BRCA Bytes Q4 2019

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Welcome to the Q4 2019 issue of BRCA Bytes for Registered Cablers

While most consumers at this time of the year start winding down for summer holidays, it’s common for many cablers to find themselves flat out juggling heavy workloads right up till almost the end of the year. November often turns out to be the busiest month of the year for our industry as we endeavour to finish projects before the end of the year, or just have to complete installations in a shorter period of time that had been delayed by other services.

Whatever your work situation, I hope you find a little bit of time for a break to read and absorb some of the important information in this newsletter that help you as a cabling professional –permission to work on carriers’ lead-in cabling, cabling standards, NBN connections, new labour hire laws, construction industry forecasts and BICSI conference preview. With such diversity, you may not get around to reading every article below, but whatever your role in the cabling industry, you’ll find something beneficial to glean from reading this newsletter.

I’d like to draw your attention to an important article in this newsletter entitled ‘Helpful NBN information for cablers’. One of the most common of the technical and regulatory inquiries BRCA fields from cablers is working on lead-in cables. We can’t provide official guidance on this because it’s outside the scope of ‘customer cabling’. However, we regularly seek information from the carriers on lead-in cabling to convey to registered cablers to answer queries. We recently received notification from NBN Co of changes to their ‘Authority to Alter’ (ATA) policies, so we have summarised this into a short article that I’m confident you’ll find very helpful.

I’d also like you to read the article previewing the upcoming BICSI Conference and Exhibition, being held 26-28 November in Melbourne. Admittedly, with everyone so busy in November, it may be challenging to go to a conference and/or exhibition, but I can assure you it will be a worthwhile investment of your time. Whether it’s to learn about industry issues and technology trends at our conference, or to learn practical optical fibre handling and data centre thermal management in our workshops, or see the latest products and services in our exhibition, or cheer the contestants in the Cabling Skills Challenge, or simply network with fellow ICT industry professionals, you’ll find it a valuable investment of your time. Please read the article to see what you might gain from our conference.

Lots more informative articles on issues that affect the cabling industry, so take some time to sit down and digest the information.

Paul Stathis
CEO, BICSI Registered Cablers Australia


Helpful NBN information for cablers

NBN Co has recently set up a page on its web site – https://www.nbnco.com.au/develop-or-plan-with-the-nbn/industry-collaboration-and-community-planning/cabling that provides helpful information for cablers on cabling from the NBN connection into customers’ premises, while directing consumers to registered cablers for their internet access needs.

Notably, NBN Co strongly recommends cabling beyond the NBN connection box to improve connectivity and data speeds within the premises, and stresses the importance of only engaging a registered cabler to install the cabling. The web page directs consumers to the Australian Registered Cablers website http://www.registeredcablers.com.au/find-cablers/, where they can access a list of registered cablers from each of the cabling registrars, including BRCA.

You should also note NBN Co’s caution to consumers that some safety-critical devices such as medical alarms, fire alarms and lift emergency phones may not be compatible with the NBN, so it would be wise for cablers to familiarise themselves with these limitations and the options to recommend to their clients in such circumstances.

NBN Co suggests the following steps for registered cablers, when engaged to install in-home cabling.

  1. Start by talking to the property owner about their phone and internet service needs. For new properties, discuss and recommend where the phone and data points (and any other connections) should be provided and why; and then mark them on the construction plans. NBN Co have an excellent ‘Homeowners and Builders Guide, which assists building owners plan for the NBN equipment with their builders. Click here to download it.

 

  1. Check the technology – As the installation of each technology is different, you will need to refer to the specific cabling guidelines on the web page before starting the installation. Click here to check which NBN Multi Technology Mix (MTM) has been installed at the specific address, or is planned for provision there.

If the premises is already connected to the NBN, ask the property owner to contact their phone or internet service e provider to check which MTM is being used.

  1. Download the guidelines – Note that that all cabling work must adhere to NBN standards, which included accordance with AS/CA S009: 2013.

The following guidelines are for builders and cablers, and outline the requirements for setting up the premises to complete the connection to the NBN. This includes internal and external conduit paths, and utility box separations.

For new properties (click on list below to download specific document):

For existing properties:

Registered cablers have the capability to modify NBN Co facilities when connecting residential and small business premises to the NBN. This includes assets in NBN Co facilities on premises fed by copper cables of ten pairs or less. NBN Co authorises registered cablers to make limited alterations, as long as the work is carried out to NBN Co’s requirements for properties connected with NBN Co’s FTTN, FTTP, HFC and FTTC networks.

Further details are provided in NBN Co’s ‘Authority to Alter Guide’.

In addition to the in-home cabling, some registered cablers may be asked by developers or builders to undertake other cabling work to help in the development of the NBN access network, including Lead-in Conduit (LIC), pit-and-pipe, and pathways. Information about how to install these street connections can be found in NBN Co’s Build Process section about new property developments.


Cabling standards update

BICSI’s representative on CT-001 cabling standards committee, Ashley Martin (Manager, Field Applications Engineering, South Pacific at CommScope), has kindly provided a summary of recent issues and activities within the CT-001 committee to convey to BICSI Registered Cablers.

  1. SA/SNZ HB 252:2014 Communications cabling manual – Module 3: Residential Communications cabling handbook

The committee agreed to withdraw this publication given the fact that AS 11801.4:2019 Information technology – Generic cabling for customer premises, Part 4: Single-tenant homes (ISO/IEC 11801-4:2017, MOD) now applies in Australia.

  1. PON and MPO

CT-001-2 has developed the basis for a Technical Specification to cover both PON and MPO testing. The sub-committee has sought CT-001 approval to proceed with the formal TS process. This has now been given and will look to have a documents published in the short term.


A quick look at the BICSI Melbourne conference 26-28 November

The BICSI Australian conference is just a couple weeks away and jam-packed with valuable education and exciting activities – you can’t afford to miss out on it.

Here’s a quick look at what’s in store for you.

When:

  • 00 pm to 5.00 pm Tuesday 26 November (pre-conference workshops);
  • 00 am to 5.45 pm Wednesday 27 November (conference & exhibition) + Awards Dinner 7.00 pm to 11.00 pm; and
  • 00 am to 3.00 pm Thursday 28 November (conference & exhibition)

Where:

  • Hall 4, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Grey St, South Bank, Melbourne

Who:

  • All ICT professionals should attend this vitally important annual conference. They will be joining ICT professionals from all over Australia and New Zealand, as well as delegates from Asia and USA.

What:

Pre-Conference Workshops

The Pre-Conference Workshops will provide delegates with practical guidance on key optical fibre and datacentre issues within our industry. Delegates can chose either highly educational workshop, which will also provide CECs for credential-holders:

  • Hall 1 – 1.00 pm – 5.00 pm “Laser Safety Labelling and Optical Fibre Cleaning” Murray Teale, Technical Director, VTI Services and Chair CT-001 and WC80 Standards committees
  • Hall 2 – 1.00 pm – 5.00 pm  “Hands-On 6Sigma DCX Workshop” Dr Neil Silke, Lead Engineer, Data Centre CFD

Conference Program

This year’s Conference Program is one of our best ever, with presentations from thought-leaders on very important topics that impact our industry technically, professionally and legally. We’re covering topics including:

  • The latest applications of ICT in smart buildings and smart cities;
  • Accountability in deploying IoT;
  • Conflict resolution in the construction and building services industries;
  • How standards will protect you against project disputes;
  • The impact of 5G on edge computing and datacentres;
  • Successful deployment of wireless networks;
  • Augmented reality making big changes in vocational training;
  • Technology disruption to the residential market; and
  • Case studies in major ICT network rollouts.

Our presenters include three lawyers, two professors, the owner of an international property development company, and senior construction industry personnel, along with several thought-leaders in wireless, AV, optical fibre technologies, ICT standards and training.  Click here to see the full list of speakers.

With the theme “Setting the Standards”, this year’s conference features two days of vision, new ideas, solutions, legal protection, and thought-provocation. This is a conference you can’t afford to miss.  Click here to see the full conference program.

Exhibition Hall

The Exhibition Hall will showcase the latest products and services featuring test and measurement; copper cabling; optical fibre; power protection and distribution; audio visual; cyber security; cabling reticulation and deployment; enclosures; data centres; and education and training. You’ll have two full days to see all the latest products and services, as well as speaking with the technical experts from each of these companies to expand your knowledge and learn from the best. Click here to see the list of exhibitors and sponsors.

Awards Dinner

Join us at the BICSI South Pacific 2019 Excellence Awards Dinner (sponsored by Schneider-Electric) to celebrate the excellence demonstrated by our leading industry peers. This year we have expanded our categories in recognition of the diversity in scale and application of our industry, giving us seven awards to celebrate – Active Equipment Design; Active Equipment Installation; ICT Infrastructure Design; ICT Infrastructure Installation – Large; ICT Infrastructure Installation – Medium; ICT Infrastructure Installation – Small; and Member of the Year.

Our MC for the Awards Dinner will be TV and radio personality, Anthony ‘Lehmo’ Lehmann, steering us through the formalities of the night, while entertaining us with his extensive repertoire of humour and Australian idiosyncrasies along the way.

Cabling Skills Challenge

An important aspect of our conference is the BICSI South Pacific Cabling Skills Challenge (sponsored by JB Hunter) where the winners of our regional heats will battle it out in the Exhibition Hall for the honour to represent our district at the BICSI Global Cabling Skills Challenge at the Winter Conference in Florida, February 2020. Be there to cheer them on as they work through a number of knowledge and skill tests to prove they’re the best cabler in the South Pacific.

The ‘extras’

A key reason to be at BICSI conferences is the invaluable networking that always happens at them. While people primarily attend for the education and to discover new products and services, most attendees – whether delegates, exhibitors, or exhibition visitors – significantly build their industry connections and business opportunities at BICSI conferences. That’s a very valuable ‘icing on the cake’ for attending this year’s BICSI South Pacific conference.

Our conference this year is co-located with the Comms Connect conference and exhibition, affording many of their delegates and visitors the opportunity to visit and discover what’s at our event and vice-versa. While Comms Connect primarily focusses on the land mobile radio industry (police, fire, military, ambulance, logistics, mining, etc) and BICSI focusses on ICT infrastructure, there are several synergies between our industries, particularly as industries converge their operations with digital (wired and wireless) technologies. While the exhibitions are separate, the total area of both exhibitions occupies a staggering four halls within MCEC. Make sure you allow plenty of time to get around both exhibition halls!

Click here to register to attend what will be the highlight of 2019 for Australia’s ICT Infrastructure industry.


Fibre Splicers for TPG Network – National Opportunities for

Subcontractors and Permanent Roles

Due to the increase of works and release of new projects, recruitment firm tech2 is engaging experienced, strong performing and highly motivated Fibre Splicers to work on the TPG network across all states – in both subcontractor and permanent capacities.

tech2 is a national provider of field services in the Telecommunications industry, with operations in all major capital cities and territories.

These opportunities will suit individuals who are experienced in fibre splicing (with hauling experience highly regarded); have a ‘can-do’ and flexible attitude; take pride in their work; and have a focus on quality and safety at all times.

To be considered for these roles, you must have the following:

  • Demonstrated experience in Fibre Splicing is a MUST
  • Experience on the TPG network, with experience on the Telstra Wideband Network highly regarded
  • Excellent communications skills with a strong focus on customer service
  • The ability to take direction and act quickly whilst focussing on quality
  • Follow all OH&S rules
  • Computer skills, as will be working on an iPad
  • Meet all our on-boarding compliance & tool requirements

 

For more information about our subcontractor and permanent opportunities, please visit our website & apply on line at https://www.tech2.com.au/join-us/ 

Click here to see one of the job descriptions as an example of the positions available.


New Program Permits Connection of Non-Premise Locations to NBN

NBN Co recently announced that operators of traffic signals, ATMs and a range of other specialised devices can now connect to select services over the NBN access network through their retail service providers (RSPs).

Network Extensions is a new option designed to extend the availability of select NBN wholesale services to organisations with infrastructure and devices operating outside a residential or business premises location. Typically operated by government and commercial organisations, these types of specialised systems include traffic signals, roadside emergency points, rail boom-gates, street-light controllers, CCTV, stand-alone ATMs, environmental sensors and public transport infrastructure.

Initially available across NBN Co’s Fibre to the Node (FTTN) footprint, Network Extensions will allow infrastructure operators to consolidate their connectivity requirements on the NBN, providing operational simplicity and new opportunities for automation, innovation and IoT.

These applications have historically been connected by a variety of different technologies due to limited network availability and geographical constraints.

A successful trial of building Network Extensions took place with an operator of traffic-management systems, helping to establish the technical requirements, processes and delivery capability to support complex non-premises infrastructure systems. Initially available across the FTTN footprint, there are plans for a future expansion of Network Extensions across other fixed-line technology areas.

Working with infrastructure operators and RSPs, on request NBN Co will assess and evaluate construction requirements to support the connection of approved non-premises locations to the NBN.

Commenting on the initiative, NBN Co Chief Technology Officer, Ray Owen said: “As we reach the final stages of the NBN rollout, Network Extensions highlights how NBN Co is moving to address the needs of different customers to connect and help to lift their digital capability.

“This is a market segment characterised by a wide variety of specialised devices and complex services connected by a range of aging networks and technologies. By bringing this infrastructure onto the NBN, operators have significant potential to simplify their operations and explore new innovation opportunities made possible by high-speed broadband and the emerging world of IoT.”

Full details are available in the Approved Non-Premises List in the Media resources.

 


Australia’s building and construction work fell 8.2% last year (2018-19) to $233 billion, with a further fall of 1.7% is expected this year (2019-20), most of which is in Residential Building activity. However these losses are expected to be offset by increases in Infrastructure Construction and Non-Residential Building.

According to ACIF Construction Forecasting Council Chair, Bob Richardson: “Australia is experiencing the lowest interest rates on record, [however] access to finance and credit has presented a significant hurdle to developers, builders, investors and owner occupiers. Market adversity has encouraged builders to withdraw from development of new projects; we witnessed new dwelling approvals plummet last year and commencements have also fallen. A fall in residential building activity is locked into the pipeline and this will take a while for this to be put into reverse.”

Residential Building Activity

Residential Building work fell 0.4% last year. A much deeper contraction of 8.4% is expected this year, dragging the value of work done down to $96 billion. The rebound in building activity is expected to be delayed until 2021-22. The drop in activity will be difficult to avoid despite recent improvements in house prices because it will take time to restore approval numbers, secure land and commence new projects and address other ‘lags’.

Non-Residential Building Activity

In marked contrast, Non-Residential Building activity is midway through a growth phase. Business investment grew in Accommodation, Industrial and Offices, and Public sector investment, especially in Education and Defence. Growth is expected to continue into 2020-21, with activity expected to peak at $45 billion.

Infrastructure Construction Activity

Work done in Infrastructure Construction contracted by 5.5% last year to $62 billion. This reflected the completion of large projects, and delays in shifting to new projects, which are often in different sectors and geographies. Infrastructure construction activity is expected to return to growth in line with expanded plans and programs, raising work done to $66 billion in 2019-20 and $68 billion in 2020-21.

Total Building and Construction Activity

While the Residential Building downturn is expected to deepen this year, the depth of the decline will be offset by increases in other building and construction activities. Growing Infrastructure Construction spending will be sufficient to stabilise the amount of building and construction work to be done in 2020-21 and lead to a return to growth in 2021-22.

Employment in building and construction

Construction employment is projected to fall 2% to 1,159,000 jobs over this year, reflecting the decline in Residential Building activity that will be difficult to avoid. Construction employment is projected to track sideways for 2-3 years, based on relative stability in the level of total building and construction activity.


New labour hire guidance from Safework Australia

Safework Australia recently released a new guide entitled ‘Labour hire: duties of persons conducting a business or undertaking’ that provides information for persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) in labour hire arrangements on complying with their health and safety duties under the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws.

The guide has practical information for labour hire and host PCBUs on their roles before and during the placement of labour hire workers.

There are new practical examples and guidance on the duty of host and labour hire PCBUs to consult, cooperate and coordinate.

Businesses using or providing labour hire should read the guide for information about their WHS responsibilities.

The labour hire guide is available at https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/topic/labour-hire


How much do you know about asbestos?

Worksafe Victoria recently reminded the construction and building services industries that the dangers of asbestos exist in far more places than most people think.

Before it was banned in Australia in 2003, asbestos was used in more than 3,000 common building materials like cement roofing, water pipe insulation and vinyl tiles.

Although asbestos hasn’t been used in Australia since the 1980s, it’s still found in as many as one in three Australian homes.

Worksafe Victoria started an education campaign directing people – especially tradies – towww.asbestos.vic.gov.au for important information to help home occupants, employers and employees understand the risks of asbestos. This includes the legal duties that apply; how to comply with those duties; and the resources for safely managing and removing asbestos in homes and workplaces.

According to the web site, Australia has one of the highest rates of asbestos-related disease in the world, and tradies are among the most at risk for asbestos exposure. Knowing what to look for might not be as easy as most people think.

The website provides help to identify where asbestos might lurk and how to safely dispose of it. It contains guidance from WorkSafe Victoria, the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Have you checked out www.registeredcablers.com.au yet?

If you’re doing any cabling that has the potential to be connected to the NBN, you’ll need to visit this site regularly to keep up with the latest information on premise cabling, the NBN rollout and the technologies enabled by the NBN. You can also register there as a qualified cabler for consumers to contact when they need cabling carried out in the homes and businesses.