In my latest career episode is based on my current job on Field
Inspection and Design Specialization for Centillions Solutions Australia, one
of the contractors of Tech Mahindra who is a sub-contractor of Telstra, DP (leading
Delivery Partner) of Australia’s National Broadband Network Rollout (NBN).
Company: Centilllion Solutions Australia.
Position: Field Inspection and Design
Duration: August 2017 – Current
Location: Queensland, Australia.
Project Consultant: Dushyanthu Palli
Nature of the project:
The NBN network is advanced Australia’s new internet and
landline network. The designation of NBN is to facilitate high speed and
reliable phone and internet connection, and standardizing all over Australia.
The NBN network will substitute most of the existing landline and internet
connections in the specified areas. In this project, initially I carry out
Field Inspection and then design the network for installation of different
properties based on existing and non-existing HFC (Hybrid Fiber Coaxial)
connection in the advised location of the client (Tech Mahindra).
Key Objectives of the
The NBN installation is characterized based on Property Type
and characteristics for designated installation. I have been working as a Team member
for performing on Field Inspection in checking the existing network of the
property, preparing a Mud Map on field and then creating network design for
construction on CAD. Below diagram highlights the step-by-step stages for
making NBN ready followed by prevailing objectives:
1: NBN Project Pathway
ü To understand provided GDDs
(Graphical Data Display) of the site provided with previously installed
networks in the area.
ü Verification and assessment of HFC
network, network devices in the street line to the property footprints in
aerial of underground pathway and, also checking existing copper cables in the property
till MDF (Main Distribution Frame).
ü Engineering plan and documentation
for HFC network to the property based on calculative analysis of network losses
and relative parameters.
ü Preparation of precise and compatible
design, evaluation reports, validation of HFC Architecture and equipment
network based on Telstra guidelines.
ü Analysis of design thorough AUTO-CAD
and making any minor changes after receiving feedback from Quality Assurance
CE 1.4: My areas of
I was appointed as Field Inspection and Design Specialist leading
a team of four assistant team members in order to proceed with field work, it
was vital to identify the backbone cables from street to property premises and
test the compatibility of existing devices or for proposing new cable line to
the property. I was trained in following proceedings of utilization of existing
HFC networks and also non-existing connections. There are two primarily types
of properties which I was appointed for, one is MDUx (Multi Dwelling Unit) and
other Is MCUx (Multi Commercial Unit), for which I need to plan and design. I
actively checked and analyzed the documentation guidelines provided by NBN and
Telstra thoroughly before for performing the task.
CE 1.5: Team Hierarchy
2: Team hierarchy
Responsibilities and Duties:
was primary member in identification of existing network before planning and
making any further proceedings. It was required to test and detect existing
hard line cables or copper cable pair that are running to the property.
managed to apply all my training skills in order to carry out best possible
pathway and solutions for proposing the new design or how to modify the
applied my skills and knowledge in analyzing the type of property, carrying out
necessary calculations using existing GDD and AS-BUILTs for proposing new NBN
studied thoroughly the configurations of existing devices, testing them for sustainable
utilization, checking the capacity and parameters.
analyzed network and demonstrated my knowledge in calculating network loss,
inconsistency, node splits.
developed solutions based on critical analysis of efficient network plan to the
individual units of the property.
further prepared a Field Inspection Report(FIR) and carried the Mud Map design
to AUTOCAD level, where I design new AS-BUILT plans using Autodesk-Autocad for
implementation of network.
used to re-visit site for any minor amendments missing during initial
inspection when advised by quality assurance team
was pro-active within team and worked alongside with my team-members for
achieving best and meeting deadlines.
used to conduct meetings with active participation of Project Consultant and
Team members for better co-ordination on regular basis for accomplishing finest
CE 1.7: Technical
details of the work:
The main requirement of my job was to survey, inspect, verify
the telecom network devices, plan, analyze and design to NBN standards and
obligations with complete HFC design architecture to the designated property. I
used to uphold discussions with customer during inspection, at the same time,
being an key member to Project Consultant and my team members, I used to be
prompt in undergoing proper training sessions and share among the team members.
Thus, the technicalities performance of mine include:
of existing and non-existing networks primarily MDUs, verification of network, checking
the condition of network.
analysis to Telstra and NBN Standards.
and Implementation of new network for not cabled networks (Green field sites)
and applying modification to existing network (Brown field sites) if required.
to draw on field Mud-maps and off-field CAD diagrams with desired implementation.
the network planning, implementation, design, optimization requires knowledge
of technical limitations of devices properties, strengths, lengths etc with
proper mathematical calculations and analytic tools.
CE 1.8: How I utilized
my engineering skills and knowledge:
With my academic qualifications based on telecommunications
compiling concepts of signals and system, system and network design, optical
communications, communication media and communication engineering harvested me
broad engineering knowledge on communications and networks. When I was provided
an opportunity in Australia based on emerging fast speed internet, NBN. I
revised my previous concept from fundamentals to embrace my knowledge. With
prior knowledge of network design, architecture, network flow, modulation and
amplifying techniques and nodal behavior concepts well-acknowledged in
understanding whilst correlating to real-time job and training sessions, and
applying them in on field. My training sessions were practically based On field
undertaken my Project leader and Senior Designer which provided profound
knowledge network design and architecture.
The fundamentals of network functionality however remain
constant although the technology change from day to day. Moreover, when it
comes to NBN network and services, I examine the existing telecom devices like
couplers, power blockers, amplifiers, taps, co-axial cables, security boxes,
splicers, MDFs, PCDs, ICDs etc., which are nearly 0 to 20 years old, and I
implement new design where required as few of older devices still have longer
lives. Thus, with the help of previous academic
record and trained sessions based on telecommunications and networking help me
to work for NBN roll out for network plan, design, implementation,
functionality, testing and optimization. The project still being an on-going
process, I may undergo for further training to work on different types of
network technologies, FTTx (Fiber to the Premises; Building; Curb; Node) in
various regions of Australia.
CE 1.9: Delegated Task and accomplishments:
There are nearly 300 plus properties for which I was assigned
till date. I would generally get appointed to 4 to 6 properties per day on
average. These are divided based on the type of property, where it could be SDU
(Single Dwelling Unit), MDU (Multi Dwelling Unit) or any commercial location. I
predominantly worked on MDUs and commercial properties. Out of all these
assignments, one of the typical task is preparing a Design and related Plan for
a MDU site. My tasks evolve:
through existing network and design documents and understanding existing configuration
of sites as I need to develop different solutions for each property.
the whether it is connected only with copper cables (10pr, 30pr etc.) or any
existing hardline cables (CX-50 or CX-75 etc.) to the property. This main line
could follow through underground or aerial, the measurements of these pathways
should be noted.
later determine the appropriate telecommunication rooms within the property,
check the configurations of devices, security box, taps, amplifiers, DC,
couplers, boosters, splicers, isolators etc.
develop a new design for HFC cabled and non-HFC cabled properties after
identifying and analyzing with critical thinking for best possible design plan
onsite itself, I need to make drawings, and take photos of equipment and cable
routes, take all the required notes with the help of my team member. Then
prepare appropriate documentation of telecommunication hardware equipment for
the site flat track AS-BUILT diagram is designed on CAD, these drawings document
has internal quality check before sending to Telstra. After verification from Telstra, the document
requires approval from customer end to begin any construction work.
As I mentioned earlier I lead 300 properties, most of these
sites were in two suburbs of Queensland. The target time from the client was
given for 6 months. The properties may have high chances on missing information
and data from previous records, in such cases we may need to re-visit the
sites, which generally effect KPI (Key Performance Indicator). There are
various vital factors related to signal strengths, transmission lines limitations,
performance abilities of devices, future maintenance, repairs, construction
difficulties etc., needs to be considered, failure to provide optimal design
effects overall productivity of individual and company. My prolific execution
of site analysis and design kept the re-visit rate down and increased KPI. The
rejection rate from Telstra’s end decreased where we could reach our targeted
sites within provided time. I was able to validate with more than 90 percent
success rate. I was well appreciated by my Project Consultant and acknowledged
me as our productivity encouraged new contracts from other clients in other
parts of country.
CE 1.10: Technical
difficulties and problems:
In the pursuit of NBN network design for a property, I do
encounter quite a few technical difficulties; amongst the most conspicuous
difficult task would be designing the network plan for properties which are
shared among residential and commercial. Out of these categorized properties,
the tough operation would be the network design plan for glass doored units. At
initial stages of my design, my aim used design the entry of the main lead-in
line till security box, possibly in telecom room (may not be same for all the
properties) and to split the individual co-axial cables from x-port tap to the
unit entries. The network design for glassed unit entries were facing
rejections. I sincerely made my attempts to bring out the possible solution
avoiding glass penetration referring my training material and had thoughtful
discussion with my Project Consultant and client company’s National Field
Services Manager. The reason was network proposal feed cannot be done through
glass as there should be a alternative solution for such complexities. My
sincere efforts and critical thinking bought a Manhole (within unit) solution
to feed such properties or else underground penetration from basement if no
manhole available could the potential network solution. The solution eradicated
the rejection, and constant reviewing of available information and active
learning to new updates from Telstra guidelines helped as there were constant
design changes and implications after customer feedbacks and refusals to
CE 1.11: Inspecting,
Planning and Designing:
The Inspection and and Network Design plan plays an integral
part on overall NBN delivery. My active participation underlies in figuring
what could be most feasible solution in order to make the installation reliable
and flexible for future maintenance with minimum distortions. The complexity of
network design varies with increase in number of units, distribution and building
plan, age of the building etc.
The below mentioned diagram is a
typical process flow before construction approval, could be called as stage 1.
3: Primary Stage of NBN work.
In the step 1, I need to verify the existing plan in the form
GDD (for all the properties) and AS-BUILTs (previously co-axial cabled
properties for Foxtel line), which may not be accurate which is understandable
as the existing lines or 20-25 years. With newly built properties and
businesses, there are new network lines aligned aerial or underground. Then I
need to understand the site plan, existing network pathways, verify telecommunication
devices, properties and configurations, and transmission strength. I need to
plan a new design which is the best plausible network design. This is where I
need to apply my engineering study and knowledge on practical field as not all
the properties are same, I need to be innovative and thoughtful for allocating
location, main lead-in line, back-bone cable, security box location, cable
pathway plan, suitable telecommunication devices, requirements of any
additional amplifiers, signal boosters, couplers, length limitations etc. This
proposal stage could play crucial role in whole process of network set-up as it
is inter-related to productivity, rejection rate, construction ineffectiveness
and customer feedback. However, this is not the final decision point. The
network plan mud map is later designed using CAD. The software used for
drawings is Autodesk AutoCAD Map 3D, 2017 version and will be verified
initially by my Project consultant and will have internal quality audit.
The following figures is a typical example of one of the
properties where the inputs are taken on-site, fig 4 (A) is the rough on-site
sketch (Mud Map). Fig 5(B) is Elevation CAD output:
Fig 4: Mud Map for one of
the properties. (Rough sketch on site) (A)
Figure 5: An Elevation
CAD design output of same property (B)
The below mentioned images are some of the telecom devices on
site which needs to be verified, tested or may need new proposals excepting MDF
(which will be disconnected in future in most of the properties):
Fig: 6 (a): MDF ( may be disconnected
in future as all phone run through NBN)
Fig: 6(b): Security Box ( or Lock Box
with 8w and 2w taps with isolators)
Fig: 6(c): PCD with and Isolator and
Fig: 6(d): An amplifier in a PIT
Fig: 6(e): A
DC-4(Coupler) and a 8w-12c Tap
CE 1.13 Work with team members:
As a team leader, I was responsible for planning and
scheduling the work to team-members on daily basis to my team members. I used
to schedule meetings with Project consultant and team members in understanding
the work flow and targets in a better way. I contributed actively within team
and the work collaboration among us was deeply appreciated.
CE 1.14 Summary:
In my view, the NBN roll out has substantial stages of
inspection, planning, designing, construction, testing before making it readily
available. In the interim of the project I learned how an on-field project is
carried. I understood the about the considerations based on environmental
safety obligations, customer requirements and negotiations, Workplace Health
and Safety (WHS) etc. I have been performing all my Engineering activities
taking these pre-cautions into account. The project time specifications are
upfront which in turn helped the company to receive more sites from different
region and newly added client in different state.
I was proactive and responsible in persuading the project as
I developed a conventional plan on how to approach the complexity of any site.
My co-ordination with team members enhanced company’s efficiency levels and is
in a pursuit of expansion.
The process of learning and applying knowledge during the
context of project upskilled my practical engineering knowledge, improved
management skills and sharpened my overall professional profile.