Did NBN Co really listen on Layer 3?


There’s no doubt that NBN Co has a big job on its hands and some fundamental decisions need to be made quickly. The question is, are they being made too quickly? In this week’s Twisted Wire we look at whether, in the rush to reach conclusions, the NBN Co’s own consultation process has not been as inclusive as it should be.

Before it starts pushing fibre into the ground the NBN Co has got to get agreement on exactly what it is it’s building. Already two big questions have been addressed — the points at which retailers connect to the network and whether to offer a Layer 2 or Layer 3 product.

We looked at the points of interconnect proposal last week and questioned the need to pull all traffic back from areas where there was insufficient backhaul competition. 

This week we look at the other key decision — the adoption of Layer 2 as the service standard. A Layer 2 wholesale offering means retail service providers will each need to manage the delivery of IP traffic (Layer 3) across the network. By and large, the telco industry supports this approach and existing internet service providers don’t give much credence to the idea of a Layer 3 wholesale product. Of course, they could have a vested interest — why would they want to make it easier for new entrants to buy directly from the NBN Co?

In today’s program we hear the arguments for a Layer 3 product presented to the Senate Select Committee Hearing on the National Broadband Network last Thursday. These points have all been covered in documents presented as part of the NBN Co consultation process, but there’s a question as to how much consideration they were given. As you’ll hear in this podcast, the NBN Co’s response document (PDF) to industry submissions doesn’t seem to mention the detractors. We try and help out by giving the side of the story the NBN Co missed out on.

You’ll hear from:

  • Tony Hill, president of the Internet Society of Australia
  • Rosemary Sinclair, managing director of the Australian Telecommunications Users Group
  • Dermot Cox, marketing director of C-COR Broadband
  • Mike Quigley, chief executive officer of the NBN Co

First published on ZDNet

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