgrove Depot
625s Clarke St, Earlwood to Belmore Station
626s Santa Sabina Strathfield to Drummoyne
627s Santa Sabina Strathfield to Five Dock Shops
628s Bexley Rd & William St to Canterbury Boys High
629s Canterbury Girls High to Earlwood
630s Canterbury Girls High to Belmore Station
631s Canterbury Boys High to Belmore Station
632s Campsie Station to Canterbury Boys High
633s Dulwich Hill Shops to Canterbury Primary
634s Canterbury Primary to Dulwich Hill Shops
635s St. Marthas Strathfield to Drummoyne
636s Bexley Rd & William St, Kingsgrove to Kingsgrove High
637s Bexley Post Office to Kingsgrove High
638s Canterbury Rd & Tincombe St, Canterbury to Kingsgrove High
639s Greenhills St & Liverpool Rd, Croydon to Kingsgrove High
640s Kingsgrove Primary to Campsie Station
641s Kingsgrove High to Rockdale Stn
642s Georges River Rd & Brighton Ave to Kingsgrove High
643s Canterbury Rd & Beamish St, Campsie to Kingsgrove High
644s Marrickville High to Kingsgrove Depot
645s Kingsgrove to St. Scholasticas, Glebe
646s Canterbury to St Scholastics
647s Railway Square to St. Scholasticas, Glebe
648s St. Scholasticas, Glebe to Balmain (Gladstone Pk)
650s St. Scholasticas, Glebe to Parramatta Rd & Dalhousie Sts
651s City to Balmain High
652s Balmain High to City
654s Canterbury Station to Balmain High
655s Dalhousie & Deakin to Concord High School
656s Concord High School to Five Dock Shops
657s Concord High School to Chiswick
658s Annandale to Concord High School
659s Drummoyne to Concord High School
660s Concord High School to Burwood, Westfield
661s Burwood Stn to Concord High School
662s Concord High School to Mortlake
663s Concord High School to Drummoyne
664s Parramatta Rd, Petersham to Rosebank College
670s Domremy College Five Dock to Leichhardt Town Hall
671s Earlwood to Domremy College, Five Dock
672s Domremy College. Five Dock to Campsie Station
673s Domremy College to Burwood
674s Concord Road & Victoria Street to Domremy College
675s Domremy College to Burwood & Canterbury Rds
676s Burwood & Canterbury Rds to Domremy College, Five Dock
677s Domremy College to Concord Shops
678s Domremy College to Campsie Station
679s Kingsgrove Depot to Domremy College
680s Balmain (Gladstone Pk) to Fort Street High
681s Fort Street High to Strathfield Stn
682s Fort Street High to Balmain (Gladstone Pk)
683s Blackwattle Bay Campus (Glebe High) to Canterbury Station
684s Blackwattle Bay Campus (Glebe High) to Newtown Bridge
685s Blackwattle Bay Campus (Glebe High) to Millers Point
690s Blackwattle City Campus – Balmain
691s Blackwattle City Campus – Leichhardt Market
692s Blackwattle Bay Campus (Glebe High) to City
693s City to Blackwattle Bay Campus (Glebe High)
700s Earlwood to Tempe High
701s St. Pius, Enmore to Tempe
702s Rockdale Stn to St. Pius, Enmore
710s Homebush Boys High to Cabarita Junction
711s Homebush Boys High to Concord Hospital
712s Homebush Public School to Strathfield Stn
713s Broughton St & Parramatta Rd,Burwood to Homebush Boys High
714s Strathfield Stn to Homebush Public School
715s St. Marys Concord to Homebush Station
718s Ashfield Boys High School to Broadway, Enfield
720s St. George Girls High to Campsie Station
721s Campsie Station to St. George Girls High
725s De La Salle Ashfield to Liverpool Rd, Strathfield
726s De La Salle Ashfield to Earlwood
730s Endeavour High to Rockdale Stn
731s Rockdale Stn to Miranda Station
732s Rockdale Stn to Brighton Public School
733s Kogarah Station to Endeavour High
734s Endeavour High to Ramsgate & Rocky Pt Rds, Ramsgate
735s St. Ursulas Kingsgrove to Kingsgrove Depot
736s St. Ursulas Kingsgrove to Croydon Park
738s Campsie Public School to Claremont & Orissa Sts Campsie
740s John St, Pyrmont to Ultimo Primary
741s P.L.C. Croydon to Drummoyne
743s Earlwood to Burwood Girls High
745s Drummoyne to Drummoyne Primary
750s Ramsgate to Miranda
751s Taren Point to Rockdale Stn
753s Bankstown Hospital to Kingsgrove & Canterbury Rds, Belmore
755s Belmore Station to Kingsgrove Station
757s Drummoyne to Burwood Stn
760s Newington to Concord High
761s Newington to Concord High
762s St. Scholasticas, Glebe to Forest Lodge Public School
763s St. Finbars School to Ramsgate
764s Dolls Point to Marist Bros, Kogarah
765s Canterbury to Marist Bros, Kogarah
766s Rockdale Stn to Moorefield Girls High
767s Moorefield Girls High to Rockdale Stn
768s Rockdale Stn to Endeavour High
769s Bay St & Moate Av, Brighton to Moorefield Girls High
770s Archery Centre, Wentworth Point to Concord High School
780s Burwood Stn to Homebush Boys High
781s Georges River Rd & Walsh Ave to Homebush Boys High

Could TPG end up partially subsidising NBN for Qantas Wi-Fi?

NBN Co placed in a potential conflict of interest under new regional broadband tax

Earlier this year, I made a submission to the Government’s consultation on the Telecommunications Reform Package.

I’ve been meaning to write a summary for some time.  I thought I’d whip one up together after it was announced that the Government planned to introduce the legislation next month despite not responding to the submissions.


As part of the reform package, the government planned to introduce a $7.09 charge per line to most fixed line “superfast” broadband services (defined as 25 Mbps download speeds or greater).

This is to help subsidise the cost of nbn’s fixed wireless and satellite networks — primarily servicing regional and remote communities around Australia.

The NBN fixed line footprint is expected to be the primary contributor of the tax.  However, other operators such as TPG with its fibre to the building network will also be hit.

NBN Co’s commercial interest

The problem is that the NBN satellite network is no longer solely about the delivery of broadband services to regional areas.

It now has other commercial interests — including the Satellite Mobility product which allows commercial entities like Qantas to tap into the satellite network for the delivery of in-flight Wi-Fi.

This could mean that a provider like TPG could be paying taxes which help subsidise the provisioning of Wi-Fi services on a Qantas aircraft.

No restrictions on subsidy for regional broadband only

The proposed bill had no restrictions that the funding must only be used to provision broadband services to regional areas — as I explained in 2.1.5 and 2.1.6 of my submission.

So, NBN Co is placed in a conflicting conundrum.  It can spend its subsidy funds on improving the quality of satellite services to regional communities like relaxing the Fair Use Policy with no additional revenue.

Alternatively, it could spend it on developing new revenue streams through commercial products like the Satellite Mobility product — competing with the likes of Optus who also have satellites in the sky.

My suggestions?

In my submission, I suggested:

  1. The Bill should make clear that the funding made available through the Regional Broadband Scheme is not available for services where the primary purpose is not to deliver broadband to regional communities.
  2. The strict Fair Use Policy (FUP) imposed by NBN Co on its Satellite network means the quality is still not directly comparable to fixed-line super-fast broadband services.As a condition of the Regional Broadband Scheme funding, the funding recipient should prioritise upgrades to the capacity and service reliability of rural and regional customers over the development of supplementary products like the Satellite Mobility product.
  3. Ensure similar protection is afforded to services delivered by means of the NBN Fixed Wireless network.

Full submission

Sydney Growth Trains – what to expect?

Advertising screens and provisions for driver-only operation expected for the 24 new eight-car Waratah-style trains

24 new trains have been ordered as part of Transport for NSW’s More Trains, More Services program.  These eight-car trains, together with signaling and rail infrastructure upgrades, will enable Sydney Trains to deliver more express services over the existing heavy rail network.

Downer EDI won the contract, worth $1.7 billion dollars, to deliver and maintain the new trains.  Chinese manufacturing company CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles will manufacture and deliver the trains under a subcontract agreement with Downer EDI.

These trains have been described as being “Waratah-style” trains.  I decided I’d take a peek inside the Sydney Growth Trains contract, to see if there are any other quirks expected in the new fleet.

I also did a similar summary on the New Intercity Fleet contract, if you’re interested.

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TPG licences hint at LTE fixed wireless trial in Bendigo

New 3.6GHz “point to multipoint” licence at existing Vodafone tower suggests trial LTE deployment

Australia’s second largest telco, TPG, was granted a number of apparatus radio licence covering parts of the Bendigo area in Victoria.

These new licences, issued on 21 March 2017 by the ACMA, are in addition to the spectrum licences owned by TPG to operate in the 1800 MHz and 2.5 GHz bands.

Whilst apparatus licence are typically issued for one year, the TPG licences are only valid until late October this year — hinting at a short-term trial.

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New Intercity Fleet – what to expect

On-board Wi-Fi and passenger load displays coming to the New Intercity Fleet

Edit: earlier I had indicated that the trains will come in 6+2 and 2+2 sets.  I have now corrected it to show 6+4 and 4+4 sets as per the contract.

It’s been long overdue, but the beloved intercity V sets first introduced in the 70s will soon be replaced by a new shiny fleet of trains — the New Intercity Fleet.

Some of the details have already been publicly announced by Transport for NSW and NSW Trains… but I thought I might as well dive a little further into the contract with the UGL/Mitsubishi/Hyundai Rotem consortium to see what else I can find.

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