Friday, 26 July 2013

NBN: How Turnbull's Node Plan is NOT British Telecom Model

I rarely trawl long sets of comments in other authors pieces, but I did yesterday after being alerted "they're good".

One of the comments towards Delimiter opened my eyes, they detailed how The Turnbull Node Plan is very different, technically and operationally from BT's "Openreach" that is held up as an example:
  • BT's nodes are pure-digital, not 3-way hybrids like Telstra RIM's and the Turnbull Node Plan.
    • BT, from the comment, does not disturb existing services, and all phone services are carried back to the (BT) exchange.
    • This allows existing ADSL2 services running past the Node DSLAM. This creates havoc with vectoring ("noise cancellation") technologies.
  • Turnbull has repeatedly stated they will remove the majority of line faults by cutting the Telstra copper at the Node, leaving only (around) the last 800m in-place. That's the opposite of BT.
  • BT will install extra nodes if all current ports are used: this means they are pulling a swiftie, something that Turnbull cannot. Turnbull's node costs will, as a result, be much higher than BT's:
    • Not only has massive copper remediation (30% of total costs) been flagged since the 2005 Trujillo proposal (and the copper last 800m has only degraded since),
    • Telstra has flagged that to minimise node count (20% savings) the copper network must be reconfigured to centre on nodes, not exchanges. Neither of these are mentioned with BT.
    • The Turnbull Nodes will be much larger than BT's, they are doing everything Telstra RIMs do...
    • The BT "cheap" is to first install small and cheap nodes, that are fast to roll-out because nobody is connected! Turnbull's cutting of the cable means they cannot do this.
      • TransACT understood this in 2002. They deployed, at a guess, nodes only capable of covering 25%-50% of premises "covered".
      • Plus they saved more money by only deploying with a few line-cards.
  • BT are only just now trialling a centrepiece of the Turnbull Node Plan, DIY modems.
    • There is a major technical impediment, the line filter or central splitter, to DIY. Splitters cannot be DIY, but requires a qualified/certified technician to cut the Telco line before the customer network demarcation point. A prudent & conservative Network Operator like NBN Co would not allow DIY line-filters on the customer side of the network. It's too prone to faults, failure, mis-installation and damaging their network.
    • BT techs are reported to spend considerable time doing installs.
    • The report on the DIY trial notes (paraphrased) "the expert installation tweaks the install, achieving higher speeds than DIY" (and a better service).
    • From this, BT techs, as part of their standard install must be testing the line and correcting faults. This is specifically not in the Turnbull Node Plan. It is "drop and forget", specifically without testing.
The Turnbull Node Plan must be much more expensive that BT's Openreach. Every port, plus spares, have to be configured and operational on the day of cutover.

Cutovers will go badly, no matter how much planning and preparation is done. Telstra line records are notoriously out of date, either there will have to be a 100% Audit of the 9M services covered, with consequential long delays, or 30%-50% of services will fail on cutover.

The second bugbear for the Turnbull Node Plan is line testing. BT found it prudent to have Technicians install VDSL2 services and filters/splitters and test/fix the lines in the process.
What does Turnbull know that BT doesn't?? Or is he relying on blind-luck?

If Turnbull is complaining and carping about the ALP saying "connecting to the Fibre NBN is free", claiming it is "completely untrue" (in spite of iiNet and others offering zero-upfront NBN plans), then he has a serious problem:
Turnbull will not, and cannot, deliver on his no disruption promise.

1 comment:

  1. Well done Steve.. I would actually pay for your comments, unlike some other wannabe.. de..


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