Months saved on NBN roll-out

North West Telegraph - - Telegraph News - Tay­lar Amonini

A lo­cal con­struc­tion worker has saved two ma­jor com­pa­nies mil­lions of dol­lars with his sim­ple so­lu­tion.

Dur­ing a rou­tine in­stal­la­tion of the Na­tional Broad­band Net­work in Port Hed­land, an ob­struc­tion un­der a ma­jor min­ing com­pany’s rail line threat­ened to de­rail the roll-out pro­cess by al­most six months and cost more than $100,000 to fix.

How­ever, em­ploy­ees from WBHO — from the com­pany con­tracted to un­der­take the NBN roll-out — came up with a sim­ple but highly ef­fec­tive so­lu­tion.

WBHO con­struc­tion man­ager John Fen­nell said it was me­chanic Matty McDonogh who hit upon the idea to make para­chutes to send the fi­bre op­tic ca­bles un­der the rail lines.

“In sum­mary, the block­age was cleared by dig­ging down as close as pos­si­ble to the edge of the rail cor­ri­dor and flush­ing the con­duits,” he said.

“The boys then used home­made ‘para­chutes’ to blow through the ducts.” It was the com­monly sup­plied lawn­mower bags used to con­tain oil and tools which proved to be the game changer.

“These bags of­fer a far su­pe­rior and stronger al­ter­na­tive to any type of parachute you would find any­where else in the tele­com in­dus­try,” Mr Fen­nell said.

NBN project man­ager WA north Josh Gun­puth said the in­no­va­tive so­lu­tion was a great ex­am­ple of how col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween NBN and its de­liv­ery part­ners could achieve great re­sults.

“Trust is a re­ally big thing when oper­at­ing at these vast dis­tances,” he said.

“You have to be able to deal with chal­lenges that of­ten won’t come up any­where else.”

Mr Gun­puth praised the work­ers, say­ing with­out the so­lu­tion, the com­pany was look­ing at a six-month de­lay in the Pil­bara roll-out.

“WBHO have gone above and be­yond by coming up with the parachute so­lu­tion to blow through the pipe and un­block it,” he said.

“This is a re­ally great re­sult.”

The in­no­va­tive “para­chute” sys­tem used to flush out ca­ble ducts.

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