DNS neglected in broadband discourse

DNS neglected in broadband discourse

CSIRO networking expert expresses dismay at the path NBN discussions have taken

Discussions surrounding the $43 billion national broadband network (NBN) have failed to take into account broader infrastructure topics such as the Domain Name Server (DNS) system, according to a network expert at one of Australia’s leading research and development centres.

CSIRO ICT Centre Networking Technologies Laboratory director, Narelle Clark, has been designing large-scale networks for consumers and businesses for a number of years.

Speaking during a panel discussion on the digital economy at CeBIT in Sydney, Clark expressed unease at the path NBN conversations had taken.

“I think the key elements are there but I’m very concerned in a lot of the discussion about the overall architecture on what we are going to build in the NBN, that there has not been enough discussion on the fundamental infrastructure services that need to become part of this,” she said.

As an example, Clark pointed to DNS as one topic that hadn’t been addressed in enough detail.

“I don’t think this discussion has covered enough of those infrastructural type services – DNS, the network time protocol, the routing databases, and dare I go to the operational support systems [OSS]. The actual systems that provision the infrastructure, that hold the customer databases,” she said.

“I think every specification that I have ever looked at, the OSS side of things is always left to the last part. And yet, that has got to be the most important part. It goes hand in hand with passing the packets with the routers, and yet this discussion has been centred around whether or not we put glass in the ground or use the old copper. There is so much more yet to be built.”

Clark’s comments come on the back of some speculation by analyst firm, Frost & Sullivan, that wireless technologies could take up to 30 per cent of users away from fixed-line services.

For a more comprehensive overview of the NBN, please visit our NBN: A timeline slideshow.

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