Introduction to NBN™

 

1.0: About Us:

Aus Net Servers Australia is Australia’s premium Internet Service Provider. We work with businesses and residential consumers around Australia to connect their home and business to the internet with our wide range of hosting, phone and internet services. When choosing us your choosing a local carrier who treats you as a customer not a number. With Aus Net Servers Australia we only will ever use Australian Support because we understand that you have a busy life. Come peak time our network is being constantly watched for capacity issues where we add more capacity on the fly if our link saturation exceeds 70%. Call us today on 1300 933 038 or email sales@ausnetservers.com.au 

1.1: Brief Introduction to NBN:

As you may be aware, NBN™ (Australia’s National Broadband Network) is set to finish being rolled out across Australia by the end of 2021 using multiple technology types. However, the NBN™ network (as consumers know it) started off as a FTTH (Fibre to the home) after the ALP (Australian Labor Party) won the November 2007 at a original cost of A$15 billion dollars.

Since then the project has blown out massively due to oversights stemming back to Telstra workers and subcontractors not taking proper precautions in the removal or remediation of asbestos contained in the pits and Telstra’s failure to disclose that thousands of pits included asbestos. Anyone that has worked or dealt with asbestos knows that its a very costly exercise to have it removed or remediated thus a major contributor to the massive cost and time blow out on the NBN™ rollout around Australia.

In 2013, Malcom Turnball, announced that NBN would be delivered using a mix of old and new technology to speed up the roll out and reduce costs, however this isn’t exactly what happened. The cost of the project still continued to blow out for a number of reasons mainly due to remediation works and skill shortages.

Now the network was going to be delivered using the following slower and less reliable technology:

  • FTTH – Fibre To The Home
  • FTTB – Fibre To The Basement (For all high rise apartments)
  • FTTN – Fibre To The Node
  • FTTC – Fibre To The Curb
  • HFC – Hybrid fiber-coaxial utilizing the Telstra, Optus and TransACT HFC network
  • Wireless – Fixed Wireless for rural fringe areas.
  • SkyMuster

I am now going to give a brief explanation from an industry professional about what each technology is and what is upsides and downsides are:

1.1.1 FTTH – Fibre To The Home

The original rollout 2011 – 2013 was FTTH as well as all new premises being built today in new estates are generally FTTH or better. There is no downsides to this technology, with fibre being the preferred method of delivery as we still have not found its limits with each wave length being able to transmit up to 10gbps times the amount of colors and shadings in the spectrum. This technology is delivered as an ethernet wan service, so you will need a router that is able to run an Ethernet WAN service. Speeds will vary depending on the carrier.

1.1.2 FTTB – Fibre To The Basement (For all high rise apartments)

Fibre is ran to the basement of a building, usually to the telco / MDF room owned by the building owners where it is then sent up to the apartments using the copper wiring already installed with typical speeds of up to 50Mbps per second. This technology is delivered as a VDSL service thus you will need to have a VDSL compatible modem / router. Depend on the age of the copper and or your carrier will depend what speed you get. For further information see below (NBN Service Tiers)

1.1.3 FTTN- Fibre To The Node

Fibre is ran to the node, This green box typically between between 500- 1000 metres from your premises has a fibre termination router, copper MDF and batteries to keep the service running for a short time during a black out. This device generally supports between 50 -150+ households at once. This technology is delivered as a VDSL service thus you will need to have a VDSL compatible modem / router. The major issue with this service is the copper between your house and the node runs through multiple pits which are subject to flooding. Further, this is using the worst part of the copper network, the parts of the network that have been moved and have been subject to decades of heading and cooling periods which has made the copper brittle and made it develop faults. Further the other issue with this service is that these batteries need to be checked, serviced and replaced regularly.

1.1.4 FTTC – Fibre To The Curb

Fibre is ran to the pit in street and then to your house using the copper telephone pairs. You share this device with 4 other neighbors. You reverse power the device in the bit using equipment supplied by NBNCO. Speeds should average up to 100mbps providing that you have good quality copper. This service is delivered as an ethernet wab service   your basement of a building, usually to the telco / MDF room owned by the building owners where it is then sent up to the apartments using the copper wiring already installed with typical speeds of up to 50Mbps per second. This technology is delivered as a VDSL service thus you will need to have a VDSL compatible modem / router. Depend on the age of the copper and or your carrier will depend what speed you get. For further information see below (NBN Service Tiers)

1.1.5 HFC – Hybrid fiber-coaxial utilizing the Telstra, Optus and TransACT HFC network

This service is similar in many ways to FTTN, however is overall better quality if the network is constantly maintained largely it isn’t. A perfect example of this is NBNCO brought the Optus’s HFC network for $800 million dollars, and then had to spend a staggering amount of money to repair the network after it was leaked that the network was deemed in severe poor condition. This service if checked and maintained should be capable of up to 10GBPS depending on the DOCIS level. NBNCO has had to upgrade large parts of the network to bring it up to a DOCSIS 3.1 which would be capable of up to 10GBPS. NBNCO will supply a NTD which bridges the HFC and delivers you a ethernet handoff. You will need a router that is able to run an Ethernet WAN service. Speeds will vary depending on the carrier.

1.1.6 Wireless – Fixed Wireless for rural fringe areas.

This service is a service delivered from 50m+ tower located on a residents property. NBNCO pays a fixed fee per year for the rights to build and erect a tower on the land. This service is delivered to you as an Ethernet hand off. You will need a router that is able to run an Ethernet WAN service. NBNCO will install all the hardware needed to connect. It should be noted that this is the worst and most least thought out technologies in the NBN Multi Technology Mix. This technology has been extremely poorly thought out and executed. This technology is fraught with tower congestion, cross talk and other interference to name a few. Once of monumental mistakes that NBNCO made when rolling out this network is not running fibre to each tower, instead relaying off another tower which feeds off another tower and so on until it reaches a base station. The major issue with this service is that NBNCO has never provisioned enough throughput capacity for this service, thus come peak times (7-11 PM) the speed drops to sometimes unusable limits.

1.1.7 SkyMuster – Satellite Broadband

This service is a satellite based broadband service, This service is generally reserved for outback and remote areas of Australia where there is no other technology able to service the customer. This technology is delivered as an ethernet wan service, so you will need a router that is able to run an Ethernet WAN service. Speeds will vary depending on the carrier. The downsides of this service is the latency and data cap issues.

1.2 IMPORTANT: NBN™ Service Tiers

When getting connected to the NBN™ there is one thing you need to understand that many carriers bury in legal terms and conditions and this is the service tier types.

There are three different traffic classes available on the NBN™, knowing the difference between each could save on further hassles down the track. The different classes are:

• Traffic Class 4 or TC4
• Traffic Class 2 or TC2
• Traffic Class 1 or TC1

1.2.1 Traffic Class 4 or TC4
TC4 is a standard traffic class, used for delivering residential and small business broadband services. There are no guarantees around contention ratio, frame delay, frame delay variation (Jitter) or frame loss and is designed as a low cost, best effort internet service ideal for home and small business users. All NBN™ services provisioned are TC4 – Best effort unless otherwise specified

1.2.2 Traffic Class 2 or TC2
TC2 is an enterprise-grade traffic class used for delivering high speed symmetrical internet and layer 2 or layer 3 eWAN services. It has a guaranteed 1:1 contention ratio, and high level guarantees on frame delay, Jitter and frame loss as well are corporate support and around the clock monitoring. TC2 is really designed to service larger organisations that rely on their internet and WAN services for voice, video, terminal services and other delay-sensitive applications and is well worth considering for enterprises such as local government, where a stable internet service is vital.

1.2.3 Traffic Class 1 or TC1
TC1 is the highest-grade traffic class, specifically for delivering low bandwidth, highly delay-sensitive applications such as bidirectional high definition audio and video. TC1 has a guaranteed 1:1 contention ratio, and high level guarantees on frame delay, Jitter and frame loss as well as everything that TC2 has.

1.3 ISP Supplied Modems

Typically when you sign up for an internet connection your chosen carrier will send you out a freebie modem that has been pre-configured for your service, These modems are cheap and nasty, typically with cheap DSL chipsets and poor wireless chipsets which lead to slow speeds and drop outs down the track. Generally your carrier will buy in bulk a named brand modem and then push through their own firmware turning off useful features for diagnostics and fault finding because they do not think you need them. My Advise is buy your own modem / router and do your research and understand what you are wanting to do with it. While we do supply modems they are thoroughly tested on our network and have the manufacturers firmware on them. All we have done is configure the modem / router for your service so you can plug the modem in and start using it.

1.4 RSP & CVC

Retail Service Providers (RSP) are authorized representatives of NBNCO™. They have been authorized to resell internet services on the NBN™ network. These carriers buy Connectivity Virtual Circuits (CVC) from NBNCO™ in the form of Mbps. The more data they buy the cheaper the rate per mb. CVC is a fee levied by the NBN™ for offloading traffic from the NBN™ to the retail service providers network. Each service has a set amount of CVC included in it of up to 5MBps per service. Everything beyond this point the carrier will be charged for. This results in the overselling of networks and thus come peak times when everybody is connected the internet the speed of the connection slows down. One of the important questions to ask your carrier is what ratio customers to CVC do they have

1.5 IPOA / PPOE

There is two ways of authenticating to your carrier over the NBN™ network. Each has its pros and cons. By far the default is PPOE which requires you to typically enter a username and password inside your modem to connect to the internet apposed to IPOA which is where the carrier has pre-configured your internet port with the username and password. As soon as your modem communicates with the Radius server it is sent all the information such as the IP Address, speed profile settings and routing information

1.6 NBN™ Point of Internet Connections (POIs)

NBN operates 121 POIs within the NBNCO™ Network. 111 are located in Telstra exchanges and the remaining are constructed in NBN owned or leased facilities generally due to space or power requirements at a Telstra Exchange. Every RSP connects with all these POIs and thus how they can connect you to the internet. The POIs service as a connection exchange between the and customer and the carrier. Meaning the same carrier can have many differant customers on the same POI which then reduces infrastructure.

1.7 No two carriers are the same

It is extremely important to understand that no two carriers are the same when it comes to anything internet related but specifically the NBN™ network. What you the consumer need to understand is that no matter the carrier the port cost or the cost passed from NBN™ to deliver your service is the same. The cheaper the price the more likelihood that the contention ratio is higher meaning the service is likely oversold. Typically these carriers use offshore call centres as there is no margin in the price to pay for Australian call centres

1.8 Fair Usage Policy

It’s common with most if not all carriers / RSPS that they will have fair usage policies as standard as part of their terms and conditions to make sure that their is enough capacity for all users when offering unlimited plans. A mathematically sum is done of how much data you could actually use on your service at full speed divided by the days and then divided by the average. Don’t worry this figure is something more then 99% of users could actually use and generally you would be warned in writing if you exceed this before being disconnected

1.9 About the Author

Matthew Matters is the Managing Director and sole owner of Aus Net Servers Australia Pty Ltd. Matthew is committed to helping Australian’s get connected and navigate their way around the Telecommunication sector which typically is fought with clever sales traps and smoke and mirror tactics.

Matthew is a successful businessman having started his working carrier working for Telstra as a linesman (following his fathers footsteps who works at Telecom Australia as an exchange technician) Matthew has in depth knowledge and industry experience in Telecommunications and hosting having built his business from the group up to what is is today.

Legal disclaimer: The expressions and thoughts outlined in this document is for education purposes only using industry experience and multiple sources

What Is TC4 Based Services

The nbn™ network is being rolled out across Australia using multiple technologies – fibre to the premises (FTTH), fibre to the node (FTTN), fibre to the curb (FTTC), fixed wireless, satellite and HFC.

There are three different traffic classes available on the nbn™, knowing the difference between each could save on further hassles down the track. The different classes are:

• Traffic Class 4 or TC4
• Traffic Class 2 or TC2
• Traffic Class 1 or TC1

Traffic Class 4 or TC4
TC4 is a standard traffic class, used for delivering residential and small business broadband services. There are no guarantees around contention ratio, frame delay, frame delay variation (Jitter) or frame loss and is designed as a low cost, best effort internet service ideal for home and small business users.

Traffic Class 2 or TC2
TC2 is an enterprise-grade traffic class used for delivering high speed symmetrical internet and layer 2 or layer 3 eWAN services. It has a guaranteed 1:1 contention ratio, and high level guarantees on frame delay, Jitter and frame loss as well are corporate support and around the clock monitoring.

TC2 is really designed to service larger organisations that rely on their internet and WAN services for voice, video, terminal services and other delay-sensitive applications and is well worth considering for enterprises such as local government, where a stable internet service is vital.

TC2 makes a great secondary or primary path in a high availability WAN or internet configuration as the the nbn™ network is independent of any carrier, the level of diversity you can achieve when using another carrier service in conjunction with an nbn™ TC2 service is very good.

This solution is ideal for those managers not willing to put all their eggs in one basket, The end game is a second internet connection that you can rely on if one of your connections goes wrong.

Traffic Class 1 or TC1
TC1 is the highest-grade traffic class, specifically for delivering low bandwidth, highly delay-sensitive applications such as bidirectional high definition audio. TC1 has a guaranteed 1:1 contention ratio, and high level guarantees on frame delay, Jitter and frame loss.

How to Prevent Crypto Locker

Over the past few weeks i have had more and more customers of Aus Net Servers asking my staff and i how they can prevent crypto locker from stealing their data. So i thought this would be a good subject for our new Friday education session.

 

The simple and easiest answer is you can’t. Crypto locker uses the built in Windows Encryption software to encrypt your files with a 256bit encryption key. To crack such a key which is the same as what our banking sector uses it would take around 250 Playstation 4’s 51 hours to crack the key. The sad factor is that generally its to late before you know what has happened.

 

Its all about education and being vigilant online, every reputable company will always address you by your first and last name and will NEVER address you with “Dear Sir / Madam” or “Hi”

 

I urge each and every customer of Aus Net Servers Australia to follow these simple steps that makes your data crypto locker proof.

 

Your Computer >> External Storage (NAS) >> Portable Storage / Online Backup.

 

Crypto locker can only run off an infected windows operating system and as such can not touch the data that is not networked off the infected machine. So in short my scenario above is crypto locker proof.

 

Here is a short explanation, Crypto locker can only execute valid and accessible network shares and your local files Any data stored on a portable hard disk or in the cloud hanging off your NAS is 100% safe.

 

I have read some horror stories and seen a few people do some pretty drastic things to stop crypto locker on their network. Some of those things include disabling the windows encryption software completely others paying the random.

 

Its important to backup your data regularly

 

The truth is, these guys are crooks. Under no circumstances should you pay them. There is no guarantee that they will give you access to your files after you pay them or not lock you out of your data again in a short period of time and demand more money.

Its important and i can not stress this enough. You must have offline backups of all your files. This mean backups of your files that are updated regularly and are not connected to the internet. There are many solutions that are available and we are more then happy to have a talk to business customers

 

Crypto locker is a form of malware, its not a virus and as such traditional anti virus suites will not pick it up and remove it. Hardware firewalls generally can scan the attachment signature and in some cases notifies the system administrator or removes the attachment from the email.

 

Its paramount that you NEVER open an attachments from anyone you do not know and if you do get an attachment from someone you know, it’s always a good measure to ask if they sent you that email to make sure its not being sent without their knowledge.

These criminals will always be one step of us if we do not educate our selves

 

Here is some things to look out for:

 

  • Check the spelling and grammar of these emails, generally it will be very poorly written, however of late they seem to be copying and pasting the body of emails from legitimate companies
  • Check the senders email address, make sure the senders email address matches who they are claiming to represent
  • (Advanced) check the email headers to make sure the email was sent from a SMTP server and not PHP Mail and the server that processed the mail was the legitimate company in question

 

As of current i know there are cryto locker viruses from the following sources:

  • AGL
  • Powercore
  • Telstra Online Billing
  • PayPal
  • AustPost

 

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to give us a call on 1300 933 038