For contractors to safely and successfully roll out ultra-fast and reliable broadband, up to date intelligence of the UK’s roads and paths is crucial, says Gaist

The key to safe and secure widescale fibre deployment is extensive “digital twin” knowledge of the working environment and in-depth analysis of any potential risks or issues that may arise during installation, Gaist head of business development, Ian Job said.

According to Job, having a detailed overview of the working environment and existing infrastructure is vital to the accurate planning, design and budgeting of installation, maintenance and upgrade projects on the highway network, particularly in the utilities and telecommunications sector.

He said: “Laying fibre-optic cables is not a straight-forward task and comprehensive knowledge of the environment using digital processes and advanced data science techniques can be the vital piece in mitigating risks for both employees and the general public.

“By reducing the requirement for on-site surveys and wasted journeys, contractors are in turn cutting the potential for incidents to surveyors and the general public, both on the route to and from the site but also on walking routes.”

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Job continued to say that increased knowledge of the working environment, included high definition imagery, improves the detail in Risk Assessments & Method Statements (RAMS) and will prove crucial as UK operators work to meet full-fibre targets and deploy 5G networks.

Early insight into the condition, access and location of existing assets of the working environment, advised Job, can reduce the risk of unexpected delays and additional costs, time and disruption.

“Knowing the existing condition of the working environment can be the difference between a project staying within forecasted projections or not,” said Job.

“Delays experienced due to unforeseen circumstances on-site can bring huge costs implications and delay current and future fibre deployment projects due to budget constraints.”

With network providers starting to deploy 5G networks and widespread fibre to the premises (FTTP) rollout looking set for the future, network infrastructure is going to become increasingly important, stated Job.

“More work is going to be needed to install fibre to keep up with the ever-growing demands for connectivity,” he added.

“Keeping the costs of fibre deployment projects to a minimum and protecting reputations is going to be critical to the future of network infrastructure.”

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