Best Practice Guide for councils preparing for NBN rollout

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is a key initiative for the Commonwealth Government and the NBN Co has been tasked to build the network. To assist in creating a platform for the delivery of high speed broadband to families and businesses throughout Australia, NBN Co is seeking assistance from Local Governments to expedite the rollout while protecting local amenity.

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has produced the Best Practice Guide for Councils When Initially Dealing with NBN Co.

This provides councils with insights from several of the councils in first release NBN Co trial sites as to how they prepared and managed their interaction with NBN Co.

While recognising that there is no one size fits all approach for councils, this guide lists several approaches that councils can undertake when dealing with the rollout. The approaches have been sourced from both small and large councils.

The Guide states, "In many ways, this engagement is a partnership where NBN Co provides valuable next generation broadband infrastructure and councils facilitate the network rollout and the corresponding benefits it brings to their communities.

"All councils interviewed for this Guide welcomed being selected as NBN Co trial sites and saw the rollout as a strong benefit for their community. The overall feedback was that the engagement with NBN Co and the overall trial rollout was positive."

However, many of the councils highlighted the need for preparation including:

  • At first we did not understand what the NBN could be used for. It's very important to engage early with the community and establish an internal team to work through the implications for the community. (Senior Economic Development Manager)
  • Establishing a single point of contact in the council to manage and lead this project was crucial. (Manager Engineering and Transport)
  • We are a small council but I still recommend that councils take charge of the project, managing expectations and understanding what will be the impact to the town and wider community. (Economic Development Officer).

For a copy of the guide go to www.alga.asn.au/publications/NBN_Co_ALGA_Ovum_Report.pdf