Case Study: NBN Co


Summary

NBN Co, Australia's national broadband network company, has been utilizing TraceSpan GPON Xpert since 2011 for deep analysis of its nationwide fiber access network. In mid-2014 NBN Co selected TraceSpan VDSL Xpert multi-layer analyzer to support the transition in certain areas to hybrid architectures of fiber to the neighborhood (FTTN) along with xDSL infrastructure within the last mile.

With VDSL Xpert NBN Co gains comprehensive visibility into the state of its VDSL infrastructure and tests the network equipment independent of the equipment vendors.

NBN roll-out plan 2014

Background

In 2009 NBN Co was established by the government of Australia to design, build, and operate the National Broadband Network (NBN). NBN is an upgrade to Australia’s existing telecommunications network. It’s designed to provide the people of Australia with access to fast, affordable and reliable internet and landline phone services as quickly and as cost effectively as possible.

During the first several years, the NBN rollout has been primarily based on fiber to the premises (FTTP) with Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology. To speed up the NBN expansion, the government of Australia issued a new statement of expectations in April 2014, according to which the NBN should be built in a cost-effective way using the technology best matched to each area of Australia.

To fulfill this purpose NBN Co plans a network extension program. Under this program and based on population, geography and other key factors, NBN Co will deploy a mixture of fixed line, fixed wireless or satellite technology.

Challenge

To support the gradual rollout into areas with existing copper infrastructure with hybrid fiber-xDSL architecture, NBN Co was looking for a tool that can capture and analyze the full session between the DSLAM and the VDSL modems at their customers' premises.

Solution

NBN Co selected the TraceSpan VDSL Xpert multi-layer analyzer and deployed it in its national test facility in Melbourne.

"After working with TraceSpan's GPON Xpert for several years, the addition of VDSL Xpert was a natural choice" said Phillip Vovos, Test Environment Manager at NBN Co. "It's an intuitive tool that provides my team a quick unbiased visibility into performance and troubleshoot problems, including interoperability issues, in places where we deploy VDSL2 technology in the last segment".

As a multi-layer analyzer the VDSL Xpert provides full visibility into the signals and messages in the VDSL network and tracks messages across all protocol layers. It supports Vectoring technology, a significant factor in achieving optimal performance from VDSL2 networks.