Broadband network contractors eye new industry code

Broadband network contractors eye new industry code

The draft code is aimed at minimising interference between multiple telecommunications systems

Credit: NBN

Telcos and the contractors tasked with deploying their broadband network infrastructure may soon have to adhere to a new, potentially enforceable, industry code aimed at minimising interference between multiple telecommunications systems.

Australian telecommunications industry body, Communications Alliance, released its draft of a new industry code, C658:2017 Next-Generation Broadband Systems Deployment in Customer Cabling, on 9 November, calling for public comment on its proposals.

The draft code was created by a Communications Alliance working committee of industry experts, led by Peter Cooke from Telstra.

If the code is registered by the Australia’s telco industry regulator, it will see, among other things, companies that are deploying next generation broadband systems, such as the National Broadband Network (NBN), required to cooperate with one another to better manage power levels on deployed services so as to avoid interfering with other nearby services.

The specific goals of the draft code include minimising performance-draining interference between various telco systems and protecting the performance of legacy systems such as ADSL2+ during the 18-month ‘coexistence period’, in which services are meant to be transitioned to the NBN.

It is also hoped the code would help foster greater competition in the deployment of next generation services by telco carriers and service providers and ensuring minimum performance levels for certain next generation systems.

Finally, it is anticipated that the code would also pave the way for technology upgrades, such as the technology that the company behind the NBN, nbn, hopes will enable it to push more data through the legacy copper network infrastructure it is using under the Federal Government’s multi-technology mix (MTM) approach to the national network’s rollout.

“The code will help ensure that the Government’s performance goals for NBN-based services will be met, while also facilitating greater competition and paving a smoother transition to future services,” Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said.

“Without such coordination there is a high likelihood that the two systems will interfere with one another – degrading the service performance for all customers,” he said.

The Communications Alliance said it intends to submit the code, after consultation and further revision to the industry regulator, to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for consideration for registration.

Once registered, industry compliance with the code’s deployment rules and other provisions can be enforced by the ACMA.

The move comes as the country’s NBN rollout comes under increased scrutiny and heightened levels of criticism from some quarters, as a growing number of end customers report connection and speed issues, according to the latest figures by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

In fact, in its Annual Report 2016/17, released in October, the TIO flagged the rapid growth in the number of complaints it has received about services delivered via the NBN as a cause for concern.

The TIO said that complaints about services delivered via the NBN increased by more than 100 per cent compared to 2015/16, which includes an increase in complaints about connection delays and reliability issues, such as faults.

Indeed, 27,195 complaints were recorded about services delivered over the NBN, a year on year increase of 159.3 per cent.

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