NBN Co, the builder of the National Broadband Network (NBN), has moved to consolidate its partner portals onto one platform to reduce the number of touchpoints for retail service providers (RSPs) to improve order, trouble ticketing and assurance processes for partners.
News of the consolidation effort comes as NBN Co unveils its new corporate plan for 2022, which concerns further details of its $3.5 billion network upgrade program and $200 million digital transformation initiative.
The national broadband network builder has revealed that the next 300,000 premises that will gain fibre-to-the-node (FttN) connections, bringing the total up to 1.4 million.
According to the plan, which was released on 31 August, the builder remains “on track to make [its] highest wholesale speed plans available”.
This means up to 75 per cent of homes and businesses, including more than 850,000 in regional areas, will be on the fixed-line network by 2023.
The corporate plan also detailed how NBN Co intends to “accelerate” its $200 million IT transformation, claiming it has made “solid” progress against its three-year digital roadmap strategy in FY21.
Notably, this includes decreasing the number of applications on the NBN platform by 10 per cent and removing duplicate processes on its technology architecture.
NBN Co claimed it was also focused on reducing the hours of systems downtime per month due to planned and unplanned outages while improving service workflow for RSPs by publishing application programming interfaces (API).
“Over the next two years, NBN Co expects to accelerate its IT transformation strategy, with a focus on introducing new functionality and more efficient systems to streamline interactions with industry partners,” the report said.
“It is expected these will potentially reduce costs for the industry, while also improving overall customer experience.”
Minister for Finance Simon Birmingham said the corporate plan laid out by NBN Co would provide a sound transition to its operational phase.
“The company will focus on growing its revenues, reducing costs, and allow for ongoing investment in the network to meet the changing needs of households and businesses,” he said.
“This will empower...NBN Co to continue providing Australians with access to a fast, reliable broadband network, at the least possible cost to the taxpayer.”
The corporate plan coincides with the release of the Federal Government’s new Statement of Expectations for the national network and its builder.
“Within legal and policy parameters, NBN Co should generate sufficient revenue to support appropriate levels of investment in the network to meet the current and future needs of Australians, wherever they live,” the statement said.
“NBN Co will reliably and affordably meet the current and future broadband needs of households and businesses, including in regional and remote Australia, foster productivity and innovation and support our goal for Australia to be a leading digital economy and society by 2030.”
The new statement replaces the last one from 2016 and details how the company is expected to update its Special Access Undertaking to incorporate all of the Multi-Technology Mix networks and “promote certainty for all stakeholders” by working constructively with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
In addition, “NBN Co should continue to compete fairly in markets” and “promote competition in retail broadband markets,” the statement added.
“We also welcome the federal government’s new Statement of Expectations for NBN Co," said NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue, "As a company whose purpose is to lift the digital capability of Australia, we are particularly inspired and energised by the fundamental role we will play in supporting this country to be a leader in the global digital economy.”
NBN Co's efforts to consolidate its partner portals, which it claims is already underway, comes just a few months after it conceded it had ‘issues’ with its field service app, resulting in worker uproar earlier this year.
As angry workers moved to march on its North Sydney offices on 3 May, NBN Co said that it was aware of some issues its delivery partners and field technicians have experienced with its recently deployed SMAX-Go mobile application for managing and logging work requests.
“We have significantly improved the app over the last few weeks to address functionality, system performance and general user experience pain-points, and will continue to modify and enhance the app in the next two weeks,” the National Broadband Network (NBN) builder said in a statement.
“We appreciate technicians’ patience while we work to improve the app.”