The nbn™: What you need to know about traffic and service classes

August 21st, 2017 - Get new posts sent straight to your inbox, click here. AussieBB

Aussie Broadband - What you need to know about traffic and service classes

The National Broadband Network (nbn™) has brought with it a range of terminology – and sometimes confusingly so. If you’ve been wondering what traffic and service classes refer to, read on to find out what they mean, how the nbn™ is being delivered, and what’s happening in your local area.

What are traffic classes?

The nbn™ traffic classes are designed to help retail service providers improve their quality of service. The traffic classes provide higher quality of service and guide retail service providers (RSPs) on improving service quality in their retail offerings. In practice, the RSPs will use the traffic classes to prioritise different network traffic.

For example, highest priority traffic such as voice calls will be given priority over video calls. TC-1 has the highest priority, while TC-4 has the lowest. These traffic classes are designed to help RSPs route different types of data to provide greater reliability and better quality. Four main traffic classes have been defined, with each designating certain types of traffic:

Traffic Class 1 (TC-1)

TC-1 is the highest priority traffic class. Delivered as a committed information rate (CIR), this type of traffic has guaranteed 1:1 contention ratio, jitter, and loss characteristics. Applications with highly deterministic traffic parameters, such as voice apps and voice services to end users, will fall under this traffic class. You can find out more information about traffic classes in this article.

Traffic Class 2 (TC-2)

This service class is designed for latency sensitive, interactive applications. Examples include video conferencing, business collaboration, IPTV, and gaming. Like TC-1 traffic, TC-2 is delivered as a CIR with defined latency, jitter, and loss characteristics.

Traffic Class 3 (TC-3)

Business applications running on wide area networks and other transaction data fall under this category. Like TC-1 and TC-2 traffic, TC-3 is delivered as a CIR with defined latency, jitter, and loss characteristics.

Traffic Class 4 (TC-4)

Traffic Class 4 is also known as “best efforts” traffic class. Internet and web browsing fall under this category. This traffic class is delivered in varying peak speeds (PIR), which are asymmetrical.

Accessing traffic classes

The traffic classes are available on a wholesale basis (for retailers) through the nbn™ Ethernet Bitstream Service. Speeds start at 12 Mbps for downloads and 1 Mbps for uploads.

Service classes

Service classes are unrelated to traffic classes. These numbers are used to indicate the serviceability of locations in the nbn™. For example, when you check for nbn™ availability in your area, these service classes will come up to tell you what’s available.

  • Service Class 0 – This mean the area is planned to be serviceable by fibre.
  • Service Class 1 – The location is serviceable by fibre, no Premises Connection Device (PCD) or Network Termination Device (NTD) in place.
  • Service Class 2 – The location is serviceable by fibre and has PCD installed but no NTD in place.
  • Service Class 3 – The location is serviceable by fibre, PCD and NTD in place.
  • Service Class 4 – The location is planned to be serviceable by fixed wireless.
  • Service Class 5 – The location is serviceable by fixed wireless, and there’s no antenna and no NTD in place.
  • Service Class 6 – The location is serviceable by fixed wireless, and antenna and NTD are in place.
  • Service Class 7 – The location is planned to be serviceable by satellite.
  • Service Class 8 – The location is serviceable by satellite but no satellite dish or NTD yet in place.
  • Service Class 9 – The location is serviced by satellite, and dish and NTD are in place.
  • Service Class 10 – The location is planned to be serviceable by copper.
  • Service Class 11 – The location is serviceable by copper, and copper lead-in is required.
  • Service Class 12 – The location is serviceable by copper, and jumpering is required.
  • Service Class 13 – The location is serviceable by copper, infrastructure in place.
  • Service Class 20 – The location is planned to be serviced by cable (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial or HFC).
  • Service Class 21 – The location is within the HFC footprint, and there’s no drop, wall plate, or NTD.
  • Service Class 22 – The location is within the HFC footprint, and there’s drop in place but no wall plate or NTD.
  • Service Class 23 – The location is within the HFC footprint, and there’s drop and wall plate in place but no NTD.
  • Service Class 24 – The location is within the HFC footprint, and there’s drop, wall plate, and NTD in place.
  • Service Class 30 – The location is planned to be serviced by FTTC.
  • Service Class 31 – The location is within the FTTC footprint, and copper lead-in is required.
  • Service Class 32 – The location is within the FTTC footprint, copper lead-in present but not cut-in to Distribution Point Unit (DPU), nbn™ connection device – also known as a Network Connection Device (NCD) is required.
  • Service Class 33 – The location is within the FTTC footprint, copper lead-in present and cut-in to Distribution Point Unit (DPU), nbn™ connection device – also known as a Network Connection Device (NCD) is required.
  • Service Class 34 – The location is within the FTTC footprint, previously transitioned to nbn.

Getting a clear idea of your speed

The nbn’s™ traffic classes are designed to protect quality of service, while service classes help end customers plan for access. Whether you’re a consumer or service provider, understanding traffic classes can help you get a clearer idea of how your nbn™ service works to deliver optimal speeds, no matter what you’re doing.

Aussie Broadband is an Australian-based internet service provider offering award winning NBN services to business and residential customers. If you’re thinking about signing up for the nbn™, speak to our Australian Team for a discussion today to find out more.