[LINK] NBN and Batteries AND Declared Services

Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Thu Feb 24 15:32:34 AEDT 2011

> -----Original Message-----
> From: link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au 
> [mailto:link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of Paul Brooks
> Sent: Thursday, 24 February 2011 1:44 PM
> To: Stilgherrian; Link List
> Subject: Re: [LINK] NBN and Batteries
> On 24/02/2011 10:53 AM, Stilgherrian wrote:
> > On 24/02/2011, at 9:40 AM, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
> >> In the case of the NBN, the use of the system during a power outage
> >> should probably fall into type 1. Even if it doesn't it is 
> a critical 
> >> second order problem (i.e. a problem caused by the 
> solution) which needs 
> >> to be addressed as a problem in its own right, not as a 
> wrinkle of the 
> >> original solution.
> > Um, but this stuff was in early engineering proposals, with 
> the first 
> > suggestion offered by NBN Co [from memory it was from then 
> rather than 
> > the Communications Alliance] being an opt-in to get battery 
> backup if 
> > you wanted it.
> >
> > Stil
> I think the CA working groups started to consider it first, 
> recognising up front that it was a major consideration for 
> consumers. We also need to understand this is not a new issue 
> - all the now tens of thousands of residences in greenfields 
> housing developments over the past few years with FTTP 
> networks and services have also had to cover this off, so 
> there are a few years of 'prior art' from the FTTP 
> greenfields network operators to work with as a starting 
> point in deliberations.
> Looking through the archives, the CA NBN End Users Handbook 
> Release 1 released in December 2009 covered this issue, with 
> lots of discussion in the months of drafting leading up to 
> that paper. There weren't a lot of NBN Co people around in 
> late 2009, the earliest documentation from NBN Co started 
> appearing in early 2010.
> It was also covered in the NBN Technical Standards paper 
> released April 2010 - these papers can be downloaded and 
> viewed at 
> http://www.commsalliance.com.au/Documents/national-broadband-network
> FWIW, the Overview of Technical Standards paper (April 2010) 
> had this to say:
> > "Lifeline Service"
> > 5.3.7
> > There appears to often be confusion regarding the existence 
> or not of 
> > legislation mandating a "lifeline service" (i.e. the 
> maintenance of a 
> > telephone capability during a local power failure). This subject is 
> > also often confused with the requirement for operators to support 
> > "emergency calling" (i.e. the ability for telephone users to call a 
> > special number (e.g. "000" for fixed telephones) to request 
> assistance 
> > from police/ambulance/fire brigade. 5.3.8 In brief there is no 
> > legislated requirement for an Australian operator to support 
> > residential telephony, either to emergency services or any other 
> > party, during a local power failure. The confusion may have arisen 
> > because originally all telephones were powered from the 
> local exchange 
> > (indeed many houses at the time did not have domestic electricity), 
> > and this capability has been sustained over the years, though it is 
> > now largely irrelevant due to the growth in mains-powered 
> telephones 
> > (e.g. cordless phones) and mobile telephones. 5.3.9 With 
> FTTP networks 
> > the fibre network cannot power the optical modems (ONTs). However a 
> > small number of FTTP subscribers may wish to have a battery backup 
> > device so that the ONT can be kept working for a while 
> during a local 
> > power failure to support critical end user services. 5.3.10
> > Of course for this to be of value it would also be 
> necessary for the ONT and
> > end-user equipment to both have battery backup. In the case 
> of telephony this means
> > that the telephone, ATA (telephony adapter) and ONT all 
> need backup. While battery
> > backup devices can be offered by operators as an option, 
> the batteries themselves
> > are relatively short-lived, and the actual lifespan will be 
> determined by the
> > environment and usage pattern of the batteries.
> > 5.3.11
> > Consequently it is common practice for operators to require 
> that end-users accept
> > responsibility for monitoring the battery function, 
> purchase of a replacement
> > battery, installation of the new battery, and recycling of 
> the spent battery.
> > 5.3.12
> > In the case of telephony the availability and popularity of 
> mobile phones makes them
> > an alternative for emergency telephony to a fixed phone 
> with battery backup.
> > 5.3.13
> > There are other end-user devices which communicate over a 
> "dialup telephone line",
> > such as home security systems or medical alarm equipment, 
> and these devices
> > typically incorporate battery backup for which the end-user 
> is also responsible.
> > (AS4607-1999 requires medical alarm equipment to operate 
> for 36 hours in the event
> > of a mains power failure.) Users of such devices will need 
> to be informed that they
> > will also need to make provision for the supply and 
> maintenance of battery backup
> > facilities for their ATA and ONT.
> > 5.3.14
> > An important consideration is that the use of battery 
> backup on a large-scale (e.g.
> > mandating battery backup on all ONTs) would create extra 
> costs for end-users and
> > operators, and very likely lead to environmental problems 
> as end-users discard
> > batteries into land-fill. The use of batteries also leads 
> to increased energy
> > emissions, as constant trickle-charging is necessary to 
> compensate for their
> > self-discharge. Thus for environmental reasons the use of 
> batteries for backup
> > should be minimised.
> Regards,
> Paul.

I think the confusion may be left over from the "Declared Services" Era
which altered in 2009 and now states:

Quote/ [http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/885821]
Domestic PSTN Originating Access
Declared service

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission declares pursuant to
section 152AL(3) of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (the Act) that the
Domestic PSTN Originating Service is a "declared service" for the
purposes of Part XIC of the Act.

The declaration takes effect on 1 August 2009 and expires on 31 July

The availability of the services may vary depending on the geographic
and technical capability of the AP's network at the time at which a
request for the service is made or the service is delivered./Quote

I believe "technical cabability translates to "optional power"

>From memory, the older versions included voltage requirements at
different distances from the exchange.
Have asked someone from ACCC to peek through the archives.

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