Regardless of the final outcome of the Federal Election and its impact on the National Broadband Network (NBN), the ICT industry can stand proud on a unique and arguably peerless collaborative effort.
While the political parties and many of us in the media focussed much of the time on ripping apart the respective broadband infrastructure plans, individuals from all walks of telecommunications life volunteered considerable amounts of their time to helping build the Communications Alliance NBN Project.
Since June 2009 more than 130 people from 72 organisations contributed to the industry representative body’s working groups, led initially by Gary McLaren, and then by Paul Brooks when McLean moved to NBN Co. The NBN Project was set up to address seven key areas: The NBN reference model, wholesale services, end-user migration, technical, operational, end-user premises, and early stage deployments.
Aside from the resulting documentation and guidance from these working groups – much of which can be adapted to any broadband rollout in Australia – the NBN Project brought together fierce competitive rivals such as Optus and Telstra, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent along with NBN Co. No small undertaking.
The mere fact these people were able to continue with their day jobs, while freely contributing to the NBN Project is testament to their professionalism and dedication to Australia’s broadband future.
And they should be heartily congratulated for their efforts, whatever your take on the NBN. There are very few, if any, cross-industry projects of this magnitude that have succeeded in producing anything more than motherhood statements.
This week, the Communications Alliance will recognise these individuals at two events to be held in Sydney and Melbourne. They don’t know if the NBN is going to go ahead or not, and neither do we, but they should stand proud of their extensive and positive contribution to Australia’s future.