Telstra, NBN offshoring copper support to India


news The NBN company and its partner Telstra appear to be offshoring support for Telstra’s ageing copper network to India, with consultants in that country to be responsible for ensuring that broadband users can receive acceptable services over the copper that facilitates the Fibre to the Node model.

The previous Labor Government created the National Broadband Network with a near-universal Fibre to the Premises model, representing the best possible broadband technology to meet Australia’s long-term needs.

However, since the 2013 Federal Election, the Abbott and Turnbull administrations have substantially modified the NBN project, replacing Labor’s model with technically inferior Fibre to the Node and HFC cable models which rely on the legacy copper and HFC cable networks owned by Telstra and Optus.

Telstra is a key NBN partner and is supervising the handover of its copper network to the NBN company, so that it can be used as part of the Fibre to the Node rollout.

Support for most of the NBN model is being provided onshore in Australia. However, this week the Labor Opposition revealed that both the NBN company and Telstra itself were handing “copper assurance” matters off to Indian subcontractors.

Shadow Communications Minister Jason Clare told Parliament this week that he had found a job ad on Seek posted by the NBN company for a “Copper Service Assurance Manager”.

The job ad states: “The Manager Copper Service Assurance will lead an nbn team working closely with the Managed Service Partner teams in Melbourne, Mumbai and Delhi. This role will provide visible leadership in relation to the performance management for all aspects of inbound/outbound Service Management.”

“This role will be based in Mumbai, India,” Clare told Parliament. “This is not a fly-in fly-out role. It will require the manager of copper service assurance to reside in India on an ongoing basis.”

“Not only have they bought back Telstra’s old copper network, not only are they now buying 10 million metres of new copper, but now they are sending jobs to Mumbai to fix their second-rate copper network. What a mess! It is going to take a Labor government to fix this mess.”

The job ad — which Clare has posted on Twitter — states that the NBN company’s copper assurance function “is accountable for assuring existing end user services off Telstra’s copper network, assurance of end user services on NBN’s [Fibre to the Basement] and FTTN network and assurance of … service faults.”

The Indian managerial role will be required to establish a team to manage the copper assurance issue, including “creating methods and procedures for monitoring performance, reporting, root-cause analytics, workforce planning and crisis management”.

Delimiter has also seen several other advertisements along similar lines, with one posted by Telstra stating that it would be working with “NBN partner operations in India”, in the cities of Pune, Mumbai and Chennai.

The job ad states that 80% of Telstra’s workforce in this area will be based offshore, and Indian outsourcers such as TCS, Infosys, Wipro and Cognizant will be involved.

Telstra is already known to have substantial offshore operations, and the NBN company itself has also made use of the services of TCS to assist with some of its work. However, the move to manage assurance on Telstra’s copper network offshore appears to be unprecedented.

What a fucking joke. These jobs should absolutely be onshore.


  1. There’s only one way to kill this joke, vote out the LNP on July 2nd 2016.

    Do it right, do it once, do it with FIBRE!

    • To vote out the LNP on the basis of ‘do it once do it with it fibre’ you need to know that’s what Labor will do.

      So far ‘do it once do it with fibre’ is targeted for three small rural towns in West Tassie with a combined population of 3,625 and guesstimated by Labor to cost $29M!, with no predicted completion date.

      • Oh dear, those are fighting words eh alain, vote out the LNP…

        To arms and fight to the death…good boy, sit.

        You’re welcome

        • I for one would be happy for the govt to spend 100 billion if it means universal access for every Australian, future proof technology and to keep greedy private enterprise from owning the whole thing.

          I am young but I pay taxes for it to be spent on services not for the Govt to store up and give out to its mates.
          The LNP has Failed us and will continue too.
          So it is time to go away Reality as your reality is nothing but lies.

      • Hey Clare said “more fibre!”.. there we go we know what they’ll do!

        I mean all Turnbull had to say was “we have a costed policy!”

        It’s still rather amusing how you keep picking on Labors “nebulous” policy and “lack of transparency” when the Coalition did the exact same thing pre election.

        Consistency in politics must be a wonderful thing

      • To vote out the LNP on the basis of ‘do it once do it with it fibre’ you need to know that’s what Labor will do.

        No, but you can vote them out on the basis of “Do it many times, using many things, some with fibber”…

      • “To vote out the LNP on the basis of ‘do it once do it with it fibre’ you need to know that’s what Labor will do.”
        Who said anything about Labor?

    • Absolutely correct on BOTH counts @Fat Pat

      Just when I thought the LNP couldn’t stuff up the NBN any more than they have with optic into copper relic infrastructure.

      Now, just to save money (who cares about service and that you can’t understand the person on the other end) Telstra (and NBN) are going to send loads of jobs overseas.

      How many people have Telstra “persuaded to take voluntary redundancy” (sacked) or just sacked?

      How many jobs have NBN now taken away from our Economy?

    • The Queensland LNP is not responsible for managing federal telecommunication policy—surely you are speaking the Federal Coalition of which the LNP provides a small part (22 members in the federal parliament)?

      Of course, voting against LNP members would assist in ousting the present national government. People who are unwilling to master the terminology make me to doubt their understanding AND judgement.

  2. I thought I’d already seen the most ridiculous results of the “cheapest upfront, whatever the cost” approach to infrastructure the Coalition is taking, but this just takes the cake.

    If you actually wanted to “destroy the NBN”, you’d probably do a lot of the things Turnbull has done.

  3. Has Clare made a Labor commitment that all NBN support of this nature will remain in Australia, if he did I missed it?

      • As you should Renai, kudos – keep all of the ‘bastards honest”.

        But I agree with Stephen (although I realise your comment wasn’t replying to him).

        Your article is about what the “current NBN management/government are doing”, not what the last mob did or they might do, per se`, if re-elected.

        Although again, it would be good to know.

        Ergo IMO, Stephen is 100% right, those who are asking, but what will “they do”, are simply and typically desperately attempting to “again” avoid scrutiny of what “they are doing, now” and wanting to excuse the current forever failing disaster known as MTM, by questioning the others intent…

    • Ah yes alain, the old, trusty, fall back position of the rad con…blame the others for what the current mob are doing…

      Well unless the others are the current mob of course.

      You’re welcome.

    • Reality where were those satellites made? What about nearly every piece of tech? $10s of billions committed by Labor to be spent overseas on much better jobs.

      Yet pressing a MELT test button is outsourced and the indignation of the squealers begins.

      • If there was a satellite construction industry in Australia I’m sure people would not be happy with them being built overseas. Unfortunately there is not, so I really don’t understand the comparison. Australia does have a local IT and telecommunications industry which is capable of supporting NBN FTTN activation processes. It may not be cheaper then offshoring it, but the taxpayer money stays in the Australian economy and that multiplier effect should be taken into account. I wish the offshore team was just pushing the MELT button – unfortunately they are actually configuring FTTN port profiles and configuration – screwed mine up, and denied there was a problem for a month.

  4. In Bill Shortens budget reply speech he stated Labor supports FTTP!

    @ Renai – Please try to be a tad less ambiguous with your opinion :)

  5. crisis or circus management?

    If the copper faults everytime it rains surely that’s a circus not a crisis.

  6. “What a fucking joke. These jobs should absolutely be onshore.” Sums it up nicely Renai! Best thing I have read all day.

  7. is a similar job add – but much broader in scope. Its for a role involved with a $29M+ contract to provide O2A services ( Order to Activation ) to NBN – and boasts 1300+ offshore jobs. This is the group that does such a terrible job connecting Australians to FTTN, denies there are problems when users log connection issues, and cause our local NBN Co technicians to waste time investigating problems that should have been fixed back at the offshore NBN (Telstra operated) support centre. is a summary of my painful experience with offshore NBN.

  8. It should be illegal to use government money to buy foreign labor and prop up someone else’s economy!

  9. The one advantage I see for offshore support is 24 hour availability. But with India being only 2.5 hours different than Perth, the only reason for offshore support in this case is financial.

    • Of course its a financial decision, and a private company has the right to trade low cost labour for poor service, lack of accountability and hidden costs if they want to. But in this case, the private company is spending billions of dollars of taxpayers money, and the bigger picture is that the taxpayer funds should stay in Australia to stimulate our economy, and create jobs and growth (as the Liberal Party would say). The contracts to provide services to NBN should include a clause that requires onshore labour where possible. It may cost more, but the wages of those Australians gets spent in Australia and has a ripple on effect that NBN Co does not care one bit about.

  10. Copper activation and copper assurance is in India. Even if they bring jobs onshore coincidently all the workers also appear to be Indian (not trying to be racist here but I seen the evidence working in this field). They have made a mockery of Australian tax payers money here, time for a nbn revamp and perhaps sacking of many incompetent nbn execs.

    • 457 Visa’s are being abused massively across the board in ICT atm, all thanks to the LNP loosening the restrictions and making it really easy to game.

  11. I don’t think India is the right country to outsource to. If you are going to support a 3rd world technology you need to get your support from an actual 3rd world country.

  12. “What a fucking joke. These jobs should absolutely be onshore.”

    Hell yeah.

    So much for the Liebrals “Jobs and Growth” strategy.

    • You forget that they dont mean for us Rizz, they mean plum jobs for them after politics and executive pay growth for their fat cat big biz mates.

  13. The offshoring for NBN has been ongoing for a while. Offshore has been manually updating the NBN As-Built/PNI data on a daily basis as sent from the Delivery Partners. There isn’t much in the way of quality checks or oversight. KPI’s are driven by completion rate for establishing premises passed, rather than quality.

    And on to the above that NBN has very little oversight over the work being performed by the Delivery Partners other than a % complete, it’s got the makings to increase issues in the activation phase of FTTN that we’ve already seen. Welcome back to Network Shortfalls that people have been reporting on Whirlpool, or wrong line disconnects, or wrong service activations etc.

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