Infrastructure Management



The background

With the number of connected devices rising and operators under increasing pressure to provide ultra-fast broadband, the availability of Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) is slowly rising. Since the last update, a recent Connected Nations report has estimated that FTTP availability has increased by 1% with nationwide coverage expected by 2033.

Projects are underway across the whole of the UK, but the pressure is truly on for providers to ensure the demand for faster and more reliable broadband is met. Laying fibre-optic cables is not an easy task, precise and accurate planning and budgeting is required to ensure the project is implemented without a hitch, and time, costs and disruption are kept to a minimum.

When the UK’s leading alternative provider of wholesale full fibre network infrastructure was looking to roll out FTTP to connect cities across the UK to full-fibre broadband, it looked to Gaist, a multi-award-winning highways surveying and mobile mapping company, to assist with the network design process.

The challenge

The provider wanted to ensure that it was making informed decisions when designing the network and planning the roll-out in over 65 cities across the UK and to do this, it needed detailed knowledge of the working environment and existing condition of the town’s roads and footways that it was going to be working with. Any unexpected surface types could lead to delays and extra costs, time and disruption.

In order to overcome the challenges, the provider chose to use Gaist’s highly-accurate highways condition survey technology to ensure it was getting this information accurately and right first time while keeping costs to a minimum.

As the UK’s leading alternative provider of wholesale full fibre network infrastructure looked to roll-out a fibre network to meet the growing bandwidth demand in over 65 cities across the UK, we were thrilled to work with them in providing our survey and mapping technology to help the service provider make the right decisions. Accurate budgeting, planning, design and delivery can really make a project a success or a disaster, so we were glad that our services helped the provider to complete the project and achieve tangible cost and time savings. The provider has now identified one million homes for full fibre roll-out and we are thrilled to have assisted them in reaching this milestone. "
Steve Birdsall, Gaist CEO

The solution

To assist with the planning process, Gaist provided a highly detailed footway and carriageway condition analysis that covered almost 50,000km of the highway network in the selected cities, data that had been collected by Gaist over a year.

The accurate and high-resolution imagery supplied by Gaist allowed the provider to plan a potential FTTP route for minimum deployment costs and reduced the likelihood of additional delays and variations.

Gaist was able to provide a high-level of detail that helped to keep dig and re-instatement operations and costs down by identifying 14 different material types and assigning each section of the network a polygon relating to the surface material. This helped to provide an accurate view of the current conditions in each location and allowed the provider to make informed decisions about appropriate routes and the associated costs.

The information was provided in an agreed electronic format for a simple and quick integration into the existing system and platform.

The results

Having access to a detailed and accurate set of data and supporting image bank allows operators to carry out efficient reduce costs, speed up the process and improve the safety of roll out projects. The efficiencies that could be gained due to Gaist’s unique technology have been estimated at 10 per cent for a minimal cost of 0.01 per cent of the project cost.

Using Gaist’s technology helped the provider to speed up the process of making fibre connections to end customer premises and generating a return on the investment. With the one million homes milestone reached, Gaist is working to develop a closer relationship with the provider and is developing its technology solutions to assist on more projects in cities across the country.

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RAMS framework

The services we provide can easily be procured under the RAMS (Road Asset Management System) framework. The Procurement of the RAMS framework has been undertaken in accordance with Public Contract Regulations, 2015. The tender process was carried out under the Open Procedure following the publication of Find A Tender Service contract notice, publication number 2021/S 000-000293 dated 07/01/2021. This framework is available to any Contracting Authority in England and Wales that is a ‘Local Authority’ as defined in Section 270 of The Local Government Act 1972, and the Department for Transport.

The first step is to complete and submit the Access Agreement form on the RAMS Framework website and once approved by Blackpool Council (The Framework administrative authority) you will have access to the members area where all of the relevant contract documentation can be downloaded.

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