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 email@example.com
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.
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