Have you ever wondered what the IAA Board does? Well, wonder no more as they have started producing quarterly reports on their activities. In a nutshell, however, the IAA Board meets monthly and is responsible for the overarching governance and strategy of the Association.

The Board reports can be downloaded from our website.

Australians are now spending over $4 billion per year on fixed line broadband services. With the internet being such an integral part of everyday life, it is important to be confident in the information available to assist consumers in choosing the plan that best suits.

IAA’s next Life Under Lockdown event, on Tuesday 22 September, “How Good is our Internet?” will be looking at the performance of Australia’s broadband network

Hear from Sean Riordon, head of the ACCC’s broadband performance monitoring program on their approach to measuring performance. The session will include a summary of the regulator’s function, why broadband performance monitoring was adopted, an overview of how it works, and the results they have collected.

The event will also include an in-depth presentation from SamKnows who provide the technology behind the ACCC’s testing program.

It’s been a little quieter around here over the last month, as it’s been head down, tail up ploughing through the upgrades (well done Nick and Aaron) and preparing for our AGM in just over a week’s time. I participated in a panel as part of APNIC’s Networking from Home Oceania event and will be part of the line up next month for APNIC 50 giving a recap of the Australian ISP industry’s survival tactics during the pandemic. I’m also gradually getting to meet with many of our corporate members, and your feedback led to our taking a strong stand in the media on the upcoming CVC charge resumption by NBN Co.

The team have also made great progress implementing RPKI – if you’ve received an email saying your routes include invalids, please make the changes or liaise with us to help. It’s important we keep the routing table as clean as possible.

Speaking of the AGM, I hope you will take the time to vote on the changes to our Rules, and for the board election. A strong and active board is essential to our governance and are frequently our go to team for strategic advice. If you haven’t received your ballot email – do be in touch!

After weeks of preparation, IAA team leader Nick Pratley and engineer, Aaron Chidiac, pulled a night shift at Equinix SY1 last week, successfully replacing the Extreme Black Diamond X8.

The huge 14.5 RU BDX8 modular switch has, up until now, given us the flexibility to satisfy all peer requirements, but we’ve chosen to replace it with the much smaller Extreme Networks x870-32c.

With the promise of future proofing, we expected that over time the expensive 100G modules would mature to a point where the cost was acceptable, however they are currently end of life and still prohibitively expensive. On this basis, it’s clear the benefits of the BDx8 do not outweigh the significant support and module costs, so we’ve moved to the new Extreme switch.

The work involved downsizing the 14.5RU monster to a 1RU pizza box form factor, reducing rack temperatures and power consumption whilst freeing up space for future servers, switches, and content provider caches.

Amazingly, the entire new Extreme x870-32c device costs less than the modules required to keep up with member demand for 100G ports. It is capable of 32 x 100G ports that can be partitioned into different modes, comfortably fitting 96 x 10G member ports, with 8 x 40G/100G ports to spare!

Members can now expect greater reliability of inter capital and inter data centre links. This also means we’re separating key links across hardware,  so we can ensure our ring network is not taken down by a single path, link or hardware failure, and latency spikes will now only occur during diverse path outages or extreme congestion events.

This has been weeks in the planning and puts us in great shape to repeat the effort in Melbourne sometime in the next couple of months.

Well done Nick and Aaron on a massive effort and a trouble free cut over.

We have had another busy month at IAA. After running the first successful online event, we hosted a more technical deep dive on RPKI and are compiling an event program that will take us to the end of the year. Thank you to those who have made suggestions for topics and speakers, and particularly to those who have offered to speak. In September we will have the ACCC explain the broadband performance monitoring system, a topic no doubt many of you are passionate about. The RPKI session also gave us the opportunity to release our own plans to implement RPKI along with route validation, meaning for some of you, some announcements will be dropped. We trust you will all appreciate the cleaner routing table as a result.

I am also knee deep in working through some of the hefty compliance issues that exist for our industry and have had meetings with a range of regulators. The government has recently announced its review into consumer safeguards – is that something members would like us to comment on? You may have seen our press release welcoming the report recommending changes to the assistance and access bill (TOLA), please let us know if there are any other issues you think we should be commenting on. I’m keen to hear your thoughts, so please send them through to ceo@internet.asn.au

By now, members should have received the call for nominations to the IAA Board. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage members to consider what skills and capabilities you want to see on the Board, or even to consider running.

IAA is pleased to be able to welcome back Tanzia Hewer to the Association following her parental leave. Tanzia will be working directly with IAA CEO, Narelle Clark, assisting her with administration tasks, as well as taking on the day to day business operations and governance support for the New Zealand Internet Exchange. It is great to have Tanzia back on the team.

Tanzia’s return also coincides with a move for the Association’s admin team into a new office in Perth CBD. With stunning views over the Swan River, the new office will give the team the opportunity to get together for work on a regular basis. With recent office vacancy rates increasing, we were able to strike a great deal for the space, meaning the staff should be happy there for some time to come.

Members and friends this month enjoyed a deep dive into RPKI implementation as part of our Life Under Lockdown series.

On the topic of ‘How to avoid heists, hijacks and hostages’ the importance of BGP security was covered. Several ways of keeping your routing table secure and in sync with APNIC (and other) authoritative sources were examined.

Tashi Phuntsho from APNIC provided a practical overview on deploying RPKI on your network, and his presentation slide deck is available to download. The event was also live streamed to our Facebook page if you missed it. It is worth a re-watch.

IAA’s timetable for implementing RPKI – including whose routes will be dropped – was outlined at the event. Members are encouraged to check their advertisements match the routes they own, as we will be dropping bogons from 1 September, 2020.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications has released the third part of its Consumer Safeguards review. The latest consultation looks to position Australia’s consumer safeguards for a post-2020 environment.

Part C reviews how best to provide choice and fairness in the consumer-provider relationship, including the role of industry self-regulation, legacy consumer protections for traditional phone services, digital inclusion approaches and productivity.

Clearly, there are issues that will affect Internet Service Providers and IAA is considering making a submission, so all comments are welcome as we work to develop an IAA response.

Submissions to the Department are due by 24 August.

We welcome you to share your thoughts and feedback with us by emailing admin@internet.asn.au

Alternatively you can make your own submissions directly to the Department, and feel free to send us a copy if you do.

IAA has been supporting APNIC’s Networking from Home initiative over the last few months.

The final event in the series is on Tuesday 4th August, starting at 11am AEST and we encourage our members to attend.

Listen to Geoff Huston as he looks at the framework of trust in today’s Internet and explores the weakness in the system and what we are (or are not) doing about it.  The full program and details of speakers is on the Networking from Home website.

There will also be a panel on IXPs around the Pacific, looking at the role of community and regulators in the success of IXPs. Our NZIX colleague Tom Paseka, and the IAA CEO, Narelle Clark, will be participating.

Register for the event via the APNIC website

Due to TPG closing the old PIPE DC3 facility in Brisbane, the team recently completed a rearrangement of the network across QLD-IX. We’ve built a new link between the Over The Wire and NextDC B2 facilities in Fortitude Valley, and without interruption to service. All of our systems have now vacated DC3.