BRCA Bytes May 2018

brca_Admin Blog, News

 

Australian Business payments fastest on record: report
According financial analyst firm illion, late payment times for Australian business dropped to their lowest level on record in Q4 2017, with the average late payment time at 11.9 days during Q4, down 17.5% from 14.4 days during the prior corresponding period, and a long way down from 22 days in 2013.The percentage of businesses paying their bills on time rose from 60% to 68% during the same period. Outstanding invoices for the 12 months to December 2017 totalled $89.6 billion.During 2017, a combination of regulatory pressure, cashed-up businesses, and fin-tech developments in invoicing and transaction clearing resulted in historically low late-payment times across all industries. Late payment times fell during every quarter of 2017, in marked contrast to the trend of increasing days late that occurred throughout 2016.

“These record lows reflect more buoyant business conditions and the favourable cash position of many firms,” said Stephen Koukoulas, illion Economic Adviser. “These are being driven by low interest payments as official interest rates remain at record lows and record low wages, which helps lower running costs and aid cash flows.”

Construction saw the biggest annual change, with late payment times dropping by 17.4% in Q4, compared to the prior corresponding period.
Business-to-business payment information is a highly predictive data set and a critical element in credit risk scores and business failures forecasting. The report analyses trade information from illion’s Commercial Bureau, capturing over one million entities. Monthly trade transaction files are collated and analysed to summarise how late entities pay for goods and services after payment is due.

Australian labour force participation rate at all-time high

Australia’s labour force participation rate increased to a record high of 65.7% in March 2018, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

In line with the increasing participation rate, employment increased by around 14,000 persons. Part-time employment increased by 13,000 persons and full-time employment by 1,000 persons, reflecting a slowing in full-time employment growth.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 3.1%, which was above the average year-on-year growth over the past 20 years (1.9%).
The trend monthly hours worked increased by 0.2 million hours (0.01%), with the annual figure sitting at 2.6%.

The trend unemployment rate increased slightly to 5.6% in March 2018, but continued to be relatively constrained over the past year, hovering around 5.5 to 5.7%.

Over the past year, Queensland had the strongest annual employment growth rate of 4.3%, followed by ACT (3.9%) and NSW (3.6%).

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Subcontractors wanted for HFC Satellite & Cable Installations; Copper Faults & Installation; FTTN & NBN services
BICSI Corporate member, Tandem is looking for expressions of interest from experienced telecommunications cabling companies to assist them in a number of areas in telecommunications infrastructure around Australia.
In particular, the company is looking for:

  • HFC and satellite installation companies in Melbourne, Regional Victoria and Brisbane; and
  • Wireline Copper Faults & Installation, FTTN & NBN installation companies in Melbourne, Regional Victoria, Sydney; Regional NSW, Brisbane and Regional Queensland.

This call for sub-contractors is due to ongoing customer demand for Tandem’s services, who offer immediate work for qualified subcontracting companies to provide quality Satellite Installation, Copper Faults & Installation, FTTN & NBN services.
Tandem is one of Australia’s leading field workforce management companies, with a network of over 5,000 subcontractors to deliver over 4 million customer interactions every year.
Key expectations of subcontracting companies are to:

  • Have a passion for serving customers;
  • Be experienced in the skill sets listed above;
  • Comply with key HSE requirements including a Construction Industry White Card, Working Safely at Heights (RIIWHS204D) and Basic First Aid/CPR;
  • Be a Pty Ltd company, registered for GST with appropriate business insurance including public liability, workers compensation and stock in stores/transit – or ability to become a Pty Ltd company; and
  • Own the required tools, equipment, vehicle, mobile phone, etc. (commercial vehicle required)

The company’s workers must:

  • Have current Open ACMA Cabling Registration;
  • Possess a current valid driver’s license;
  • Be willing to travel in order to meet customer needs;
  • Have a valid right to work in Australia; and
  • Be prepared to provide a Police Check.

To find out more about providing subcontracting services to Tandem or to express your interest, visit www.tandemcorp.com/join-partners

Cabling standards update

2018 is going to be a big year for cabling and related technology standards, so cablers need to be well aware of these changes that will impact them in a big way through the year.

The most significant of these changes for cablers will be the revision of AS/CA S009: 2013 ‘Installation requirements for customer cabling (Wiring rules)’ with the 2018 edition. This is a mandatory standard for cablers to comply with, as has been the case for decades.

This revision will include a technology update to address developments in such things as remote power feed and field terminable plugs; the introduction of ‘Fit-for-purpose’ requirements; and new technology developments such as one-pair connectivity.

The committee carrying out this revision is simultaneously revising AS/CA S008: 2010 ‘Requirements for customer cabling products’ to bring them into sync with each other. This revision will also address the requirements for new applications and products including ‘one-pair Ethernet’ and ‘remote power feed’.

Also significant is the replacement of AS/NZS 3080: 2013 with AS/NZS ISO/IEC 11801. AS/NZS 3080 has been central to the cabling industry for decades and considered the ‘bible’ for both designers and installers.

While the new numbering is a major change, the format change is more significant. AS/NZS ISO/IEC 11801 will consist of six separate volumes instead of one.

Volume one will outline the general requirements, and will be modified to suit Australian and New Zealand market condition and regulations. Volumes two through six will be based on ‘premise-based’, ie office, industrial, homes, data centres, and distributed building services (ie IoT connectivity.

The cabling ‘architectural hierarchy’ will also be revised to reflect these new ‘environmental’ categories, with the introduction of new terminology for what we normally call ‘Campus Distributor’, Building Distributor’, Floor Distributor’, etc. with ‘Distributor 1’, through ‘Distributor 4’ and ‘Subsystem Cable 1’, through ‘Subsystem Cable 4’.

The AS/NZS 60950-1 Telecommunications customer equipment standard will be replaced by AS/NZS 62368-1 over a four-year transition, as determined by the ACMA.

This standard will mandate the safety requirements of AS/NZS 60950-1:2015 (IEC 60950-1, Ed. 2.2 (2013), MOD), and AS/NZS 62368-1:2018 (IEC 62368-1:2014 (ED. 2.0) MOD), so will be most important for cablers to come up to speed on as soon as possible.

The application standard that will have a big impact on cablers is IEEE 802.3bt 4-Pair Power over Ethernet (4PPoE). This long-anticipated standard expands remote power feed (aka PoE) to 100 watts, but brings with it a multitude of ‘traps for the unwary’.

From a cabler’s perspective, you will need to know about ‘resistance unbalance’ to determine if a cabling system can carry PoE or not, and you’ll need to be conscious of the potential for cable bundles to overheat while carrying continuous current, and arcing to occur on connectors when a plug a disconnected under load.

Most manufacturers are developing or update their products to cater for PoE, so you’ll need to know more about the standard so you understand the differences between PoE-rated and conventional cables and connectors to make the right choices.
This is just a simple summary – there are many more changes in these new standards, which we will progressively communicate to you through the year in the BRCA Bytes and BICSI Bytes eNewsletters, BICSI seminars and BRCA and BICSI web sites.

Update on non-compliance to Cabling Provider Rules

As you know, telecommunications cabling is regulated in Australia for both product and installation. What many don’t know is the severity of the penalties of non-compliance to these Regulations.

Telecommunications cabling products are regulated by AS/CA S008:2010: ‘Requirements for customer cabling products’, while cabling installation are regulated by AS/CA S009:2013: ‘Installation requirements for customer cabling (Wiring Rules)’. Both standards are currently being revised and will be released later this year. Several BICSI members are on the committee revising both standards, so we will notify you of the update in due course, and give you an outline of the changes.

In the meantime, we revisited the penalties for non-compliance to these mandatory standards and found it quite substantial. Note what the ACMA states on cabling non-compliance:
“Under the Telecommunications Act, what happens if I do not comply with the Telecommunications Act or the CPRs?
The ACMA has a range of options available to enforce compliance. The ACMA may:

  • simply issue a formal warning notice to you;
  • issue a non-compliance notice to the telecommunications carrier (who may disconnect dangerous cabling from the network);
  • issue a telecommunications infringement notice to the cabler (this is an on-the-spot fine of $2,040); or
  • if the matter is serious enough, the ACMA can take court prosecution action against the cabler. A court prosecution may result in a conviction and/or a fine of up to $90,000.

If you are an unregistered cabler who is not properly supervised or if the work you perform does not comply with the Wiring Rules you have committed a criminal offence and you could face an on-the-spot fine of $2,040. The fine can be up to $90,000 if court action is taken.”
Serious penalties indeed! The message is simple – use the right products and install it correctly, or else! Sadly, injuries and even deaths have been caused by non-compliant cabling products and poor installation. The Wiring Rules exist to protect consumers and technicians from harm. And the severe penalties convey just how serious our regulator treats it. The onus is now on us to ensure we comply to these regulations and not incur the penalties, or worse – cause a death or injury through non-compliance.

nbn Tech Lab to transform NBN network experience

nbn has developed a Tech Lab that will leverage big data, machine learning and existing capability to improve end-user experience of the NBN access network and help resolve issues sooner.

With an average of 45,000 premises connected every week, nbn is working closely with industry to ensure continuous improvement and a seamless installation experience for end users.

When faults occur, the Tech Lab will help nbn determine whether a fault can be dealt with remotely and immediately or whether a field technician needs to visit an end-user home to resolve the fault.
This will potentially save significant time and disruption for the end user. The Tech Lab will also help nbn better understand the key factors that drive dissatisfaction and address them so people have a better experience.

The Tech Lab will explore and implement emerging technologies that will help identify patterns, preferences and trends in people’s use and delivery of the services over the NBN.

The open source technologies the Tech Lab is working with include: Apache SPARK, Kafka, Flume, Cassandra and JanusGraph, as well as partner technologies including Amazon Web Services S3 storage, RStudio, H2O.ai and ArangoDB. These technologies and the processes around them could all play a vital role in helping to transform end user experience of services over the NBN.

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