Swindon full fibre rollout contract surpasses over 300,000 metres of trench

VolkerHighways’ telecoms division has reached another significant milestone on its Swindon full fibre rollout contract, on behalf of CityFibre. The business has excavated and reinstated 326,000 metres of trench, laying enough fibre to lap Swindon Town Football Club’s pitch at County Ground more than 2,360 times.

Swindon CF.jpg
Swindon CF.jpg

The project began in October 2020 and is expected to complete in autumn 2023. The full fibre contract has involved the installation of ducting and blowing, splicing and testing the fibre optic cables. This is being delivered through a full turnkey solution, from exchange to property boundaries, including all civils and fibre works. To improve efficiencies, the team is using a hybrid installation solution, which includes building both new underground trench duct networks and overhead infrastructure, as well as using the existing infrastructure.

Over 326,000 metres of trench has been excavated and reinstated, passing more than 60,000 properties. Once full fibre service becomes available through network providers, these homes and businesses will benefit from ultra-fast broadband.

On average, the contract has 20 gangs, comprising 118 directly employed and subcontract individuals, working across civils and fibre at any time. Earlier this year, the team dug in excess of 1,400 metres in a single day and is proud to be regularly surpassing its KPI, with the contract receiving, on average, 99 percent compliance with permitting. These are both significant achievements in the fast-paced fibre industry.

The project has been visited by numerous senior leaders from VolkerHighways’ parent company, VolkerWessels UK, including Richard Offord, CEO, and Alan Robertson, chairman.

Greg Kurnikov, operations director for VolkerHighways, said: “The Swindon full fibre build is another project of which we are very proud. The team is working across the whole of Swindon, along residential and A roads, and taking care to minimise local disruption. We look forward to seeing residents and local businesses in Swindon make use of this new digital infrastructure.”

Neil Madle, area manager for Swindon for CityFibre, said: “I’m sure it is sometimes difficult for people to gauge where we are in our network rollout, with a lot of our work taking place beneath the streets, but more than 2,360 laps of Swindon Town FC’s pitch gives you an idea. We’re well on our way to making the town world-class in terms of its digital infrastructure, and residents will reap the benefits for decades to come.

“Our network is now live across many parts of the area and we are pleased to enable residents to connect to the fastest and most reliable broadband services available.”

Cllr David Renard, leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “This is a major investment for our town and one which is much needed to ensure that our digital infrastructure can serve the needs of residents and local businesses for years to come.

“Swindon is now one of the best-connected towns in the UK and it’s fantastic to see so many people taking advantage of the benefits of this.”