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)

    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.

  • (Credit: David Braue/ZDNet Australia)

    Every centimetre of the route is planned in great detail, ensuring that the network respects the many operating parameters within which it's operating.

    The roll-out of the fibre throughout rural areas has been greeted warmly, according to Sharp. "Wherever we go, everyone's just applauding us," he says. "They really are keen."

    In each town the RBBP fibre passes, Nextgen installs a BPOI (Broadband Point of Interconnect) cabinet near the local Telstra exchange that hosts ADSL2+-capable DSLAMs (DSL Access Modules) to allow ISPs to deliver broadband to local residents. NEC subsidiary Nextep is the first into each Nextgen-delivered BPOI, but the open-access, government-owned infrastructure will be equally available to any interested ISP.

  • (Credit: David Braue/ZDNet Australia)

    The cable being laid bundles a large number of fibre-optic strands, with extensive protective sheathing. Specialised "rippers" dig a trench 1 metre deep, into which the cable is laid by a plough. The plough lays it into place through a chute.

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.