Emerson hands keys to first NBN PoI

 

Stands by coalition-proof contract.

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Emerson Network Power has delivered the first of ten purpose-built data centres to NBN Co to be used as points of interconnect on the National Broadband Network.

The pre-fabricated "multi-purpose" facilities are valued at $10 million each and have been in build since at least October.

Two facilities each are to be housed in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane.

The first of these facilities was delivered last week to Port Melbourne, where NBN Co also houses its network operations centre. The build had moved “twice as fast as initial estimates” according to Emerson.

Emerson and sub-contractors Silcar and Greenbox have under a year to construct all of the facilities under the contract, which include data centre power and cooling modules and potentially on-site substations.

The facilities will act as ten of the 121 points of interconnect planned for the network; points at which NBN traffic is handed over to an access seeker's network.

It is also thought the spaces may serve as equipment and repair kit stockpiles that NBN Co first foreshadowed in February last year. These stockpiles were anticipated to be placed at about 1000 fibre access node (FAN) sites across the network by the time the network was completed.

Design

The modular, pre-fabricated facilities were built drawing on Emerson’s global expertise from similar engineering projects in Europe as well as 150 engineers deployed to work on the contract.

Global chief executive David Farr claimed the NBN Co contract was “one of the biggest of its kind in the world right now” and suggested the project design could be replicated globally.

Ross Hammond, director of Emerson's Australian telecoms business, told iTnews that the project was unique for Emerson being that it was contracted to deliver the solution “from grid to chip” – incorporating Emerson technologies.

A spokesman for Emerson would not clarify the facilities’ power usage effectiveness rating at time of writing but Hammond said they would be capable of free cooling at under 22 degrees celsius.

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Coalition-proof contract

Emerson’s Hammond said the $100 million agreement with NBN Co, signed in July last year, was watertight and would be difficult for an incoming Coalition Government to repeal, regardless of the build status of the data centres.

“We have a contract for ten sites, and we are paid as we deliver each site,” he said.

“If [an incoming Government] want to have a discussion about ramping back, it’s a commercial discussion. This was obviously a part of the risk discussion we undertook internally before signing the deal."

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