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NBN Co joins Open Networking Foundation

15 January 2019

NBN Co, the company building Australia’s wholesale broadband access network, has become the first Australian commercial network operator to gain membership to global open networking standards body, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF).

Industry bodies like ONF break down inflexible systems and allow operators to pick the best-in-breed component for their organisation by providing access to open-source software and hardware.

Traditional proprietary platforms can create a vendor ‘lock-in’, causing operators to become dependent on a specific vendor for hardware, software and services, which makes switching to other solutions more complex and costly.

Membership in ONF is expected to give NBN Co global insights as the telecommunications industry begins moving away from traditional single-purpose, proprietary platforms towards open and flexible lower-cost solutions.

The immediate opportunity for NBN Co in joining ONF is the ability to interact directly with a community of over 100 partners to begin investigating the company’s current and future network needs.

NBN Co’s Chief Technology Officer, Ray Owen said:

“Joining the ONF and its push for more open standards on networking deployment is a demonstration of our commitment to find innovative ways to deploy and manage the network.

“By investigating open-source software and building on the work already done by the ONF, we can aim to drive programmable network architectures through disaggregation of control.

“This will help to enable us to achieve a faster time to market with our wholesale products and deeper systems integration with retail service providers.”

Open Networking Foundation’s VP of Marketing and Ecosystem, Timon Sloane, said:

“NBN Co is an ideal candidate to benefit from the ONF's access and edge projects. As Australia's national provider of wholesale broadband access, NBN Co provides a wide variety of access services over different last mile technologies.”

“ONF's SEBA project virtualises broadband access to create a single access network regardless of the last mile technology used for each subscriber.”

“Currently supporting XGS-PON and G-PON, our community would like to see SEBA expanded to support additional flavours of PON, DSL, DOCSIS and more. This work has the potential to help vastly transform and optimise NBN Co's access network using next generation open source elements. We are very excited to have NBN Co as the first Australian network operator joining the ONF membership.”

Notes to editors:

  • Other members of ONF include global giants AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and Verizon as well as non-telco partners such as Google and Intel.
  • ONF aims to develop open industry standards for telecommunications network solutions, making use of emerging general-purpose ‘commodity’ compute, storage and communications hardware and software, to help transform the deployment and operation of telecom networks.
  • ONF aims to extend the flexibility and economies of scale realised for data centralisation by the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon to telecommunications networks.

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