[LINK] Broadband billions left hanging as wireless bites back

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Tue Jan 26 11:18:26 AEDT 2010

Tom Worthington wrote:
> Marghanita da Cruz wrote:
>> Richard Chirgwin wrote:
>>> ... Doesn't the "home wireless" idea break the wholesale-only model 
>>> of the NBN?
> The NBN could connect the customers to whatever Internet retailer the
> customer chose, via fibre or wireless. What I had in mind was an 
> arrangement similar to wifi hotspots: when you plugged something into 
> the NBN the system would try to authenticate you. If the system can't 
> work out who you are, it would take you to a web page and say: "This 
> is the NBN, would you like to sign up with one of the following 
> retailers: ...".
Surely  authentication is meant to be a retailer job rather than the 
wholesale network? At least, that's my understanding of the network 
model documentation (Paul can correct me if I'm mistaken!).

The customer authentication happens at Layer 3 - that is, the customer 
needs to initiate communication sessions over TCP/IP to seek 
authentication. The NBNCo-owned part of the network ends at Layer 2. So 
in that sense, I do think that the proposed end-user model would require 
a different network model in the NBN.

(Roger - I would feel that having the NBN rather than the retailer 
handle customer authentication would vastly expand the scope for 
surveillance, would you agree?)

"Scope creep" is a risk to the NBN. It can't carry every expectation 
that anyone cares to invent for it, and in that sense, I think its 
limited scope represents a reasonable compromise.
>> ... telco approached a body corporate ... onsite connection ...
> Wireless would help with connection in cluster housing and rented 
> accommodation. Residents could use the wireless service from NBN nodes 
> in buildings around them. If they then wanted more speed they could
> order their own fibre connection.
No real problem there: the body corporate or residents or whatever could 
simply seek a retailer to install wireless nodes as their NTUs to the 
NBN. That's not something the NBNCo has to install or own.


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