Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist October 2016 Contents Australian Pharmacist October 2016 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
My pharmacy is lucky enough to be in an area that has just had the
National Broadband Network (NBN, or more correctly nbn) enabled, so as
a consequence I've thrown myself into lots of research and been through
a plethora of information to make sure I understand the entire process
You may also be lucky enough to be
already connected, but if it's still coming
to your area, hopefully this information
will be useful to you.
The nbn is 'Australia's new landline phone
and internet network', with the aim
of providing fast and reliable internet
services to the whole of Australia. The
nbn rollout is managed by a government
body called nbn co limited which
provides wholesale services only, leaving
the retail aspect to other companies
to sell to the public. The nbn started
rollout in 2010 in Tasmania, and has been
through a number of strategic changes
along the way.
Shining the light
The key to super-fast internet such as
the nbn is through the use of fibre optic
cable. Rather than using the existing
and ageing copper wire network that
much of our internet and phone system
is on today, fibre optic cable uses
pulses of light to transmit information.
Multiple channels of information can be
transmitted simultaneously in one cable
by using different wavelengths of light.
Whilst the maximum speed data that
can be transmitted by electrical cable
is around 10 gigabits per second, the
maximum speed for fibre optic cable has
not yet been reached.
The reliability and speed of fibre optic
cable gives a great backbone for data
to travel through and provide internet
related services. In some countries such
as Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea, the
network has been designed so that the
majority of the infrastructure is fibre --
all the way from the core international
data links through to homes and
businesses. This is called Fibre To The
Premises (FTTP). Other not-so-lucky
countries have the core internet services
provided by fibre optic cable to a
cabinet or node, and then an alternate
"last mile" connection between the fibre
optic cable and the home or business.
There are many terms that describe this,
such as Fibre To the Building (FTTB), or
Fibre to the Node (FTTN). The term FTTX
is a generic term that captures all these
different possibilities (Fibre To The x).
Unfortunately, the nbn has been subject
to much debate and political review,
and whilst it started its life as an FTTP
concept (offering Fibre To The Premises),
it has evolved into a Multi-Technological
Mix (MTM) of FTTP, FTTN, FTTB and
other technologies including wireless
for those areas that are not serviced by
physical cabling. It's therefore a bit of
luck and consequence of your location
as to which FTTX technology that you'll
end up with under nbn.
What's the process?
There are numerous phases to getting
nbn connected. Firstly, the part that's
up to nbn co, which is the planning,
the build, and then having the service
available. The next part is up to you,
where you need to sign up with a retail
service provider for a plan, and then the
Jason Bratuskins is a practising community pharmacy
proprietor with an interest in the application of IT to
day-to-day pharmacy. He also works in the pharmacy
IT industry on a number of eHealth projects for Fred
IT Group. He can be contacted at: cyberpharm@
nbn connection is activated. Depending
on your FTTX setup, you may need to
have a technician attend or simply just
replace your existing modem with a new
one. If you have FTTP, an nbn network
device "box" is required to be installed in
the premises and you will probably need
to install a new phone system. If, like me,
you have FTTN, the existing phone system
and cabling can be re-used.
What's the plan?
Once nbn is available, you'll start to
receive mail or emails letting you know
that you need to sign up for a plan.
There are numerous providers (although
this may differ from area to area), and
the list is made up of companies that
you would expect to see -- Telstra, Optus,
iiNet and so on. There are also numerous
plans -- but I'll leave it up to you to do the
research on these.
What's the speed?
There are five speed tiers available from
nbn co, but these are theoretical speeds
and the actual speed can vary depending
on the retailer, the equipment you use
and the plan you choose. The slowest
speed is 12 Megabits per second (Mbps)
for download and 1 Mbps for upload
(sometimes expressed as 12/1), then 25/5,
25/10, 50/20 and the fastest being 100/40.
Compare that to your current internet
speed by doing a test in a browser using
something like speedtest.net.
As I write this article I'm at the stage
of 'signed up' and awaiting my first
appointment where the technician visits
to change over my modem. I'm told there
will be three stages, each with a small
outage, so need to manage these outages
in my internet-connected business.
The latest nbn figures sit at around 3
million premises ready for service, so you
can't be that far off.
New broadband news
BY JASON BRATUSKINS MPS
Links Archive Australian Pharmacist September 2016 Australian Pharmacist November 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page