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Queensland floods delay Exetel network revamp

Queensland floods delay Exetel network revamp

Infrastructure personnel moved to rebuilding efforts, delaying redundancy upgrades

Australian internet service provider Exetel has delayed developments on its network for up to three months as a result of the Queensland floods, citing personnel movements from chosen providers as a part of rebuilding efforts in the state.

In a notice provided as part of the provider’s monthly customer newsletter, the company said circuit installations planned for Sydney would not go ahead as long as personnel remained unavailable.

“We had expected to have completed some major aspects of these upgrades in January but due to the Queensland and other floods, two of our infrastructure providers have deferred new installations as they have had to assign all of their installing personnel to repair and re-run services in Queensland, Northern NSW and Victoria,” the company said.

The provider had planned to upgrade its circuits in Sydney — currently capped at one gigabit per second (Gbps) — with 10Gbps replacements, connecting a new point of presence (PoP) at an Equinix data centre in the city to existing points at Walker and Clarence streets, providing dual-path redundancy for users.

Much of the equipment was to be supplied by Japanese giant NTT, which would provide initial connections of 1.2Gbps to Equinix.

Another January project included plans to install additional Optus circuits in all states, providing local termination points for all customer traffic, rather than solely in Sydney.

Circuit upgrades were also planned over six months between Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, providing 500 megabit per second (Mbps) bandwidth between the capitals and additional redundancy on top of that already provided over Nextgen networks backhaul.

“Once complete, this will be the biggest change to our network since, well, since it was initially built,” the company stated at the time. “It will give us a four times capacity increase, while lowering our overall cost, double our redundancy, and simplify network management.”

However, the provider flagged possible delays in delivery and installation of equipment.

“Our provisioning personnel have been working hard to get all the circuits in on schedule, despite the numerous reasons suppliers always seem to find not to do that," the company said. "Ideally, you will never see any sign that this work is taking place, or know it has happened until someone announces it - that is, it all happens with no disruption to the network at all.”

Exetel is currently in a “pointlessly expensive” lawsuit with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, with chief executive John Linton disputing complaints made by customers to the watchdog.

Follow James Hutchinson on Twitter: @j_hutch

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Tags ISPsNetworkingExetelTelecommunications

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