Its only fitting that we have another topic about the NBN. The bus is still rolling out and we are seeing more about it little by little. I am writing this particular blog because I am noticing that many businesses have their external NBN box mounted in such a place that is completely prone to damage from the public. The NBN has their specifications for the IK rating and IP rating (impact and weather resistance) and that is fine for the box itself, though it only takes one look at the installation to see that the cable coming in could easily be snipped or whacked and its all over red rover. At least until you get into the office on the next Monday and organise Telstra or similar to come out and make a repair. This could be days…
How much is that going to cost you in lost revenue though? A day or maybe three without internet and phones? It could cost you a bundle when you think about lost opportunities, bad customer experiences, lost sales. I don’t need to continue this list, you get what I mean.
Now who would want to do this? Criminals is a good place to start.
Many businesses do not have a 4G/GSM dialler to create an extra protection layer for communications between the security/CCTV system and the outside world. Relying on the fibre makes your external NBN box an easy target. More about 4G/GSM diallers in the next blog.
Beyond that is accidental damage: whipper snippers, shopping trolleys, office furniture anything really. Sometimes staff are not aware what this cable is, how easily it could be damaged or how important it is to the operation of your business. This type of thing can happen with the internal lines also. We have seen a number of instances where the internal fibre run has been loosely installed in duct stuck onto the wall with double sided tape. 2 months later the installation it is starting to pull away from the wall. To me this is not good enough and a poor way to treat possibly the most important tool for many businesses. The fibre cable that is used to enter the external and internal box (if you have fibre into the premises) doesn’t have all the extra protective layers like and underground or weather protected cable does. It doesn’t take much to damage these cores with a bit of a knock or a small kink.
So what do you do?
1. I would suggest having a look around where your external box meets the building, look for any conduits or ducting coming up to meet the NBN box.
2. Secondly, see if you can locate the internal run. It may be visible, it may be concealed in a ceiling or wall space or even run in ducting across a wall internally or externally.
3. Think about things that may come in contact with it internally or externally. through business operations or outside influences.
4. Does it look like it needs physical protection or more rugged casing in some way?
5. Call us to discuss some practical ideas for protecting your asset to avoid downtime of this critical asset.
Here are some photos of installations that demonstrate how accessible these fibre cables really are:
In this situation your business phone lines could easily be damaged without any tools. This box is mounted at an adult’s waist height.
Another example of fibre optic cabling that is accessible from public areas. See the black cable hanging below the box…