What is Frame Relay?
A Telecom NZ service :-( it was managed by Netway Ltd (a wholly owned
Telecom subsidiary) but has now been handed over to Telecom's Data
Services to provision and manage.
Telecom's Frame Relay Service is another form of digital data service providing point to point connections between locations in New Zealand.
Frame relay services are available in the major cities, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Dunedin. Outside of these Frame Relay service is connected to the nearest of the above cities with an additional cost.
Frame Relay has generally been quite dependable although Telecom have recognised in the past that there have been annoying performance problems. A proportion of New Zealand internet connected sites, including some ISPs are connected to the internet using Frame Relay.
Installation: In the major cities installation is $410 per end, other areas it
is $530 per end.
Monthly rental consists of access charges per end and link bandwidth charges (known as the CIR, committed information rate).
Access costs: Speed City non-City 64K 700 950 128K 1150 1600 256K 1930 2930 384K 2380 3880 512K 2800 4640 1024K 4080 7380
CIR is $30 per 8kbits within the CBD (Central Business District) of the major cities and $110 per 8kbits outside the CBD.
There is also an additional charge where a delivery point is outside a major city. This charge is the same as the standard DDS step charge between the delivery point and the nearest city that provides frame relay service.
Example: A 64K frame relay link with a CIR of 48K between Auckland and
Wellington. The access at each end would be $700 and the CIR wold cost
6 * 110 or $660, total is then $1360.
Over longer distances Frame Relay can provide significant cost savings when compared to wideband and normal DDS and Wideband DDS services.
Ordering Frame Relay
Telecom supply standard application forms for frame relay services.
These can be obtained from the nearest Telecom Business Centre or Sales office and they will post original copies to you or fax them directly.
After the completed application is returned to Telecom it can take
anything from one day to 15 days for the DDS to be installed. In a very few
metropolitan areas there could be longer delays if some upgrading is required
of the local exchange. Even longer delays are probable if new cables need to
Normal installation time is about 5 to 7 days. In any case Telecom will provide a latest date for commissioning the new link.
Frame Relay installation
Just about all DDS installations, including frame relay, are now carried out by Installation companies that contract to Telecom. The good news is that the actual people who do the installations are usually ex-Telecom staff and they tend to know what they are doing. The same person will often install both ends of an DDS and will phone the contact people (as included in the application site forms) to arrange a mutually suitable time to call and do the site installation.Frame Relay connections requires a single copper line pair. It cannot be installed on a line used for 1+1 or other multiplexing schemes for providing more than one analogue (phone) service over a copper pair.
An Frame Relay link is terminated at each end in a modem-like box known as an Network Terminator Unit or NTU.
Frame Relay is well priced for connection in the major cities. Availability is good and reliability is now said to be as good as DDS connections. For longer distance Frame Relay connections the cost was very favourable compared to the various type of DDS links. However, since the price of higher speed/longer distance DDS has been reduced with effect from 1 May 1997, the cost difference between Frame Relay and DDS links has now closed quite significantly.
Connecting DDS to an Internet network.
The exact type of connection will depend on the interface provided (or
requested) on the NTU. The slower 9k6/19K2 NTU with its async interface can
be directly connected to an async port on a PC or workstation. This workstation
will probably need to be running routing software, most Unix OS will
include routing, and other OS such as OS/2, MacOS, Windows NT etc usually
have routing capability either built in or by installing additional
Synchronous DDS links will require a router or computer interface that supports synchronous serial connections.
Usually an external ethernet (or token ring) router box is used to manage a synchronous DDS link. This often turns out to be the single most expensive hardware required to connect an DDS.
See Routers from KCCS.
These routers will totally manage an Internet connection providing the required sync serial port interface (usually X21). They also include full routing capability, provide internet routing management and may often include limited firewall capability.