NBN Launches Tech Lab for Collecting Data & Resolving Connection Issues

Australia’s NBN or National Broadband Network company has announced its new Tech Lab in order to help improve the experience of end users.

The Tech Lab will be utilising big data, graph technology, as well as machine-learning capabilities in order to help solve & map end-user connectivity issues.

This Tech Lab, once complete, will be collecting as well as collating data on user experience through voluntary surveys to be handed out to end users, allowing NBN to discover patterns in problems as well as user preferences.

Also, it will integrate NBN’s current fault-reporting techniques.

Apart from these, it will also be able to help determine whether faults need a visit from a field technician or they can be resolved remotely & instantly.

“While for the majority, the installation experience is positive, when faults do occur, NBN’s Tech Lab will help the team determine whether a fault can be dealt with remotely and immediately, or whether a field technician needs to visit an end-user home to resolve the fault,” NBN explained on Thursday morning.

“The Tech Lab will also help NBN better understand the key factors that drive dissatisfaction and address them so people have a better experience.”

The only data to be used by the NBN Tech Lab would be available publicly or voluntarily submitted information, with the company at present investigating the best platform to suit its needs.

As a result, NBN is looking into potentially using open-source technologies Apache Spark, Flume, Kafka, Cassandra, as well as JanusGraph for the project, alongside partner technologies like Amazon Web Services S3 storage, RStudio, H2O.ai, as well as ArangoDB.

“Our Tech Lab sees us utilising existing capability to solve a complex problem, and will help provide us with crucial insights about the way people are using the NBN,” said chief systems engineering officer John McInerney.

“Developing these insights will help enrich the customer experience of services over the NBN access network and make our systems and processes more agile by synthesising massive data sets.

“Once the investigation and implementation of the Tech Lab research is complete, we could, for example, easily identify trends that occur in a failed activation in order to pre-empt problems before arriving at a house.”

By simplifying as well as speeding up the fault detection & resolution process, NBN is expecting to see ‘significant improvements’ in customer experience.

According to the company, its Tech Lab became necessary as the NBN rollout gained pace to connect nearly 45,000 premises every week. The rollout is expected to be 97% complete by June 2019.

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