The Case For Integrating Community And Building Services Onto A FTTP Network


By Chris McKechie, CTO and a Director of OPENetworks

Developers are now able to integrate the building and community services for their developments onto the Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) carrier networks. This allows them to add value and greatly reduce the cost of their projects by delivering most, if not all, services over a single set of telecommunications network infrastructure.

The integration of local services onto a single FTTP network is particularly beneficial for developments that will have a complex, community or building management, or an Owners Corporation or Body Corporate, such as the following types of developments:• apartments
• commercial, retail or mixed use
• over 50s lifestyle or retirement communities, and
• resorts or gated communities.

By integrating services onto a single FTTP network, the need for multiple cabling distribution systems, parallel networks and additional head end equipment can be greatly reduced or eliminated, thereby realising substantial savings and providing value to future management from the systems and devices that deliver those services.

What services can be integrated on to FTTP networks?

Carriers that offer integrated network solutions, like OPENetworks, are able to provide network access ports on a local private network, or VLAN, for use with any community not-for-profit service that uses equipment communicating over standard Ethernet ports and Internet Protocol (IP). Common services that may be carried over local private network access ports include:• IP intercom (audio and video),
• IP Closed Circuit TV (CCTV)
• Access control systems
• Security monitoring & alarm systems,
• Building management systems
• Smart Home Controls, e.g. energy monitoring
• Utility metering, e.g. electricity, water, gas, etc.
• Medical alert & nurse call systems
• Community Wi-Fi
• Community electronic signage
• Community facilities Intranet,
and many other services not listed above.

FTPP networks can also be used to distribute Free-to-Air Television (FTA TV) and Foxtel Pay TV (CATV) by using a technology known as Radio Frequency over Glass (RFoG). RFoG is not IP TV, but instead transmits the TV and Foxtel RF signals directly over the optical fibre, which allows a standard TV or Foxtel set top box to be used to receive the signal.

By adopting this technology, a single TV antenna and satellite dish can be installed for the entire development. The received TV & Foxtel signals are balanced and remodulated (where necessary) by a FTA TV/CATV headend before being retransmitted onto the FTTP network by an RFoG modulator. The RFoG modulator transmits its signal on a separate wavelength of light to the FTTP data service, and hence does not interfere or consume available bandwidth.

In order to receive the optically modulated TV signal, a small FTTP TV receiver is installed in each dwelling which converts the signal back into electrical RF and outputs onto a standard F-type coaxial connector. This allows direct connection to standard coaxial cables and splitters for distribution within the dwelling.

An advantage of this technology is that the Foxtel signal is delivered to all TV outlets in the premises and so a Foxtel set top box can be connected to any TV outlet in the dwelling, eliminating the need for multiple TV cables to rooms where Foxtel may be required.

What are the cost savings of integrated FTTP networks?

The cost savings that may be realised by using an integrated FTTP network depend on the type of development but often include the following:• Elimination of TV distribution cabling and conduits between the TV headend and each dwelling
• Elimination of dedicated Foxtel outlets and cabling within each dwelling or end user premises
• Elimination of networking equipment and data cabling and conduits to each dwelling for delivery of local services such as intercom, CCTV, security, access control and other building services needing Ethernet network
• Elimination of duplicate pits and pipes in broad acre or multi dwelling developments
• Reduction in building cable tray and riser dimensions.

How can a developer get an integrated FTTP network solution?

All new developments of over 100 dwellings are now required to include the deployment of an FTTP network that will enable superfast broadband and voice services to be delivered to end users. Developers can meet this requirement by contracting with OPENetworks, NBN Co or any other wholesale only, open access, operator of FTTP networks.

Many private network carriers, like OPENetworks, are able to provide local network access ports on their FTTP networks to integrate the building and community services. NBN Co does not currently offer this option, however they recently announced that they may trial FTA TV services on their FTTP networks.

Beware of Retailers posing as Wholesalers!

A fundamental compliance requirement for new developments was created by the federal government with the NBN legislation. This requires that the carrier or operator of a FTTP network must operate on wholesale only and open access basis. Specifically they must not offer retail services on their own network, whether directly or via a related entity that is not functionally separate.

Developers should be wary of integrators, operators or suppliers who claim that they can deliver carrier grade services, FTTP networks or integrated networks, but are NOT open access, wholesale only operators, and especially if they also have an associated internet or broadband retail service provider. These companies may offer systems integrated into the carrier FTTP network (such as the Intercom & CCTV) but they cannot lawfully operate the FTTP network itself.

A developer that contracts with a non-compliant network operator not only doesn’t comply with the federal legislation but also puts their development at risk of not being certified by the Local Council as ready for occupation. If a developer advertises the availability of superfast broadband or Internet services to prospective owners, and this broadband or Internet service is not provided by an open access and wholesale only operator that is strictly compliant with the federal legislation, then legal remedies may be available to buyers against the developer in breach of their sale contract.

The Final Message

An integrated FTTP network simplifies the cabling, conduit and pit and pipe requirements for a development and eliminates duplication. It offers flexible delivery options for community and building management services and television distribution and future proofs the development while enabling significant cost savings for the developer.


About the author

Chris McKechie is CTO and a Director of OPENetworks, a wholesale only open access licenced telecommunications carrier. He is a qualified telecommunications engineer with over 30 years experience with telecommunications carriers, building services consulting and the design and development of FTTP and integrated networks.

Contact Details: Phone: 0418 333 877 Email:

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