Local engineer saves time and money to deliver high-speed broadband in Kent
Allhallows and the Isle of Grain get fibre broadband with minimum disruption to local residents and businesses thanks to Openreach engineer’s proposal
Thanks to his local knowledge, an engineer from BT’s local network business, Openreach, has helped over 1800 homes and businesses in Allhallows and the Isle of Grain in Kent, have access to high-speed broadband whilst reducing construction costs by £8,000 and minimising disruption in congested areas.
To get high speed fibre broadband out to homes and businesses, a new fibre cable, also called a ‘spine’, needed to be installed in the ground. The original plans to reach Allhallows and the Isle of Grain in Medway envisaged a new 30km fibre cable running underground from Gillingham through towns such as Chatham, Rochester, Strood and Hoo to the Isle of Grain.
Kent-based Openreach engineer, Matthew Bruce, put forward an alternative proposal to save money and disruption using an existing fibre spine.
“By re-routing some of the connections and starting the fibre cable from Hoo instead of Gillingham, our team of engineers halved the amount of cable needed to 15km.This saved thousands of pounds and provided high-speed broadband with less disruption to the residents and businesses in Medway with fewer road closures and traffic management needed to install underground cables,” Matthew, who is based in Aylesford, explained.
Matthew went on: “The engineering work is often time-consuming and complex. For example, the team cleared more than 60 blockages in underground ducts - from tree roots to compacted silt and broken ducts - all of which needed to be cleared or repaired before the fibre cable could be installed.
“In one 150m stretch of road alone in Allhallows we found three blockages which needed to be cleared before we could make any further progress.”
Within the first two months of the service being launched in the area, nearly 300 people in the area had placed orders to get fibre broadband.
The homes and businesses that are now benefitting from the high-speed fibre network are among more than 660,000 homes and businesses in Kent which already have access to the Openreach fibre network.
To find out more about fibre broadband rollout in Kent, go to http://www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/broadband