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ACCC finalises list of NBN points of interconnect

Only three submissions were made to the ACCC after it announced it was seeking comment on the form of the Section 151DB list of POI.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has finalised the location of the 121 points of interconnect (POI) for the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The location of the POIs have remained unchanged from the proposed list of locations the ACCC announced in August this year.

The finalisation of the POIs has been a long time in the making, with the ACCC kicking off the consultation process in October 2010, with NBN Co originally seeking 14 POIs.

Only three submissions were made to the ACCC after it announced in August this year that it was seeking comment on the form of the Section 151DB list of POI. Submissions were received from Telstra, Optus and Australian Private Networks.

Telstra's submission stated that information about the timing of the rollout of POIs, and how long the the interim POIs would be used for, is still an issue.

“This kind of information is crucial for RSPs [retail service providers — the NBN equivalent of ISPs] as it affects RSP capital expenditure plans and the planning for deployment of infrastructure at the POIs. The absence of such information may result in unnecessarily long lead times for RSP infrastructure deployment at the POI, financial losses to the RSP, and delays in the delivery of services to end users where NBN Co’s network has been rolled out,” Telstra said in its submission.

In its submission Optus called for more information on exactly which POIs served which NBN fibre serving areas (FSA).

“Given that FSA information is publicly available, its inclusion within the public NBN POI list should have no implications for national security and therefore Optus cannot see any reason for its exclusion,” Optus said.

Of the 121 POIs, 111 will be located at Telstra exchanges, with the remaining 10 to be housed in facilities built by NBN Co.

“The approach adopted for identifying the location of POIs promotes competition in the provision of backhaul transmission services and makes sure that existing transmission infrastructure is utilised. The section 151DB list of POIs sets the boundaries for NBN Co’s access network,” Rod Sims, ACCC chairman, said in a statement.

While the ACCC list of POIs names suburbs where they will be located, the exact address of POIs has remained confidential, with the ACCC citing security as a justification.

POIs have been a contentious issue, with several RSPs stating the large number of POIs, which was decided by the ACCC, is a barrier to entry.

“[When you have hundreds of POIs], no small company can do it on their own – you have to resell somebody else’s product, which means then there’s less margin in it for smaller ISPs. [There is] significantly less margin because then we’re the next carrier down,” Michael Blake, co-founder of Adelaide ISP Nuskope, has said.

Rene Sugo, CEO of VoIP services company and ISP MyNetFone, also believes RSPs will increase their NBN prices once interim points of interconnect (POI) are removed because current consumer prices are unsustainable.

Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0

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More about: ACCC, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, MyNetFone, Optus, Telstra
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