Like a lot of Pickr’s fibre community, our GM of Telecoms has spent his career working both sides of the barrier.
Josh’s experiences seem to mirror those of many fibre workers in the UK. There are some common trends and shared beliefs around the benefits and frustrations of working in fibre. You can see the full overview in our Fibre Workers Survey. Here, Josh shares a few of the sectors key challenges from his perspective.
What were your biggest frustrations working on the ground?
The general disjointedness of the work. There are usually multiple skill sets required on site over the life cycle of the job and generally one person cannot complete their task until the other one is finished.
The loss of time, effort and output created from poor reporting, either from the previous gang or supervisors, or incorrect implementation of information from management can lead to contractors going to sites which aren’t ready. That and the general resistance of all parties involved to embrace technology to make our work safer, easier and smoother to ensure delivery to our end customers.
What are the biggest challenges facing the UK’s FTTP roll out?
Operationally it is the age and accessibility of the existing network. Unfortunately some of the network, especially in more rural areas, the current infrastructure is past its best. This means that new infrastructure needs to be installed or complete re-routes need to be implemented.
The networks issue coupled with the volume of work required vs the amount of skilled and enthusiastic workers available is leading to a slower build than anticipated. This is why the full fibre targets are considered so ambitious by those working on the ground.
What role do you think Pickr’s technology can play in eliminating those frustrations?
A massive one. We have the ability to set precedent in an ever-expanding industry for the use of technology to improve all aspects of the work. As the workforce generally becomes younger and those already in the industry become more accustomed to the use of tech in everyday life, the days of physical paper job packs and information are coming to an end.
As a natural consequence of this the reporting measures are becoming tech based. Clients want almost up to the hour reports on progress from any site at any point in time without the need to send a supervisor to site – features like Pickr’s Work Audit Tool allow for more up to date and precise reporting.
How does Josh’s experience in the fibre industry compare to your own? Do you feel the FTTP targets are achievable? You can learn more about Josh’s fibre journey in our on the sofa series.