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Connexin’s FTTP Broadband Poles Rollout in Beverly Causes Gas Leak

Wednesday, Mar 13th, 2024 (8:22 am) - Score 1,320
Northern-Gas-Works-engineers-in-Beverley-Twitter-Official

Broadband ISP Connexin has said they’re investigating after their UK engineers, who were deploying poles to carry a new 10Gbps capable full fibre (FTTP) network in the East Yorkshire (England) town of Beverley, accidentally damaged a gas pipe in the Beverley Parklands area on 11th March.

The network operator began their £3m roll-out in the town at the end of last year (here), which is being supported by network integrator firm STL and aims to cover 22,000 local premises. The deployment forms part of their wider ambition to cover 500,000 premises with their new fibre broadband infrastructure (no timescale has been given for when this will be achieved), much of which will be built using poles.

NOTE: Connexin is backed by an investment of £80m from PATRIZIA and currently has 25,000 customers (May 2023).

According to a report on the BBC News, locals began smelling gas during Connexin’s works in the area, and it wasn’t long before engineers from Northern Gas Networks arrived on the scene to investigate. Fibre engineers usually do a pretty good job of avoiding strikes on the gas mains because it’s not only very dangerous for them, but it’s also highly disruptive, although such incidents do still occur (they’re usually quite rare).

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A spokesperson for Connexin confirmed that “repairs have been carried out to ensure that the area is safe and any disruption to supply is kept to a minimum“, although they were unable to say more while the cause remains “under investigation“.

­Scott Kitchingman, Business Operations Manager at Northern Gas Networks, said:

“Northern Gas Networks (NGN) attended an incident in Beverley Parklands, Beverley yesterday afternoon (Monday 11 March), where a third party had accidently damaged a gas pipe in the area, causing a gas escape.

Engineers made the situation safe and are working hard to repair the pipe as quickly as possible.

Our team has been speaking to householders in the area to keep them informed about the work and are on hand to answer any questions while it progresses.

There is no impact on gas supplies to homes and businesses in the area.”

The incident will no doubt add some fuel to the fire of those who, in recent months, have been very vocal in their opposition to network operators using poles as part of their strategy for deploying full fibre broadband networks. But it’s worth considering that poles are, so far as we can tell, only very rarely the cause of damage to the gas mains, and we’ve seen many more incidents that involved traditional underground works.

On the other hand, there’s currently a distinct lack of up-to-date and publicly available information with respect to the reporting of such incidents, which makes it difficult to get a full picture. Greater public transparency over this area might help to encourage network operators and their contractors to ensure a higher standard of street works and safety.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
3 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Name says:

    Oops

  2. Avatar photo Paul Brayford says:

    Its worth noting that this took place on a housing estate that was relatively recently built so should have good records of the position of services, which incidentally include telecoms ducts already providing FTTP. Connexin needs to work harder to gain access to those ducts and have a moratorium on its deployment of poles.

    1. Avatar photo Jan says:

      They do and that’s what protesters are calling for but thanks to a change in the law under the Conservatives telegraph poles and 5G towers can be installed almost anywhere without planning permission needed and any objections can be lawfully ignored, some have even been cut down in the Longhill area of Hull as people are getting fed up of it. Labour MP Diana Johnson MP has tabled a debate on the issue to change the law, but some local Tory MP’s in East Yorkshire say they can’t attend.

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