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BT Openreach Improves Mapping with New GBP23m Ordnance Survey Deal

Thursday, April 24th, 2014 (12:21 pm) - Score 1,000

BTOpenreach, which maintains BT’s national UK telecoms network, has enhanced their existing relationship with the Ordnance Survey by signing a new 5-year agreement worth £23 million. The deal is more than a mere extension and should help to make their broadband and phone engineers more efficient and effective.

Under the agreement, which was spotted by Thinkbroadband, Openreach will among other things be able to supply Ordnance Survey data to contractors as part of their efforts “to support a wide range of projects, including engineering and maintenance“.

Openreach will also be able to access a range of Ordnance Survey’s premium datasets including OS MasterMap Topography Layer, OS MasterMap Integrated Transport Network Layer, OS VectorMap Local and 1:50 000 Scale Colour Raster.

On top of that Openreach will extend their use of Ordnance Survey’s web mapping service (OS OnDemand), which enables them and their engineers to access “detailed and up-to-date data, providing information on road geometry, house numbers, landmarks and building names“. All of which should make the operator more efficient at managing its network, which could in turn save money and help with deployments of FTTC or future FTTRN/DP solutions.

It’s understood that Ordnance Survey similarly plans to collaborate with Openreach on a “desktop analysis of locations for engineer visits” and “exploring the introduction and utilisation of an asset tagger solution and understanding how Ordnance Survey can support Openreach in mapping their assets, such as street fibre cabinets” (FTTC).

Unfortunately it doesn’t yet look as if customers on BT’s network will finally be able to see a useful map of superfast broadband (FTTC) coverage by street cabinets, although the new deal suggests that Openreach will now have much more capability to do exactly that if they wanted. But for now the Superfast Openreach website is sadly still sticking with telephone exchange based coverage data, which isn’t much use in FTTC deployments where the cabinet’s reach is more important. At least some of the Broadband Delivery UK projects are now becoming a “little bit” more informative.

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