5 tips for migrating from Copper to Fibre
Since the government nbn mandate in 2009, the transition from Copper to Fibre has been a top priority. The key objective is to ensure all Australians have access to fast broadband as soon as possible, at affordable prices, and at least cost.
Two major consolidation trends are emerging in networks: migration of copper services to fibre and the virtualisation of the network. Talking recently at the Australian Computer Society's Newcastle chapter, Telstra's principal consultant, Networks, Craig Mulhearn says “with the removal of copper-based technologies, and the greater widespread availability of fibre, Telstra would halve its number of exchanges.” he goes on to say “These exchanges will become data centres in their own right, with far greater virtualisation of equipment.” This will lead to faster provisioning of new services.
When migrating from dedicated copper services to a shared fibre service there are a number of factors to consider. Typically an organisation has many dedicated legacy copper line services such as phone lines / PBX / ISDN, Internet DSL, fax lines, Wide Area Networks / VPN, data services, security alarms, fire alarms, Lift phones, EFTPOS, video conferencing and other services.
Prior to combining multiple previously-dedicated copper services to a shared fibre service consider systems which will maintain the quality of these services when they are brought together on a shared architecture.
Fibre services (including nbn) will be accessed through a single cable connected to your organisation. nbn can also be connected via Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC), wireless or Satellite and also copper services, but the fact remains that you are migrating from many dedicated lines to a single ‘higher capacity’ shared line.
Tips when migrating from copper to fibre:
- ‘Environmental assessment’ - before switching, take stock of what copper services are currently running in each of your premises. Be sure to include all voice, video and data services.
- Contact the provider of your equipment and/or phone service for advice on the compatibility of your equipment with services provided. You may consider subscribing to digital voice services such as VoIP or Unified Communications services. There is a migration path from ISDN to Telstra’s dedicate fibre running VoIP/SIP.
- Find a suitable fibre retail provider or wait for nbn to be available, and order your fibre service (Try to keep your copper services active until after the fibre service has been installed and successfully tested). If using Telstra’s Ethernet lite product, this will cease operation from 12 May 2018. Telstra has an alternative product available now on nbn fibre as Connect IP Ethernet on nbn and Business IP Ethernet on the nbn network.
- Once fibre service is connected, allocate and reserve bandwidth resources on the new connection to business critical services. Apply bandwidth protection and data prioritization to ensure a consistent high quality service performance. Set up freeway lanes for these critical services, which will allow triple play of voice, data and video. Traffic shape your network at layer 7 is required to get optimal application performance and recognises the need that some applications have only low bandwidth needs, but demand low latency, such as high-volume trading. While other applications have greater or fewer bandwidth needs, and greater or fewer latency requirements.
- Consider a backup circuit using a different technology such as wireless 4G, to be able to continue working if the primary fibre link becomes unavailable.
Traffic visibility and shaping can be utilized during and post migration to provide the actionable traffic insights and create the necessary ‘lanes on the freeway’ to put business critical traffic into the ‘fast lane’.