Degree Name

Master of Information Technology (Hons.)


This research clarified the position of Broadband ISDN (BISDN) as a service, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) as a technology essential for its implementation, and Optical Fibre as the preferred medium for its transmission, based upon presently preferred technologies. A study was undertaken of the literature and other secondary sources to document the state-of-the-art in each of the three areas. An analysis of the technical findings led to the conclusion that the interplay of these three elements constitutes a key factor in bringing broadband services to fruition. Further, the options available in developing the complex infrastructure (e.g., optical fibre versus compression on copper) were examined, and the pivotal role of ATM as the catalyst for broadband delivery was confirmed. An indication of the nature of, and potential demand for, broadband services was drawn from a number of earlier empirical studies that sought to justify expenditure on broadband infrastructure. Based on the above knowledge, questions were developed for administration during semi-structured interviews with key representatives of Australia's two telecommunications carriers and a number of their major service providers. The questions were designed to test their perceptions of (a) the technical and market feasibility of introducing broadband services, and (b) the level of convergence of carrier/provider interests in this area. Carrier organisations were stratified by engineering divisions (technical feasibility) and business development/marketing divisions (market feasibility), and service providers were chosen on a representative basis. Information about the current status of Telecom Australia's Optical Fibre Trial at Wollongong was obtained by direct interviews.