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nbn trials sensing technology for network monitoring

The sensing solution is part of a joint initiative with nbn, which investigates new ways to monitor and prevent accidental damage to the Australian provider’s fibre network. In the three-month trial, nbn is exploring the use of DigitalAsset sensing services to detect certain vibrational frequencies on fibre, along with artificial intelligence to determine whether the activities causing those vibrations are likely to cause accidental damage.

The monitoring and diagnostic technologies provide additional levels of insight in nbn’s infrastructure. It can detect physical activity in the vicinity of optical cables carrying fibres connected to the system. Early warning or detection could identify and minimise potential fibre cable strikes before they happen, while, for maintenance, real time condition monitoring is offered. In addition, the service does not interfere with the underlying data services that the nbn fibre supports. For FiberSense, the trial is another step-up in deployment in the Asia Pac region and adds to recently announced new services in New Zealand and across a number of important Pacific sub-sea cables.

The trial is underway at a nbn’s test facility and a fibre cable path in Melbourne, and is expected to run through to November 2022.

Commenting on the trial, Ray Owen, nbn Chief Technology Officer, says: “As the digital backbone of Australia, the nbn network is constantly evolving as we seek to stay ahead of ever-increasing demand for reliable broadband internet across Australia. We are excited to understand how advanced optical monitoring and diagnostic technologies like those offered by FiberSense can provide additional levels of insight into the types of field activities that might be detected and how the response process could work when these activities get dangerously close to nbn network assets. It could mean fewer unplanned outages due to accidental damage and help ensure we are keeping homes, communities and businesses connected.”

Dr Mark Englund, Founder and CEO of FiberSense, adds: “The nbn trial marks a further step forward in meeting our aspirations to scale globally. We aim to be operating on all the world’s preeminent fibre networks and Australia’s nbn is certainly recognised as one of the ‘best of the best’ amongst other national operators. The demonstration will apply our patented software based sensing portfolio to provide early warning and incident detection notifications that might impact critical infrastructure like the nbn from third party deliberate or accidental damage.”

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