Data is the key to help mitigate safety risks when planning FTTH and utility projects, says Gaist

Liverpool UK, 19 September 2019: 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 today.

Addressing the telecoms industry at a private safety conference, Job highlighted that for contractors to safely and successfully roll out ultra-fast and reliable broadband, detailed, up to date intelligence of the UK’s roads and paths including the type, condition, access and location of existing assets, is crucial.

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.

“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,” said Job. “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.”

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, explained 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.”

Job went on to highlight how Gaist’s robust data and reporting provides a solution to the above challenges, helping operators to plan networks cost-effectively, pre-warning them of problems and providing significant savings through improving installation times, reducing variations and minimising disruption to the road network at the same time.

“Our solutions are able to support faster fibre rollout across the UK. Understanding the critical infrastructure assets of a working environment and all that it entails ensures accurate budgeting, planning, design and delivery, allowing network providers to get it right first time, every time,” he said. “It is estimated that our technology can provide a 10 percent total cost saving for 0.01 percent of the project cost. Before contractors even set foot on-site, they are aware of the exact condition of the area they are working in and know exactly what to expect, with no surprises.”

Gaist’s unique infrastructure digital twin of the UK’s roads and pathways, the technology creates a complete and precise view of the highway network that allows network and utility providers to minimise the risk of unexpected set-backs.

“The rollout of fibre is no easy task but Gaist can provide the technology needed to minimise unnecessary difficulties,” concluded Job. “With this technology we are revolutionising the way that network providers can plan the route of fibre networks and helping them to achieve quantifiable cost savings.”

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