NBN prepares to decommission temporary POIs

Telcos have until the end of 2018 to migrate services

NBN has committed to decommissioning its temporary Points of Interconnect (POIs) by the end of 2018.

NBN’s POIs are the point at which end user traffic is handed over from the wholesaler’s access network to retail service providers (RSPs). RSPs now have nine months to finalise the migration of services away from the temporary POIs.

Migration to the company’s permanent POIs began in late 2015. Some 65,000 out of 210, 000 services provisioned through the temporary POIs are yet to be migrated, according to an NBN blog entry.

“As the NBN access network moves to maturity, moving away from the temporary POIs gives us greater ability over managing network capacity at the wholesale level, delivering services back to local POIs for interconnect with phone and internet providers,” said NBN’s David Lannan, executive manager, business service design.

Temporary POIs were established at the five ‘First Release’ sites for the National Broadband Network and in five major capital cities.

“As the first release sites were built, NBN Co focused on building the local network and took advantage of existing infrastructure available from third-party providers to get those services back to phone and internet providers in the capital cities,” Lannan said.

NBN has 121 permanent (“established” in NBN nomenclature) POIs. The decision to establish a large number of POIs was contentious in the early days of the network rollout, with smaller telcos arguing that it posed a significant barrier to entry.

As of the end of March this year, NBN said that some 6.5 million homes and businesses were able to order services on the new network, up from 4.5 million 12 months earlier. Some 3.7 million homes and businesses had active NBN services.

Earlier this month NBN launched a major shakeup of its pricing model. The company has launched new bundled products for RSPs (as a wholesaler, NBN doesn’t sell broadband services directly to the public).

The new products combine access and capacity charges. NBN has indicated it hopes the products will prevent under-provisioning of capacity by RSPs, as well as keep pushing up the proportion of higher speed plans sold to consumers.

Ahead of introducing the new pricing model, NBN last year launched a discount scheme to increase sales of 50Mbps services (historically, 25Mbps had been the most popular speed tier).

The company revealed that as of the end of March, 37 per cent of premises with NBN connections were on 50Mbps or faster services, up from 16 per cent in March 2017.

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