[AusNOG] NBN Battery backups

Rod rod at rb.net.au
Thu Oct 13 12:05:51 EST 2011

Sigh - Attribution name was incorrect - I meant Bevan Slattery, not Michael


-----Original Message-----
From: ausnog-bounces at lists.ausnog.net
[mailto:ausnog-bounces at lists.ausnog.net] On Behalf Of Rod
Sent: Thursday, 13 October 2011 11:41 AM
To: ausnog at lists.ausnog.net
Subject: Re: [AusNOG] NBN Battery backups

Apologies if I repeat what others may have said. I deleted many replies to
this thread without reading them because I misread one of the first posts
and thought it was referring to NBN data centres, not the NTU. I have no
great interest in how NBN backs-up their equipment in data centres, however
the NTU is a different story.

I think the NTU should be part of the NBN and therefore the responsibility
NBN. My current opinion, is not as yet fully decided due to my lack of
reliable knowledge on how the NTUs work, where they will be installed
(outside houses, under floors etc, centralised frames for multi-unit
developments etc) and how they are constructed (how easily can the battery
be changed?). 

Why do I think the NTU should belong to the NBN?  

Assuming the customer can't/isn't allowed to change the NTU/batteries, then
smaller RSPs do not have the ability to service boxes on connections in all
states of Australia. One of the stated aims of the NBN is to foster
competition and I can see the ability to service NTUs may hinder competition
for small RSPs. Can the customer change the battery? How do they know it is
faulty? I do not know.

I read Michael Bevan's reply and think he also has some valid points for
people wanting to obtain services from different suppliers. I assume people
can get 2 voice services from different providers on one NTU (eg shared
house scenario) so if a 'lead' provider is appointed, which one is it?   


> -----Original Message-----
> From: ausnog-bounces at lists.ausnog.net [mailto:ausnog- 
> bounces at lists.ausnog.net] On Behalf Of Narelle
> Sent: Wednesday, 12 October 2011 4:16 PM
> To: Tom Wright
> Cc: ausnog at ausnog.net
> Subject: Re: [AusNOG] NBN Battery backups
> On Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 6:49 PM, Tom Wright <tom.c.wright at gmail.com>
> > Err more interesting is how on earth is passing the responsibility 
> > onto the RSPs supposed to work?
> Presumably the logic behind this is that RSPs are the ones who will 
> have the relationship with the customer, hence it is they who would 
> liaise with said customer in the replacement of said battery.

I sure hope not :)

1. NBN Co. are the only ones with true visibility to the ONT infrastructure
via network management.  RSP's don't have access (nor should have access to
this) 2. Which RSP would be responsible?  I had two (2) "RSP's" servicing my
house Telstra for voice and iiNet for DSL.  Which one has the
responsibility?  In a house serviced by Foxtel (PayTV), iiNet (Internet) and
Optus (voice) over an NBN service which of those three RSP's are responsible
(particularly considering point 1) 3. RSP's would (most likely) have no idea
or certainty when the battery was installed 4. RSP's will not enjoy the
low-impact/land access powers provided to NBN Co. and cannot enter the
property without consent

RSP's are retail service providers and their responsibility is everything
beyond the NTU. NBN Co's responsibility is up to and including the NTU.  If
they decide to put batteries in or not that's their commercial decision.
But if they do it must be their (or the customers) responsibility not the

I don't read much about NBN matters these days (life's sooooo much less
frustrating outside telco :)), nor Whirlpool for that matter and am not sure
if this is what they're thinking or not.  All I'm doing is highlighting why
the whole concept of trying to shift the responsibility of the maintaining
network infrastructure to Retail Service Providers is inefficient,
impractical, confusing and ultimately may put more lives at risk than it
saves.  I mean if you know you don't have battery backup then you can plan
for that.  If you think you have battery backup and don't, well that's where
problems happen and the finger pointing starts.

I don't care which way they go with this in terms of with or without battery
for the punter, but for remote or high risk persons (health) then a battery
should be standard (and probably is).  For $20-$50 extra get the battery and
NTU that allows monitoring and provide the certainty any reasonable person
would be expecting from a "battery backed up"/critical first line service.

Like I said NBN Co. may already be doing this.  I'm just hoping this doesn't
somehow fall into the realm of the RSP.



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