NBN Co in-sources contact centre


news In what appears to be something of a reversal of a previous outsourcing strategy, the National Broadband Network Company has announced that it would set up a new contact centre located at Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast in Queensland. The centre would be ready for operations in the second half of this year, and is expected create more than 130 jobs.

NBN Co recently announced its three-year rollout plan, which is expected to see construction get underway in areas covering over 678,600 premises across Queensland by June 2015, including around 80,000 on the Gold Coast. With such a large-scale rollout on the cards, a greater interest in the project is anticipated and the centre will be dedicated to manage and respond to inquiries from the general public, property developers and builders.

In a statement, NBN Co’s Head of Quality Mike Kaiser said: “The customer contact centre will play an important role in communicating how the network is being built and the steps householders and business owners will need to take to connect to the NBN and to move across from older infrastructure to Australia’s brand new telecommunications network.”

“While NBN Co is not directly selling broadband services to homeowners and businesses the customer centre will support the work of the retail service providers who will have the ongoing relationship with their customers,” he added.

The new centre on the Gold Coast was chosen as it met many of the conditions outlined by the company including a significant population base with a pool of people suitable for contact centre employment. The contact centre is expected to employ around 130 people, of which 100 would be employed within 12 months. Gold Coast Acting Mayor Daphne McDonald welcomed NBN Co’s decision. She said “Hot on the back of the news the Gold Coast has been included in the NBN’s three year roll out; this is another win for the Gold Coast with the call centre bringing 100 new jobs to the city in the next 12 months.” Recruitment for the new facility is expected to begin this month.

However, the move appears to represent something of a reversal on NBN Co’s previous contact centre strategy. In April 2011, it had announced that it had contracted local service provider Service Stream to manage its then-public contact centre in Melbourne’s central business district, following a six month competitive tender process.

NBN Co General Manager of External Affairs, Trent Williams said at the time: “The new contact centre will become the management centre for all inbound calls and queries about the National Broadband Network. We know that people have a lot of questions about the NBN and this is just one of the avenues we will be using to communicate with the public.”

It is not clear how the old contact centre plan relates to the new one, but NBN Co did not mention its previous strategy in its media release yesterday outlining its new contact centre plan.

Image credit: Carlos Chavez, royalty free