Plan B Comms has gone from working on minor projects, to supporting some of Victoria’s largest developments. General Manager Jim Bozikis discusses the company’s origins and provides an insight into how the company continues to innovate.
It goes without saying that telecommunications have become a central component to modern society. For personal use, business, health and more, telecommunications have transformed access to everyday services.
Telecommunications has also long been an essential component to consider during infrastructure project development and delivery.
This includes considerations such as the location, requirements and installation of suitable telecommunications infrastructure that could be used for generations to come.
These concerns can often be daunting for project managers, whose role necessitates juggling multiple balls to ensure an efficient and timely project delivery.
But there are services and support available to take the guess work out of overhead and underground telecommunication works.
Jim Bozikis is the General Manager of Plan B Comms, a privately owned company whose expertise provides a variety of communication services.
Plan B Comms forms part of the wider Plan B Group, which is made up of two other subsidiaries (Plan B Services and Plan B Auditing). Founded in 2004, Plan B Group is now one of Australia’s largest electrical consultancies in Australia.
He says the introduction of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) in 2012 provided the “perfect opportunity” to introduce a dedicated provider of communication services for residential, commercial and industrial development markets, which had nothing at the time.
“Communication infrastructure is basically installed in the same trench as electrical. We thought ‘this gives us an opportunity to possibly work with communications’, as we were often designing it as part of our electrical infrastructure,” he says.
“When we were designing electrical infrastructure and we started to also offer communication design. We could coordinate both services from the same office, where an electrical and communications designer could work together, to ensure that both designs worked seamlessly.
“When the NBN came in, we saw it as an opportunity to create a business that was purely suited for tackling communications. So, we created a communication consultancy called Plan B Comms.”
Plan B Comms provides a number of services for the residential, commercial and industrial developments.
From telecommunication infrastructure relocations, to administration, feasibility modelling and design and construction, Bozikis says his team prides itself on providing a comprehensive service. For multidisciplinary projects, Plan B Comms can work with other Plan B Group subsidiaries to satisfy the needs of clients on almost any project.
For example, Plan B Comms and Plan B Services can deliver the electrical and communication installations required on a project, using effective and efficient coordination.
Plan B Comms and Plan B Services also communicate directly with civil consultants and the relevant authorities on the developer’s behalf, again boosting coordination and efficiency.
“I think the reason why our clients are the biggest developers in Australia is because we have a sense of ownership with our projects. We give confidence to a client that we understand the timeframes and what’s required,” Bozikis says.
“This has helped us to strengthen our relationships with our clients, some of whom have worked with us for more than 10 years, as well as some of Australia’s largest telecommunication companies.”
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Years in the making
Plan B Comms is currently contributing to residential and commercial developments across Victoria, with several projects around Melbourne.
A number of these works also coincide with on-going upgrades to Melbourne’s Road infrastructure.
“Around the site where the roads will be constructed, we’ll often work with multiple carriers at once. Instead of the developer having to contact each carrier individually, they come to us,” Bozikis says.
“We can discuss options, coordinate multiple carriers at once, and then design their infrastructure and ensure that it’s built simultaneously.
We can utilise the existing relationships that we have with these established telecommunication providers.”
Plan B Comms recently contributed to works on a road upgrade in Armstrong Creek. The client was preparing to complete a road upgrade across two separate stages as part of their construction program.
After conducting a feasibility assessment, Plan B Comms suggested that the client complete the works as one large project, to streamline construction.
This ended up saving the client over $500,000, while also reducing construction timeframes significantly.
“What could’ve been a 12-month long project was completed in around six months,” says Harrison Kelly, Business Delivery Manager for Plan B Comms.
“The client was able to continue on with their construction without having a large amount of downtime, which is obviously very valuable.”
Plan B Comms is currently preparing for their next major relocation project, the Gunns Gully Interchange. This will be a $100 million project along the Hume Freeway.
“We will be involved in the early works stage, relocating a significant amount of NBN and Telstra assets to allow an overpass, entry and exit ramps to be constructed on the Hume Freeway,” Kelly says.
And as it did with the NBN, Plan B Comms is actively looking for new innovations and technology to embrace as part of its communication services.
As Bozikis explains, the company often looks internally and externally for new ways to support its clientele and staff.
“It’s an exciting space to be working in and it’s very dynamic. We’re no longer just working on developments, which has helped us to balance and diversify our portfolio,” he says.
This article was originally published in the March edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.