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National Broadband Network (NBN) relies on spatial information to ensure that tender responses deliver fibre to the node covering 98% of Australian households and businesses
Gibson Quai-AAS P/L, Canberra Australia

case-study-nbn

Business Challenge
Gibson Quai-AAS Pty. Ltd. (Gibson Quai-AAS) is Australia's leading independent, specialist telecommunications and information technology consulting company providing professional consulting advice in telecommunications and related disciplines to corporate, government, industry, regulatory and investor clients in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific Region.

In late 2007, the Commonwealth Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) sought the provision of specialist technical advice relating to the proposed National Broadband Network (NBN). The NBN was to be an open access network of FTTN or Fibre To The Node to reach 98% of Australian households and businesses.

A crucial aspect was the need to accurately estimate network and service coverage by premises and population, provide maps of network coverage, and to evaluate tender responses for their compliance with the coverage and roll-out plans specified by DBCDE. It was clear that a specialist provider in spatial consulting was needed to undertake this analysis and so GQ-AAS turned to Geomatic Technologies (GT) for help.

Services Overview
The first challenge was to identify a suitable dataset to carry out a nationwide coverage analysis. GT investigated and analysed a range of available datasets and then drew on an established relationship with PSMA - the Public Sector Mapping Agency - to develop a tailored dataset to estimate network coverage. This dataset was provided to prospective NBN tenderers so that they could assess the extent to which their proposal met the DBCDE's objective of reaching 98% of Australian households and businesses.

The dataset and analysis methodology was fully documented with GT contributing to the wording in the NBN tender. Based on GT's derived dataset, tenderers were able to model, estimate, and map business and residential premises and provide an accurate assessment of broadband network coverage available to each ESA or Exchange Service Area population.

Following tender submissions, GT was involved with the analysis of the tenderers' written submissions. GT also reproduced the tenderers' methodologies to verify their results and findings, and reviewed the suitability and quality of these methodologies.

In line with the proposed roll-out schedule, GT calculated the percentages of households that would be within reach of the NBN for each roll-out milestone.

Consulting Outcomes
GT delivered a range of spatial analyses and advice that included:

  • Specialist advice to DBCDE in relation to a spatial analysis methodology and on suitable datasets.
  • The contribution of geospatial data and documentation to the NBN tender process and the subsequent evaluation of the stated network coverage and rollout plans for each tender response.
  • The development of a nationwide premises dataset with almost 11 million records.

Images above from left to right
The NBN is envisaged to provide super-fast internet access to 98% of Australian homes and businesses. Conceptual diagram of a digital network. Progressive roll-out will connect premises to the NBN over a 9 year time span.