US-based Cisco has confirmed that it has been selected by NBN Co, the company overseeing the construction and management of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN), to provide equipment for the latter’s national data connectivity network. In a press release Cisco noted that under the terms of the five year deal, estimated to be worth up to AUD38 million (USD39 million), it will provide Multi-Protocol Layer Switching on Cisco routers and firewalls to support NBN Co’s National Connectivity Network (NCN). The vendor also stated that its intelligent network technology will be deployed in NBN Co’s depot, aggregation nodes and other key locations and will support the Operations Support System (OSS) and Business Support System (BSS) platforms, signalling and timing. Work on the project will reportedly begin immediately.
This new contract expands Cisco’s role in the development of the NBN, after a consortium led by the vendor was awarded the contract to provide NBN Co with a data centre platform in late 2010. Working with technology partners EMC and VMware, Cisco at that date was commissioned to build a scalable platform to run essential applications, including network management, inventory management, customer care, billing, service provisioning and fulfilment systems, as well as a web portal to support customer self-service and the corporate website.
Commenting on the latest development, NBN Co’s executive general manager of Network Architecture and Technology, Tony Cross, noted: ‘We are pleased to extend our relationship with Cisco as a supplier of data centre infrastructure to include the supply of a high-performing, highly secure network foundation composed of switches, routers and firewalls to support our NCN … This equipment will enable communication between NBN Co’s centralised operational staff and IT systems with the fibre, fixed wireless and satellite equipment situated at various locations across Australia. The remote control of this equipment, via the NCN, will allow new services to be activated and faults to be diagnosed and repaired quickly and efficiently across Australia.’