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Business Tier For Australia's NBN Brings Big Possibilities For VoIP 70

Posted by timothy
from the and-it's-all-long-distance dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Despite the cost blowing out to $37 billion and ongoing political debate, Australia's rollout of fibre optic cable to 93% of the country's homes, schools and businesses hit another milestone today. To encourage the use of VOIP, Australian small businesses lucky enough to get the fibre cable will have access to high-priority class 1 traffic speeds for multi-line telephony. As this article about the NBN explains, TC-1 speeds up to 5Mbps will be available, which the network builder says will support up to 50 simultaneous lines (separate to general Internet traffic, which is currently delivered at up to 100MBps). While the network is years away from reaching many Australians, this might nevertheless one day be seen as a watershed moment in the move from analogue telephone services to VOIP."
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Business Tier For Australia's NBN Brings Big Possibilities For VoIP

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  • by vlm (69642) on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @10:35AM (#41222697)

    this might nevertheless one day be seen as a watershed moment in the move from analogue telephone services to VOIP

    You .au people skipped the whole TDM era? We had about 3 to 4 decades (depending on how you count it) of T carrier hierarchy with everything from old fashioned robbed bit signalling thru the D4/D5 channel bank ESF era thru "modern" ISDN PRIs in the 90s and 00s. The best thing about standards is there's so many competing ones, so non-USA has E1 service etc, same idea just different enough to increase profits.

    Its hard to believe you guys would deliver, say, 100 phone lines to a business in 2012 using a bunch of pairs. I hope you at least E+M or groundstart signal instead of having to deal with loopstart glare.

    Also I heard you .au people being in the southern hemisphere need to twist your twisted pair wires in the opposite direction of us northerners and/or your 66-block color code standard is the same as ours but upside down, so white/blue at the bottom, then white/orange 2nd to bottom, etc. I did have a satellite guy going once that you need to switch from LHCP to RHCP if you're running a ckt to the southern hemisphere vs north. I guess telecom hemisphere jokes aren't as funny as I hoped.

    • by afidel (530433)

      Yeah, and how exactly is 5Mbps for telephony supposed to be an improvement? We've got 9 PRI's coming into our HQ, that's 13.5Mbps of telephony and we're only a midsized business (~400 employees at the HQ location, ~650 overall). The CoS for the telephony should be configurable to however many channels/Mbps you want to pay for.

      • i think that is answered by the number of time "small business" is scattered throughout the linked article.

        presumably medium-large businesses dont use copper now and wont be using a standard NBN connection as their key telephony source ???

        • Yep they are aiming at small business. All our (humungous corporate) offices have been using VOIP for several years now, it has some handy features such as integration with email, etc. Of course there's nothing stopping small businesses using VOIP now, I imagine Optus of Telstra would be happy to sell them one of their existing "small business solutions". The NBN is about future communications capacity, politically it's a hard sell so they have to try and point to more immediate benefits, problem is there r
      • by AK Marc (707885)
        It's not. NBN is about appearances, not results. 5 Mbps is not much more than 2xE1. The only thing is that NBN should provide 5 Mbps of business-quality bandwidth for less than the price of a single E-1. Of course, neither will run a phone without a service provider on the other side. Free bandwidth doesn't solve the problem. They don't mention the VoIP providers offering $2 per line VoIP trunking with free national calling, which would be the win. Just moving bits isn't interesting. If that's all y
      • by dbIII (701233)

        Yeah, and how exactly is 5Mbps for telephony supposed to be an improvement?

        Because it's in Australia where little has been done with the infrastructure since 1996 when it was lagging behind whatever was going on wherever in the USA you were in 1996. So while it would be a step down for you it's more than typically provided for the purpose in the heart of Australia's cities. Here we pay $1000/month for 6M/6M if we're nowhere near glass cable.

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        It seems you missed the in addition to the 100MBps bit so basically you'll have 105MBps to play with on one connection, being that nothing bars you from having more than 1 connection, which of course you'd need for 400VVoIP (video and voice over IP) and if you don't think video calls will take over then you deserve to be staring at a green screen.

        • by afidel (530433)

          Yes, but if it's anything like VoIP over bulk internet in the states it will suck horribly for call quality. Having QoS\CoS is very nice and if you're going to do it why limit it to only 5% of available bandwidth per subscriber? There's a reason MPLS networks are still so popular with businesses despite the significantly higher cost per Mbps and aggravation of dealing with the telecoms.

    • ISDN T1 28 x 1.544 Mbit/s lines
      ISDN E1 30 x 2.048 Mbit/s lines

      Not just a regional variant, it's the debugged version, there was only ever one flavour and except for BT's DASSII protocol variant only one standard ...the 'E' is a misnomer since it is used almost everywhere except USA, Canada (T1) , and Japan (J1)

      ISDN is the predominant Australian type of line for businesses (except where this has already been rolled out)

      • by vlm (69642)

        ISDN T1 28 x 1.544 Mbit/s lines

        Yeah, I'm sad to say I worked with a lot of those people in the provisioning dept at multiple telcos. Sometimes I think the provisioners assigned voice channels to T1 channel 25 just to F with the techs. Or maybe you're saying there's 28 T1 on a T3, which is correct.

        An American T1 is 24 channels, for ISDN PRI running on that T1 that would be 23 B channels plus a D. You can bond multiple T1's full of B channels to a single D (what maybe 4 T1 worth of B channels per D? Its been over 15 years since I've don

  • by sonamchauhan (587356) <sonamc@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @10:44AM (#41222757) Journal

    How does 5 Mbps of "TC-1 speed" differ from 5 Mbps over an ADSL 2+ connection with QoS?

    I googled some info about TC-1 below.

    [ From http://www.nbnco.com.au/assets/documents/ssrs-product-technical-specification.pdf [nbnco.com.au] (page 24) ]

    Traffic Class: TC-1

    Frame Delay (one way): < 350 ms

    Frame Delay Variation: < 25 ms

    Frame Loss: < 0.01 %

    Availability / Connectivity: > 99.5 %

    The TC-1 CIR performance attributes are dependent upon the following traffic characteristics, as enforced by Customer:
      TC-1 CVC capacity operating at 70% utilisation
      A TC-1 AVC to CVC oversubscription of greater than 10:1
      A balanced distribution of CVC demand across the associated AVCs
      Periodic frame arrivals, every 20ms
      Frame length maximum of 150 bytes at NNI

  • I don't know how many of you actually remember talking on a TRUE analog phone line, but the experience vs. a digital or VOIP line is amazingly different. Besides the hollow sound of most digital lines (i.e. just about everything today), the biggest issue I have is the frustrating quality of duplex! On most lines it's almost impossible to speak and listen at the same time. On an old analog line that was no problem at all. I find that single issue makes phone conversations a pain in the ass - you can't in

    • I don't believe this is an analog problem as much as a delay problem. Cell phones are the worst. Call someone on a cell phone that you can see. The delay is probably .25-.50 seconds. By contrast, I frequently speak with relatives using direct VOIP (high quality SIP phones) and it's like standing in the room with them. If you have one of the multiple DECT phone sets, call one of the other phones in the set and I'll bet that you find the "digital" voice quality to be quite good.

    • crappy but cheap ...

      anyone of any advanced age should remember call rates in "multiple $ / min" for some international destinations in the full analog days. These days for $5-10/mth on top of local call service I can get call rates in the "cents per minute" range from the local telephone companies, or fractions of cents / minute using international calling cards.

      likewise for mobile/cell phones ...

      but i think many of envy the old user experience we used to yet :-(

  • by Quick Reply (688867) on Tuesday September 04, 2012 @10:58AM (#41222905) Journal

    Even though the project has been costed at $43 billion.

    • $43B was the total cost of the project. This figure is the amount being contributed by the government. Private investment makes up most of the rest.

      The so-called blowout (about $1.4B, or 4%), is because NBNCo signed a deal with Optus to migrate all their cable customers. So costs will go up, because they're now installing fibre to more premises, but of course revenues will go up because they'll have more customers. Overall, projected returns increased slightly to 7.1%.

      Doesn't stop the media jumping on any c

      • Uh no, the government's total contribution is $27 billion peak debt, which will be paid off with revenue and profit. Moving Optus customers over also has no impact on who the NBN is supposed to reach. Most of Optus customers are in cities that were of course included in the fiber footprint from the start.

      • by dbIII (701233)
        A very large chunk of the $43B cost is about bribing Telstra to let the NBN into the telephone exchanges that the Australian taxpayer paid for proir to 1996.
  • In the US, a business needing a bunch of phone lines would buy a T1 or multiple T1's, provisioned for 23 voice channels each, from the phone company. Don't know the Australian telco tariffs but they must've had this sort of service for the past 30+ years in Australia too. ???
    • But not really at an affordable level to almost every premises. This is piggybacking onto an existing fibre service (when it gets installed over the next 10 years) without a separate line needing to be installed. The same Fibre can be used for Internet, TV & Voice. This is an enhancement to the Voice traffic to make sure the Internet and TV traffic does not take priority which would reduce call quality.

      • Spot on ...

        5Mbps TC-1 (ie 50 lines) seems to be priced around $330/month ... I'd guess that is HUGELY cheaper than a pair of T1's

    • In the US, a business needing a bunch of phone lines would buy a T1 or multiple T1's, provisioned for 23 voice channels each, from the phone company. Don't know the Australian telco tariffs but they must've had this sort of service for the past 30+ years in Australia too. ???

      Yes of course, though we had ISDN rather than T1/E1. What's the deal with that missing eighth bit :-) ?

  • They are more decentralized, and require less complex, prone to failure equipment to operate reliably. They function better under marginal conditions. I can usually hear through the static that will cause digital services to drop out completely. I don't need a separate power source from the electric company. We should never give them up. That would be a bad move. Unfortunately it's not possible to deliver over fibre, and loss of copper will bring about its ultimate demise.

    • You clearly don't know much about SIP if you think POTS is more decentralized or reliable or operates better under marginal conditions (there is a text protocol within SIP). The only advantages POTS has are a separate electrical supply and better accountability (if SIP became popular there would be a surge in telemarketing until something like DenyHosts w/ sync logs is implemented - in the long run though it would be better as it would allow the blocking of political telemarketing using privately-controlled

      • How do you do text on a dial (pulse) phone? Morse code maybe?

        • If you meant a SIP backend to a POTS system then I agree with you, it just gives the end user the downsides of both systems and saves money for the telco. I was talking about end-to-end 100% SIP.

          • Yeah.. I'm just a bit partial to well functioning low tech that can be fixed with a hammer to loosen up a sticky relay*. Try that with your fancy diodes and transistors. Now get off my lawn :-)

            * car analogy: Hammers also fix sticky carburetor floats. I doubt that those electronic injectors would fare as well.

  • This is not a good thing, this is the tiered Internet that net neutrality is intended to stop.

    And VoIP works just fine without it BTW.

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      This isn't tiered Internet. This isn't Internet. It's a link between a customer and a service provider. The Internet is on the other side of the service provider.
  • The traffic classes highlight that the fact that congestion is to be expected on the NBN. A 12/1Mbps service costs $24/month for the connection (AVC) plus CVC (data). IT managers who would already have routers with QOS are not going to pay $330 extra a month for TC1 traffic unless it can be justified, especially for a service that only provides TC1 between their NTU and their RSP;

    In Australia we are being hit both ways by the NBNCo monopolist:

    • AVC speed tiers (12/1Mbps to 100/40Mbps)
    • CVC data charges ($20/M
    • Stop lying through your teeth. Wireless can't replace wired, only complement.

      • by mathew42 (2475458)

        NBNCo are predicting in the Corporate Plan that only 70% of premises passed by fibre will connect. 13% of premises passed by fibre will opt for wireless, primarily because it is cheaper.

        I total agree that for anything beyond basic email and web browsing, wireless is not the best. However I'm not foolish enough to think that everyone has the same wants as a poster on slashdot and is prepared to pay for the privilege. Have a read of Google's Fiber channels NBN woes [technology...tor.com.au].

        • by dbIII (701233)
          Even for a very basic connection (eg. SMS), wireless sucks badly if you have a lot of people trying to use it in a limited area. People in mining towns in central Queensland are already hitting that wall with their phones.
        • NBNCo are predicting in the Corporate Plan that only 70% of premises passed by fibre will connect.
          13% of premises passed by fibre will opt for wireless, primarily because it is cheaper.

          I total agree that for anything beyond basic email and web browsing, wireless is not the best. However I'm not foolish enough to think that everyone has the same wants as a poster on slashdot and is prepared to pay for the privilege. Have a read of Google's Fiber channels NBN woes [technology...tor.com.au].

          I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of Slashdotters and tech-savvy people have been underestimating what people think of as "basic" web browsing for quite some time now though. Most people these days would consider the use of websites like YouTube, the ability to video conference on Skype etc. as "basic" applications, but there's nothing "basic" about the level of data use they imply. Doesn't NetFlix account for something like 30% of net traffic in the US?

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