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Openreach’s UK Telecoms Engineers Prep for Severe Winter Weather

Thursday, December 27th, 2018 (12:55 pm) - Score 3,405
snow openreach engineers

Broadband ISP and phone engineers faced nightmare conditions earlier this year after the UK was battered by several major winter storms (e.g. “The Beast from the East“), which blanketed much of the country in heavy snow and ice for several weeks. But this year Openreach (BT) hopes to be better prepared.

Aside from recruiting a further 3,500 engineers, Openreach has also placed increased focus and investment in geographic hotspots which have proved “susceptible to storms and wild weather” in recent winters, including Wales, Wessex and the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. For example, a fleet of 100 4×4 vehicles have been strategically placed around the UK to reach isolated communities quickly.

The operator also claims to have learnt the lessons from past winters, not least by investing in “record amounts of stock” this year to keep its engineers in Scotland going. The shopping list includes 78,000 kilos of rock salt; 1,500 snow shovels; 6,300 ice and snow grips for footwear; 2,050 sets of snow socks for van tyres; 27,800 litres of screenwash; 29,700 half litre de-icer sprays; and 3,550 kilos of salt solution for de-icing frozen manholes.

Fraser Rowberry, Openreach’s Customer Service Director for Scotland, said:

“We’ve been working to minimise the potential for service disruption as we head into the season which brought us heavy snowfall followed by the ‘Beast from the East’ last year.

We’ve been stocking up on essentials like ice grips for shoes so that the UK’s largest team of engineers on the road can keep working whatever the weather, to maintain our phone and broadband network and continue with our ambitious programme to roll-out fibre broadband across the country.

We’d also urge people to alert us if they spot any damage to our network, like dangling cables or broken poles, so we can crack on with repairs. When mother nature does come calling, we’ll be ready and able to fight back.”

Furthermore Openreach said they have been boosting ground force engineering numbers during public holidays and big sale events (e.g. Black Friday), as well as at Christmas and New Year, in order to help them cope with any “significant increase in orders.”

NOTE: Anyone spotting any damage to the Openreach network following bad weather this winter (e.g. loose, snapped or dangling cables, damaged telephone poles or missing manhole covers) can report it by calling 0800 023 2023.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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1 Response
  1. Avatar TheFacts

    Half litre deicer is the best!

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