Conroy visits Nextgen's backhaul hub: pics

Conroy visits Nextgen's backhaul hub: pics

Summary: Fibre-optic backbone specialist Nextgen Networks has installed over 8000km of its own fibre across Australia, but its current role as prime contractor for the government's 6000km Regional Backbone Blackspots Program (RBBP) has given it a high profile in the National Broadband Network (NBN) roll-out, especially now that the provider has reached its halfway point.


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  • (Credit: David Braue/ZDNet Australia)

    McGrath was full of praise for the workers involved in the RBBP, noting that despite over 500,000 man-hours worked to date, the project has not had a single Lost Time Incident.

    "That's quite an amazing achievement," he said. "Many people are working in isolated and dangerous locations, and we have protocols in place and do things like have a start-of-day meeting everyday so work scope is clear and any issues are identified early on."

  • (Credit: David Braue/ZDNet Australia)

    The offices of Visionstream are committed to the RBBP, with staff grouped into a range of project areas that include everything from technical fibre roll-out design to drafting, route survey, safety monitors, environmental impact assessment, and more.

  • (Credit: David Braue/ZDNet Australia)

    Cultural concerns are a major part of the project, with a dedicated team handling negotiations with indigenous organisations and tribal councils.

    "There are hundreds and hundreds of sacred sites we've got to avoid," said project director Jeff Sharp. "We have monitors with the construction crews to make sure we do the right thing." Nextgen has also boosted indigenous employment through a deal that has seen indigenous workers comprise 10 per cent of the project's 500-strong full-time workforce.

Topics: Broadband, Government AU, NBN


Australia’s first-world economy relies on first-rate IT and telecommunications innovation. David Braue, an award-winning IT journalist and former Macworld editor, covers its challenges, successes and lessons learned as it uses ICT to assert its leadership in the developing Asia-Pacific region – and strengthen its reputation on the world stage.

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  • So according to your picture they are only laying 48 fibre cable and with the size comparison it is not even high strength.