NBN Co to simplify migration of traditional phone services onto fibre


NBN Co selects Primus for tests on telephone services

NBN Co will work with Primus to test new software designed to make it easier for any telecommunications or internet service provider to offer traditional analogue telephone services to consumers and businesses using the fibre network.

A successful test should give consumers confidence they can go to a wide range of service providers and switch from the copper network to fibre and have a quality telephone service using their existing telephone equipment.

Since the commercial launch of fibre services on the NBN, retail service providers have had the option of providing a telephone service that lets a homeowner use an existing analogue phone, or providing a telephone service over the broadband data connection, usually requiring new customer equipment. It should be possible to maintain the same phone number in either instance.

NBN Co Chief Operating Officer, Ralph Steffens said: “We understand that there will be a number of people who only want a telephone service and that we need to offer quality telephone services while making the transition to fibre as easy and straightforward as possible.

“By undertaking these tests we want to ensure it is easy for retail service providers to offer their customers the services they are familiar with using the equipment they already have.

“Of course we are also working with retail service providers to give them the products and services they need to offer a whole array of new plans, higher speeds and innovative applications.

“The NBN is supporting the growth of a diverse range of services to consumers and businesses ranging from traditional telephone to more complex bundles of telephone, broadband and video. The alternative to an analogue telephone service is a telephone service over broadband using the data connection, which some RSPs are already offering as part of a new home gateway bundled with other services.

NBN Co selected Primus after a call for expressions of interest from retail service providers who wanted to be involved in the test. Primus has national and international experience in the development and provision of telephone services.

Primus CEO Tom Mazerski said: “We believe this program will enable us to offer a quality voice product to all NBN consumer and business fibre customers. Our vision, working with NBN Co, is to ensure that our customers get a quality voice connection whilst transitioning from copper to fibre.”

The test is due to run for four weeks.

MEDIA INQUIRIES: Rhonda Griffin
Phone: 02 9927 4015


Notes to Editors

  • Currently the network terminating device (NTD) that NBN Co installs in the homes of consumers and businesses in fibre areas has six connection points or ports - two for telephone services and four for data services.
  • The NTD is usually installed inside a premises once a home or business owner orders a service from their RSP. Standard installation of the network terminating device is free. The multiple ports give the owner of the premises the potential to buy services from more than one provider if they choose.
  • Each telephone port is called a UNI-V (user network interface, voice). This port provides an analog telephone adapter (ATA) which is used to connect standard analogue telephones to a digital telephone system.
  • The UNI-V is connected to the power supply unit for the purposes of battery back-up. Battery back-up can be conserved in the event of an extended mains power failure.
  • Since the launch of commercial fibre services on the NBN, retail service providers have had the option of providing a telephone service over one UNI-V port, or as a VoIP service using a data port. The upgraded software being tested should allow RSPs to easily integrate the analogue phone service into their operating systems using TR-069, a widely-deployed specification developed by the Broadband Forum.
  • NBN Co plans to rollout fibre optic broadband designed to offer its Retail Service Provider (RSP) customers wholesale speeds of up to 100 megabits per second* to 93 per cent of Australian premises. The remaining 7 per cent of premises are expected to receive high-speed broadband via fixed-wireless or satellite, with the rollout of both services expected to be complete by 2015.
  • The network has so far been rolled out and activated in areas passing 18,200 premises nationwide - three sites in Tasmania and the five mainland First Release sites.
  • NBN Co is rolling out the fibre network in a series of modules each of which passes around 2500-3000 premises. NBN Co will generally continue construction of new modules adjacent to existing construction locations until the entire fibre footprint in an area has been completed.
  • For more information visit www.nbnco.com.au
* NBN Co is designing the NBN to be capable of delivering these speeds to NBN Co's wholesale customers (RSPs). Speeds achieved by retail customers (end-users) will depend on a number of factors including the quality of their equipment and in-premises connection, the broadband plans offered by their RSPs and how their RSP designs its network to cater for multiple end users.

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NBN Co to simplify migration of traditional phone services onto fibre