Friday, 23 March 2018 08:44

NBN Co opens lab to train workers for network field tasks

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NBN Co, the company rolling out Australia's national broadband network, will provide training and assessments for more than 2000 in-field workers on how to deploy, activate and maintain the network, using simulation as a teaching tool.

The company said in a statement today that it had opened new training facilities towards this end.

The first such facility, called a Network Simulation Lab, was opened at TAFE NSW’s Lidcombe campus.

Trainees will have access to every fixed-line technology solution used to deliver the NBN network.

They will also be given real-time experience in connecting pits and pipes to homes and businesses, installing equipment before the network is activated and helping to resolve connection faults.

NBN Co chief network engineering officer Peter Ryan said: “With more than 30,000 workers out in the field helping to roll the NBN Co access network out, we remain committed to the continuous development of a highly capable workforce, to ensure the network delivers the quality Australians expect.

“Today’s launch coincides with the peak build phase of the network with up to 100,000 new Australian homes and businesses being added to our footprint each month. This means we require highly competent, multi-skilled technical workers to not only deploy the network but also help deliver quality experiences for people who connect to and use the NBN Co access network.

“There are lots of complexities which come up when working on a live network that can impact the way a technician needs to complete an installation or fix a fault. The benefit of these labs is that we can program problems and challenges for workers to deal with before they get out in the field. They can immediately see how their actions impact a live network and can start building their expertise from day one.

“In the last year, we have increased our ability to deliver network installations right the first time from eight out of ten times to around nine out of ten today – the new NBN Co Network Simulation Labs are part of our plan to ensure we continue to improve."

TAFE NSW’s head of Skillspoint, Technology and Business Services Dr Geethani Nair said: “As the largest education and training provider in Australia, TAFE NSW is committed to providing high quality, industry-relevant training for the jobs of tomorrow.

“TAFE NSW is focused on working in partnership with industry to design and develop new solutions to meet current and future need.

“These facilities using our qualified trainers will equip NBN Co’s infield workers across the country with the skills they need to successfully build, operate and maintain one of the nation’s most important projects.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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