Telcom Group, established in 2014, operates three brands: Telcom provides hyperfast internet to commercial properties; ClearFibre delivers hyperfast internet to residential properties; and WeFibre provides low-cost hyperfast fiber connectivity to social housing and rural housing developments. Currently, WeFibre is bringing fiber to thousands of homes as “Phase 1” of an ambitious rollout. Member of Amadys company Passcomm Ltd is proud to act as a trusted adviser throughout this ambitious project.
“Successfully and cost-efficiently realizing rural connectivity requires a dynamic approach to build methodologies, without using a huge variety of products to overcome different challenges,” explains Thom Seddon, CTO, Telcom Group. “Some areas use long lengths of aerial cable, whereas others use duct cabling. However, in some parts of the designated network route, there are no ducts, or ducts are very full or collapsed. We also have to ensure everything is compliant with Openreach requirements, as we’re also using their PIA infrastructure. Everything has to work together seamlessly. Guidelines for records are strict, so product solutions also need to make compliance easier.”
“There are hundreds of ways of doing things. We needed to create a clear view of the options and choose wisely. Working closely with Passcomm, who helped specify the appropriate solutions, we examined passive options and their implications for future density and capacity.”
Plan of action
The need for a fully integrated end-to-end solution led to the decision to use a range of CommScope products, including fiber-optic closures, cabling and customer premises boxes. “We looked at multiple vendors and options, and it made sense to do everything with CommScope. The end- to-end portfolio is very broad, covering all available network architectures, and product availability is high. We can obtain everything we needed from one vendor. Consistent technology, terminology, purchasing processes and high availability make things much easier for us. Especially considering the total number of premises we aim to connect in the next few years.”
Passcomm, with its substantial product and network knowledge, is acting as a trusted advisor, bringing ideas, products and best practices that have been successfully deployed across the UK AltNet marketplace. By working closely with CommScope field application engineers and product line managers, Passcomm is always up to date with new products, installation and deployment developments. “Their advice was essential to making the best selections and combining these in a smart way, as this requires extensive knowledge of a vast portfolio and how products relate to real-world situations,” adds Thom. “CommScope’s TENIO products are also used in our metro builds. Our field teams have tried a wide variety of options. In their feedback, they consistently state that TENIO is very easy to use. Cable management is excellent, and it performs well in different use cases, whether you need very high core counts or lower core. That’s really practical.”
“Passcomm’s advice was essential to making the best selections and combining these in a smart way, as this requires extensive knowledge of a vast portfolio and how products relate to real-world situations.” – Thom Seddon, CTO at Telcom Group
Solutions and rollout
Telcom Group also decided to use hardened connectivity for all drops. This allows them to build out the network in an efficient way and is also far easier for field engineers to work with. Passcomm recommended CommScope’s NOVUX portfolio for overhead as well as underground usage is making inventory management and installation easier. Says Thom: “Installation teams can carry a single set of cables, accessories and tools, for example. At first, we didn’t even realize that we could ‘carbon copy’ overhead and underground deployments. That was a big win for us, which accelerated our planning process quite a bit. Working with CommScope products also ensures we’re always compliant with Openreach requirements.”
Stuart Read, sales and marketing director, Passcomm Ltd, comments: “We offered a variety of options we knew would meet Telcom Group’s requirements, but didn’t push them in any direction—the final choices were theirs. The benefits of certain products were immediately clear, such as the universal drop for underground and overhead use, that can also span roads overhead. Using this meant fewer moving parts to worry about, less inventory to manage, and lower buy-in volumes, for example. Passcomm holds over £2M of CommScope stock in its UK warehouses. This makes it possible to best serve customers such as Telcom, ensuring our stock-holding can cope with their deployment rates now and in the future.”
“Passcomm holds over £2M of CommScope stock in its UK warehouses. This makes it possible to best serve customers such as Telcom, ensuring our stock-holding can cope with their deployment rates.” – Stuart Read, Sales and Marketing Director at Passcomm
“For Telcom Group, it’s vital to ensure commercial success in extremely low- density areas. Viability is partly based on how efficiently we can roll out and optimize this across different dimensions. That requires combining a degree of standardization and best practices with ample flexibility. Passcomm helps us in this area, for example, by providing standardized connectivity that can be coupled with nodes that vary in density. Also, when field engineers switch between product sets, they can keep working in the same way. Although the project is just beginning, figures from the first few weeks are promising.
- Homes connected: 4,605
- Marsden in West Yorkshire and Bellingham in Northumberland are live
- Kilometres of fiber used: 143.407
“As a challenger ISP, it’s important to be working with the best. After all, we’re building infrastructure to serve communities for a very long period”, concludes Thom.