[LINK] NBN: End User Services Taking Shape

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Mon Feb 7 23:39:24 AEDT 2011

NBN: End User Services Taking Shape

By mwyres, posted on February 3rd, 2011 

In the first of a series of posts after attending the National Broadband 
Network (NBN) Collaboration Forum yesterday in Melbourne, I will discuss 
what has now become completely clear in terms of what services will 
become available to users once they are connected to the network, 
progressively over the next nine years.

As I discussed yesterday, I managed to get a few minutes to look over the 
network termination units (NTUs) that will be deployed, and heard 
explained in some detail what kinds of services will be available to end 
users through various service providers, from out of the same NTU.

There are two specific types of NTU – an internal and an external 
version – with the vast majority of installations so far being – (and 
expected to continue to be) – the internal type. As far as the network is 
concerned, each will operate identically.

Pictured is the external type I played with yesterday – it is much easier 
to see the various different interfaces from this photo than the photo I 
have of the internal type – click for larger view. (See website)

Each NTU contains an input from the network – (whether it be from fibre, 
fixed wireless, or satellite) – and presents six interfaces into the 
customer premises. Two of these are exclusively for voice services, and 
four are for data services, or for voice and data services combined.

Each interface is called a UNI or User Network Interface, and are 
suffixed with “V” for voice ports, “D” for data ports, and a sequence 
number. The photo above clearly displays “UNI-V1″, “UNI-V2″, “UNI-
D1″, “UNI-D2″, “UNI-D3″, and “UNI-D4″.

The two voice-specific ports will not be made available for configuration 
in wireless or satellite serviced locations, with the inherent high 
latency of services over these mediums declared unsuitable for voice 
services. This of course does not preclude the use of voice services over 
the data ports – (VoIP/FoIP) – but the issue of latency will remain.

In terms of voice services, there are a number of options.

A single service provider wishing to provide only basic telephony can 
provision a 150Kbps/150Kbps service to terminate at an ATA inside the 
NTU, and emerge as an analogue POTS service through either UNI-V1 or UNI-
V2, using the SIP protocol to trunk the call to the provider’s voice 

A second option will be to provision that 150Kbps/150Kbps service against 
one of the UNI-D ports, and provide an external ATA to provide the FXS 
port to plug your old analogue telephone into.

Although this option exists, it is considered that it will be rarely 
used, as the chances of both UNI-V1 and UNI-V2 being both in use through 
other services to force a third basic telephony service onto a UNI-D port 
would be very slim.

The third option is for a provider to provide basic telephony and basic 
internet services over the same service, but have the voice component 
directed to a UNI-V port, and the data component directed to a UNI-D 
port. This enables bundled basic services equivalent to current bundled 
services, at the least possible cost.

Voice will be carried throughout the NBN infrastructure at the highest 
available priority traffic class, while basic data will be at the 
lowest “best-effort” priority.

The NBN will have four traffic priorities, from highest to lowest: Real-
time (voice), Interactive (IPTV, Video conferencing), Transactional 
(Business data, gaming data), and Best Effort (basic data/internet 

So what does all this mean?

In the end, it means you can choose to take only what you want/need from 
the network, and nothing more. A-la-carte if you like.

For example, you may choose to keep a fixed telephone service through 
Telstra on UNI-V1, a basic internet data service through, say, Internode 
on UNI-D1, and an IPTV service through Foxtel on UNI-D2. You still have 
UNI-V2, UNI-D3, and UNI-D4 available for other services, through other 

Does your boss want you to work at home three days a week? They could 
provision a WAN connection they control back to your home on UNI-D3, and 
maybe a fax line on UNI-V2. Done.

And you’ve still got a port left over – perhaps an e-health monitoring 
service to aid your ailing mother who lives in your back room on UNI-D4?

What it means, is complete flexibility, and consumer choice.

Fed up with your Internode data connection? Switch to iiNet at the drop 
of a hat – presuming of course you are not under a contract with 

Telstra put your voice pricing up to a level you don’t like? Switch to 
Optus at the drop of a hat.

The network will no longer be the limitation that it has been for many 

The network will be completely agnostic, and you are free to take on as 
many services as you want or need – (within the six available ports) – 
and not be hamstrung by bandwidth constraints or physical barriers such 
as pair-gain and RIM situations, both of which have prevented many from 
receiving anything other than very basic internet services – (if anything 
at all) – up until now.

At initial rollout, basic internet and telephony will be the only 
available services. Every six months, NBN Co plan to drop more services 
into the network – starting with multicast IPTV, then services focussed 
on the small to medium business space, and then the large enterprise 

Over time, more and more service types will be developed and added to the 

For the market, this means that the providers who innovate and deliver 
the best products over the network will emerge on top. The competition 
will be furious.

And the consumer will win.

This entry was written by mwyres, posted on February 3, 2011 at 12:07 pm.



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