Monday, November 10, 2008

Assessment of Australian Broadband Guarantee

The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has issued a Request for Tender for a Technical consultancy and quality-of-service assessment of Australian Broadband Guarantee (ABG) services provided by registered Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The previous federal government had a program to provide subsidies for broadband access in regional areas. It will be interesting to see what the assessment of the suggest of the project is. This is a critical time for govenrment broadband policy, with the tenders to implement the new federal government's broadband policy due soon.

There is a detailed 61 page document for the tender (DCON/08/88, 7 November 2008):


Through the Australian Broadband Guarantee (ABG) program, the Government facilitates access by all Australians to metro-comparable broadband services. The Department manages the ABG program, including its predecessor programs (HiBIS, Broadband Connect and Metro Broadband Connect), on behalf of the Government. The Government confirmed its support for the ABG program with the announcement on 16 May 2008 of a four-year funding allocation of $270.7 million. The new program commenced on 4 August 2008.

The ABG is designed to complement the National Broadband Network by targeting eligible residences in areas with no access to commercial broadband services.

In support of the ABG program, the Department requires the services of a technical consultant to provide technical assessments and reports on the service level compliance of registered Internet Service Providers (ISPs), in accordance with the requirements under the ABG Guidelines.

Under the ABG guidelines, all registered ISPs are required to offer at least one ‘threshold service’ with a data speed of at least 512/128 kbps. They must also offer at least one ‘added value’ service with a speed of at least 1024/256 Kbps and a data usage allowance of at least 5GB per month (with no restrictions on the types of downloads or uploads or times of usage i.e. peak/off peak limitations) for each Service Solution registered. Providers are also required to meet certain standards in relation to installation, the functionality of customer premises equipment (CPE), customer support, billing and excess data usage. It is expected that the consultant will provide the technical expertise that enables the Department to better understand the quality of broadband service received by an ABG customer.

Services required


The Department is seeking to engage the services of a consultant, with proven experience in technical measurement of higher bandwidth services across a range of broadband technology platforms such as xDSL, wireless, satellite and other wireline broadband systems, to provide technical services and advice on the service-level compliance of ISPs registered under the ABG program. The consultant will be responsible for providing reliable reports that supplement the Department’s goal of understanding an end-user’s broadband experience under the ABG program through an assessment of various service delivery elements ...

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