Fibre networking at an NBN Point of Interconnect

NBN to rebate for higher speeds

Service providers may be eligible for a rebate to upgrade existing users to higher speed tiers

The company responsible for building the National Broadband Network, nbn, will introduce a three-month credit scheme designed to promote the uptake of higher speed tiers on its network.  The “Step Up AVC Credit” will see service providers refunded up to $33 over 3 months for upgrading existing customers to a higher speed tier.

End users must stay on the new tier for a minimum of 90 days to be eligible for the credit.

Rebates range from $9 to $33 over 3 months:

  • 12/1 Mbps to 25/5 Mbps: $9 over 3 months
  • 12/1 Mbps to 50/20 Mbps: $21 over 3 months
  • 12/1 Mbps to 100/40 Mbps: $33 over 3 months
  • 25/5 Mbps to 50/20 Mbps: $21 over 3 months
  • 25/5 Mbps to 100/40 Mbps: $33 over 3 months
  • 50/20 Mbps to 100/40 Mbps: $21 over 3 months

In an effort to reduce congestion and lower CVC congestion, the credit has strict guidelines about the state of congestion within the network.  Any connectivity virtual circuit connected to end users applying for the “Step Up AVC Credit” cannot exceed an average of 95% of network utilisation for 4 consecutive 15 minute intervals in any 24 hour period.

During this campaign, nbn will also co-fund marketing activities associated with the “Step Up AVC Credit” at $1.50 for each eligible AVC.

The scheme will start in November 2016 and finish at the end of March 2017.

[Source: NBN Co]

fw_antenna_install_nbnco

NBN sets December launch date for up to 50/20Mbps speeds

Product construct similar to NBN’s copper network

The company responsible for building the National Broadband Network, nbn, has released an updated Wholesale Broadband Agreement (WBA) to service providers which includes the new up to 50/20 Mbps speed range.

Originally, the company had limited the speed achievable on the NBN Fixed Wireless network to be 25/5 Mbps. However, according to the Product Technical Specification document, the equipment (W-NTD) installed in homes are capable of speeds of up to 75 Mbps downstream and 20 Mbps upstream depending on the equipment version.

nbn will begin to offer the 25-50/5-20 Mbps speed tier for the commonly used Traffic Class 4 Access Virtual Circuit, starting 1st December 2015. The company will also offer a 0.3 Mbps Traffic Class 1 Access Virtual Circuit — up from 0.15 Mbps, intended for low-latency services such as VoIP lines.

However, unlike the other Fixed-line technologies such as Fibre, FTTN and HFC — the NBN Fixed Wireless network will not offer an up-to 25/10 Mbps speed tier.

The company has been trialing the product since mid-May this year.

NBN Fibre NTD

SkyMesh first to offer speeds over 100/40 on NBN

Last night, internet service provider SkyMesh announced on broadband forum Whirlpool their new offering of symmetric 100/100Mbps download and upload speeds over nbn™ fibre to residential customers.  SkyMesh is the first nbn service provider to offer speeds of over 100/40Mbps to residential connections.

SkyMesh Managing Director, Paul Rees, says the push to provide 100/100 Mbps services came from their customers.  “I think it was first suggested on Whirlpool, then customers started calling to ask if we could provide any faster upload speeds at their premises.”

Paul says the interest initially came from small business customers who backup their data to the Cloud.

“We have a few customers who are graphic artists and one video production company that produces television advertising.  They were looking for a faster way to upload their large files, then they saw the faster speed plans on our website and called us.”

“These faster upload speeds are also ideal for people who use Dropbox and other file sharing applications.”

Plan costs stated on their website start at $99.95 with 30GB anytime data and 60GB off-peak data, with options to go to 2.4TB anytime data and 16TB off-peak data for $199.95.  The prices represent an increase of between $40-$50, compared with those with similar data allowances on the company’s 100/40Mbps plan.

SkyMesh's website showing 100/100 Mbps plans and pricing
SkyMesh’s website showing 100/100 Mbps plans and pricing

SkyMesh also states that can offer custom plans with and “will also do our best to match any Plan published by a competing NBN Co Access Seeker”.  However, with no other access seeker offering symmetrical 100Mbps speeds to residential customers, there is little opportunity to compare pricing.

Innovative use of 250/100 Mbps AVC

nbn™, the company responsible for running the National Broadband Network, does not offer symmetrical port speeds (AVC) of 100 Mbps over Traffic Class 4.  However, the service provider has indicated that they will instead use the 250/100 Mbps AVC option and speed limit the download to 100 Mbps while retaining uploads at full speed.  The higher tier AVC costs $35.20 including GST ($32.00, excl GST) more than the 100/40Mbps ($70 vs $38, excl GST).

Availability

The company states that “nbn co only offers the relevant AVC product to Fibre and FTTB services”. However, they will only be “offering these plans to end users on nbn™ fibre”.

SkyMesh also notes on its website that “plans faster than 100/40 Mbps are available at most, but not all, locations”.  They elaborate on their announcement thread on Whirlpool that some premises in the following areas will not have access to those speeds until nbn™ completes network upgrades:

  • Aitkenvale QLD
  • Armidale NSW
  • Bacchus Marsh VIC
  • Bombo NSW
  • Casey ACT
  • Goodna QLD
  • Jamberoo NSW
  • Kanahooka NSW
  • Kiama NSW
  • Minnamurra NSW
  • Mundingburra QLD
  • Redbank QLD
  • Willunga SA

SkyMesh is leading the way

The company, who has a direct relationship with nbn co, was originally a wireless and satellite broadband company offering services over their own wireless network in South East Queensland and on the IPSTAR.  However, with the rollout of the National Broadband Network, the company began offering services over nbn™ fibre, nbn™ fixed wireless and nbn™ interim satellite.

Since it started offering nbn services, it has become one of the most innovative providers.  It was one of the few service providers who trialed the up to 50/20 Mbps speed tier on nbn™ fixed wireless this year before its commercial launch, and will also be trialing the nbn™ long term satellite with select customers before its commercial launch next year.

The company is also the only service provider to offer unmetered Netflix traffic to customers over nbn™ fixed wireless, and also offers this feature to nbn™ fibre customers.

NBN Fibre to the Node Trial at Umina Beach

nbn™: criteria for copper remediation revealed

Service may only reach the speed range once within 24 hours

The company building the National Broadband Network, nbn, has released details how it proposes to classify premises where “remediation is required”.

In the most recent draft of the Wholesale Broadband Agreement (WBA 2.2) released Access Seekers for FTTN Business Readiness Testing, nbn revealed that “NBN Co will designate that Remediation is required” where “25 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream for all bandwidth profiles other than 12 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream”.  The company also included an exception clause for the Fibre to the Node network where the speed is limited to 12/1 Mbps during the co-existence “transition” period.

While a premises is being designated for remediation, nbn™ says that speeds may be “significantly less than” the speeds ordered by the customer.

NBN Co outlines how premises that require remediation are classified
NBN Co outlines how premises that require remediation are classified

The company has also revealed for ranging speed tiers such as those used for the Fibre to the Node and Fibre to the Basement products, the performance criteria for the Peak Information Rate (PIR) may only be reached the specified range “once” within a 24 hour period.

NBN Co outlines its speed performance criteria for Peak Information Rate (PIR)
NBN Co outlines its speed performance criteria for Peak Information Rate (PIR)

However, this performance guarantee applies only applies to the network that nbn™ provides to the service providers.  Additional factors such as service contention set by service provider may further degrade services received by the end user.

Inside an NBN node at Umina Beach

nbn™: FTTN limited to 12/1 Mbps during transition

While legacy services such as ADSL2+ exist on the Telstra copper network, speeds will be limited to reduce interference.

Despite what the documentations says, nbn™ has now denied (on the record) that they will “limit” speeds to 12/1.  Please refer to this post here for more information.

In the most recent draft of the Wholesale Broadband Agreement (WBA 2.2) released Access Seekers for FTTN Business Readiness Testing, nbn has revealed that speeds will be limited to 12/1 Mbps during the so-called “Co-existence Period” on the Fibre to the Node network.

During this period, all bandwidth profiles will be restricted to reduce interference with existing legacy services that run on the Telstra network.  A similar limitation will apply to Fibre to the Basement, however, the maximum speed will be limited to 25/5 Mbps rather than 12/1 Mbps.

Table showing the speed limitations for FTTN/FTTB during Co-existence Period
Table showing the speed limitations for FTTN/FTTB during Co-existence Period

In the document, the company said that the speeds will continue to be limited until “NBN Co is satisfied that Downstream Power Back-off is no longer required”:

11.5 Co-existence Period
NBN Co will disable Downstream Power Back-off in respect of an NBN Co Node when NBN Co is satisfied that Downstream Power Back-off is no longer required in respect of that part of the NBN Co FTTB Network or NBN Co FTTN Network (as the case may be). The Co-existence Period for Ordered Products supplied by means of that NBN Co Node will cease at such time.

FTTN BRT Special Terms – WBA 2.2 Draft – NEBS Product Description

Despite explicit wording of the documentation, however, a spokesperson for nbn™ has denied to technology publication ZDNet that they will limit speeds.  Instead, they have indicated that they will guarantee speeds of at least 12/1 mbps.

During the period when NBN is upgrading a suburb with ADSL to VDSL2 speeds will not be limited to 12/1Mbps. During this so-called ‘co-existence period’ line speeds on the NBN FttN service will still be substantially faster than those being delivered via ADSL2+ from the exchange

For customers who live close to the exchange, the speed attainable over the Fibre to the Node network may actually be lower during the “Co-existence period” than what’s possible over their existing ADSL2+ service.  The typical theoretical maximum speed for ADSL2+ is 24/1 Mbps and is delivered from the Telstra exchange.

ADSL and special services will "co-exist" with FTTN/FTTB during the transitional Co-existence Period
ADSL and special services will “co-exist” with FTTN/FTTB during the transitional Co-existence Period

However, since the duration of the Co-existence period varies depending in the area still using ADSL or special services – customers who experience greater speeds over ADSL2+ (greater than the 12/1 Mbps offered) would still need to migrate to NBN before NBN Co can declare the “Co-existence period” over.

Once the Co-existence Period is over, nbn™ will provide 12/1 Mbps and 25/5 Mbps speed profiles similar to those on Fibre to the Premises with higher speeds only available as an “up-to” range.  However, NBN Co also states in the document that it is considered acceptable if the customer only receives speeds set out in the PIR or PIR range “once” in 24 hours.

Table showing the FTTN/FTTB AVC speed ranges in the draft of WBA 2.2
Table showing the FTTN/FTTB AVC speed ranges in the draft of WBA 2.2

FTTN BRT Special Terms – WBA 2.2 Draft – NEBS Product Description (PDF)