The National Broadband Network is the largest public infrastructure project undertaken in Australia. Through the use of Operations Research is expected to avoid more than $2.2 Billion in unnecessary construction and design costs on the $36 Billion project.
NBN Co, the government company building the network, divided the country into more than 4,100 fiber serving area modules (FSAMs), each covering around 2,500 premises. Over the 10 year project, one FSAM will be designed and constructed every day.
NBN Co contracted Biarri, an Australian commercial mathematics company, to optimize the design task. Biarri created FOND (Fiber Optic Network Design), a software product based on a network flow Mixed Integer Program engine. This engine minimizes the cost of materials and labor for each FSAM, subject to a variety of constraints, and solves in less than five minutes. To date, over 650 FSAM initial designs have been completed using FOND. This has saved an estimated $375 million in avoided construction cost, with the planning time per FSAM reducing from 145 to 16 days.
Organization overview: Slide # 4
Problem and challenges: Slide # 7
Approach and methodology: Slide # 23
Results, impact, and conclusions: Slide # 34