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.