NBN Co primarily an infrastructure company: Chief systems architect

NBN Co will take seven to eight years to evolve into a telecommunications company

NBN Co will primarily be an infrastructure, rather than telecommunications company for the next seven to eight years, its chief systems architect has claimed.

Speaking at the TM Forum Spotlight in Sydney this week, NBN Co’s Bill Barnett said while the rollout is taking place, the company will have a different experience than other telcos in the sector who have set up shop in the past.

“For the next seven or eight years, we’re going to be an infrastructure company that sets up some telecommunications activities,” Barnett said. “One of the opportunities is that we can take these frameworks as a starting point and do the rest for ourselves.”

Barnett said that NBN Co has a rare opportunity to start fresh and create IT systems to simplify tasks.

“We have a unique opportunity to have a level of homogeneity that’s unmatched in a legacy telco world, and that affects a lot of our business processes and simplifies things,” Barnett said.

“The people that we had to hire came from other companies and we all have legacy brains, so we have to unlearn some of the things we know about telcos.”

Barnett said the Australian telco community must work together during the rollout, with collaboration being integral to the projects’ success.

“Without enabling this community of access seekers, there’s no point in having an NBN Co," he said. "We have to enable a community to work together.”

Barnett said the use of tax payer funds to set up the NBN has made the company think responsibly about implementation costs.

“This is about making the most responsible use of tax payer money that we can, and using infrastructure that works over time,” he said.

Barnett’s insights come as member of the TM Forum, Tony Kalcina, also addressed the audience, saying that telcos must welcome the development of the NBN as a chance to innovate.

Follow Lisa Banks on Twitter: @CapricaStar

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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