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Bracknell’s full fibre programme exceeds daily delivery forecast


VolkerHighways’ telecoms division is more than half way through its full fibre rollout programme in Bracknell, as the team continues to exceed the forecast for the number of metres of trench excavated and reinstated per day.

The project began in April 2021 and will complete in November 2023. So far, the team has excavated and reinstated 189,000 metres of trench, in which the business has installed ducting, before blowing, splicing and finally testing the fibre optic cables. An estimated 60,000 metres of trench is remaining. Over 15,000 properties have been passed, enabling those homes and businesses to connect to full fibre, once it becomes available through network providers.

With multiple gangs working directly on the Bracknell build, VolkerHighways is currently delivering c.90 metres of trench per gang per day, representing a 50 percent increase on its forecast.

VolkerHighways is providing a full turnkey solution from exchange to property boundaries, including all civils and fibre works. 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.

In addition, the team is using micro-trenching to cut trenches of between 80mm and 130mm wide on asphalted footways. This type of construction is more efficient and less disruptive to residents and the environment, compared to traditional-cut trenches, which are up to 300mm wide, and require more material to backfill the area.

VolkerHighways is working closely with Bracknell Forest Council to provide information about progress throughout the build. Last year, MP James Sunderland visited the team to learn more about the build and the enhanced digital platform that full fibre will bring to the town.

Neil Madle, area manager for Bracknell for CityFibre, said: “We’re extremely proud of our rollout in Bracknell and of the £20m investment we are making here, and we look forward to seeing how it will benefit residents and businesses over the decades to come.”

Greg Kunikov, operations director for VolkerHighways, said: “VolkerHighways is pleased to be playing a crucial role in the rollout of full-fibre across the UK. Our Bracknell build is one we are very proud of and we look forward to seeing people make use of this service in the months and years ahead.”

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