Emerson Network Power signs $100 million NBN Co deal

Company to design and build 10 network facilities across Australia

Emerson Network Power has been awarded a one year, $100 million contract to design, supply, install and commission 10 network facility centres for the NBN Co.

The facilities would be based across Australia, with two proposed centres in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Emerson Network Power energy systems vice-president, Ross Campbell, said that the modular facilities would include a data centre, fibre access and training facilities.

In-depth: Data centre migration guide.

“Because it is a modular system we manufacture part of it in one of our facilities in Europe and the rest of the system is manufactured in Australia,” he said.

Emerson Network Power ANZ managing director, David Scott, said that the facilities would house IT infrastructure and telecommunications that allows super-fast broadband speeds to homes and businesses.

The Emerson hardware would include Liebert cooling systems, SiteScan infrastructure monitoring and management; and fully integrated, factory-tested modular housing systems.

It also plans to work with construction firms Silcar, who were awarded second release NBN contracts in August, and Greenbox Architecture on site construction.

Scott said the tender came out in February 2011 following an open process. “There was a tremendous amount of work up front in order for us to provide what the NBN Co believe is the most technically and energy efficient end to end offering that was proposed.”

In addition, the company had hired 15 new staff, including project managers, accountants and engineering staff.

Another 16 new hires would be made over the next five months which would increase the Australian headcount by 10 per cent to a total of 260 staff.

NBN Co facilities architect, Adrian Whatley, said the timeframe for the roll out was over the next 12 months but he could not say which city would get the network facilities first.

“The issue we have is that NBN Co is still finalising some lease hold arrangements for the physical sites these facilities will be located on,” he said.

Council design approval processes will have an impact which sites the company deploys first, Whatley said. This is one of the reasons that the company is using a modular solution: To give it us flexibility to deploy where it has access to a site first.

“Given these facilities are going to be geographically diverse and owned by NBN Co, there will be a small amount of accommodation space suitable for training facilities and also storage space where critical network spares can be held at these sites,” he said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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