Networking

LBNCo Technical Details

While there is a lot of information online regarding the national broadband network, there is almost nothing online regarding the private greenfields fibre network LBNCo.

There is some history behind LBNCo, including originally being named Service Elements and at some point obtaining the old E-Wire/BES network (and subsequently upgrading the HFC network to DOCSIS 3.0 and the FTTH network from EPON to GPON). In 2013 the then Service Elements network was opened up to other RSPs rather than the single Service Elements owned FuzeConnect (later renamed to FuzeNet). At first other RSPs were only able to resell a Layer 3 service, in 2015 Exetel were the first RSP selling their own Layer 2 access.

Using the ACMA’s Register of Radiocommunications Licences I was able to see that LBNCo utilise a lot of wireless backhaul. In my experience it seems they will deploy a new estate with wireless backhaul and then upgrade when needed to fibre and in my estate there appears to be both a 5Ghz Ubiquiti NanoBridge and a licensed 18Ghz pair that both point at a local Optus tower. There is also another estate 15kms away that also points at this same Optus tower. Unsure of the exact situation there but I’m also aware that my estate was recently upgraded to have fibre backhaul and the wireless links left in place as a backup. (2017 Update: The licensed microwave link was taken down with only the Ubiquiti remaining).

Studying the neighbours that my router can see I was able to find out that there is a lot of Mikrotik devices in their network. When on a layer 3 provider I can see that my router was connecting to a PPPoE server local to my estate, and after switching to a layer 2 provider I was able to see that the POI was another Mikrotik router located in QV1 . For what it’s worth – I have also been told that LBNCo have POIs in NextDC (Perth) and PerthIX.Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 5.19.04 PM

qv1

In my estate there are a number of houses who are not within the fibre footprint, LBNCo has provided them with PtP wireless. At the house end they are provided with a Ubiquiti LocoM5, these are either pointed at the same mast that hosts the wireless backhaul I mentioned above, or a streetlight. On both the mast and the streetlight it appears there is a Ubiquiti Rocket strapped to the back of a Ubiquiti AirMax sector antenna. From what I understand the only RSP available on the LBNCo wireless network is FuzeNet with 25Mbps being the highest speed offered. From my house I am able to see one of these APs with reasonable signal strength.

In terms of FTTH equipment, I’m provided with an Aurora ONT-G4021-FRU-C, but I’ve seen Aurora ONT-E132X being mentioned on Whirlpool, although apparently they were being replaced (probably during the EPON to GPON upgrade). The other half of my estate was upgraded from the Aurora NTDs to Huaweis, I have also discovered that there are some AllOptics NTDs in the network too which are apparently limited to 50Mbps.

Interestingly I haven’t seen any obvious fibre distribution hubs around my estate which is quite nice. Unfortunately LBNCo aren’t a Dial Before you Dig member so I’m unable to pull maps.

The FTTH LBNCo network in my estate also provides both FTA TV and Foxtel via a technology called RF Overlay or RF Over Glass. The Foxtel signal is received by a satellite and then transmodulated to the same frequency as their cable service. This signal is then combined with the FTA signal, which is then converted to an optical signal. This optical signal is then converted back to electrical signals at the ONT which is installed at the house. When ordering Foxtel it is important to let them know that you are in a TDT estate, that way they will supply you with a cable Foxtel box which can be plugged into your existing TV cabling.

For more information on Foxtel TDT see both the Foxtel TDT manual here and the Spaun BluBox manual here.

How do I think the LBNCo network compares to the nbn? Quite well actually. I like that there is a single POI, and after the estate was upgraded to fibre backhaul I haven’t suffered from congestion. The access to both FTA and Foxtel is also a great additional service too. In the beginning I was quite critical, however after using the network for 18 months I don’t really have any criticism.

Posted by Haydn Cockayne in Networking, 0 comments

Powering a Mikrotik RB2011 using a Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch

Using the passive PoE Mode on the Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch range, I was able to power a Mikrotik RB2011iL. The Mikrotik’s ETH1 port accepts  7 – 31 volts on pins 4, 5 (+), 7 and 8 (-), this matches up with the 24 volts which the Edgeswitch provides on the same pins. This is super handy due to the fact that this Mikrotik model does not have a normal IEC C16 plug and requires an external power supply if you’re not powering via PoE.

smdYDSC

Posted by Haydn Cockayne in Mikrotik, Networking, Ubiquiti, 0 comments

Cisco 3702E Antenna Locations

I couldn’t find this information anywhere on the Internet, so hopefully this will be helpful for someone out there. A Cisco 3702E WAP has 4 external antennas labeled ABCD, on the access point itself they are setup as per the diagram.

3702antenna

Posted by Haydn Cockayne in Cisco, Networking, 0 comments

Create a Bonjour Bridge using Avahi and Ubuntu Server

With the adoption of Apple TVs in education, many network administrators are trying to find a way to advertise Bonjour services over multiple subnets. Aerohive recently released a Bonjour gateway, I found this troublesome to use and set out to find another solution. I discovered that Avahi, an opensource implementation of zeroconf, allows for Bonjour reflection to other networks, to get this to work in our environment I did the following. Continue reading →

Posted by Haydn Cockayne in iOS, Networking, 2 comments

802.1X Login Window Authentication with Mountain Lion

Since Lion the procedure for using 802.1X has changed, in this guide I will explain how to set this up using a Windows Server 2012 Domain Controller, the Casper Suite and a Mountain Lion Client.

This guide assumes you already have a functioning domain controller, Macs bound to this AD and 802.1X authenticated wireless network. In this guide I will be using the Casper Suite, but since OS X Profiles are pretty much the same no matter how you distribute them, most steps will be the same not matter what management suite you use.

Continue reading →

Posted by Haydn Cockayne in Apple, Networking, OS X, 0 comments