When you’re managing a residential or commercial development, you’ve got enough on your plate without getting tangled up in the multiple steps and checks required to install, connect and organise compliance of the telecommunications on the property so it’s NBN-ready.
If you do decide to hire someone else to manage the task, it’s essential that you choose someone experienced who can handle the job efficiently and effectively so there are no unnecessary delays or added expense.
So in this article we’re sharing 5 key questions you must ask a telecommunications contractor before you give them the green light.
1) Are you and your team suitably qualified to undertake the work?
This seems obvious, but make sure you hear from the contractor firsthand that they have the knowledge, skills and qualifications on their team to get the job done right, first time. To receive your paperwork and final approval from your network provider, everything has to be exactly as specified – if not, it will need to be done again.
Depending on the stage you are at, the consequences of having to re-do the work can be extremely costly, both financially and in terms of time—for example, if you have to re-do the trenches or underground cables this could set you back thousands in added costs, not to mention the many days of lost time that further cuts into your bottom line. Best to avoid the hassle and only work with experts.
2) Can’t my electrician just take care of it all for me?
Following on from what was said above, technically, your electrician could possibly handle it, but they may lack the additional insight that comes from experience to complete the job to the level required. We have had to step in and mop up after an electrician or two have bitten off more than they can chew and it has ended in disaster.
This is not to say that all sparkys should be avoided—some electricians are suitably qualified and experienced and can take care of it all for you with zero fuss. However, do your due diligence and find out what they know and have done in the past before you commit.
3) Will you communicate with the network providers on my behalf?
This is another important element of a stress-free experience, as the toing and froing between the network provider and yourself can soak up many hours of your precious time. Not only will you likely need to follow them up regularly to keep things moving along at a steady pace, they’ll also need paperwork, plans or documentation at various stages along the way to tick all the boxes. All these things add up to time spent that you don’t have. So always check with any potential telecommunications contractor first that they will take care of this.
4) What exactly will your telecommunications service provide?
Another obvious sounding one, but with a few different steps and requirements needed, it’s best to be clear upfront that everything you need is included.
When looking at the cost, remember to look at the bigger picture rather than just the amount that you will be required to pay. Think about what the service includes in terms of deliverables as well as the expertise you are paying for too. Any telecommunications contractor should be able to provide you with a pricing guide that sets it all out so you can easily see what’s included, how much it will cost and be able to compare it to other contractors so you can see where the value lies.
Keep in mind too the extra costs you may be stung with if things do go wrong. Don’t cut corners just to save a few pennies at the risk of being hit with a much bigger repair bill later!
Do the groundwork first
If you’ve decided to hire a telecommunications contractor to carry out this part of the project for you, you’ll likely be keen to get the ball rolling asap. But don’t make a rushed decision before doing some groundwork first! At a minimum, ask the 5 questions in this article—and if you want to take it a step further ask the client for testimonials or information on past projects, just to further confirm they are the right team for the job.