Fibre Aggregation Scheme – South Durham & Sunderland

We recently constructed a 30km Public Infrastructure Access (PIA) Fibre network across South Durham and Sunderland on behalf of Fibrenest.
The aim of this project was to link eight new large-scale housing developments via PIA, aggregating the sites and providing the necessary infrastructure for further network expansion to the surrounding area.
  • Client
  • Value
  • Duration
    8 months
KM network
KM overbuild

Early Contractor Involvement

MSF were initially contracted to undertake a full intrusive test, rod and rope survey of the 30km pre-designed fibre route, identify obstructions and prepare the route for end-to-end sub-ducting and cabling.
During the survey, it became evident that the route wasn’t as clear as the designs had first indicated and this, coupled with the challenge of working alongside another alt-net overbuilding in the same area, began to cast doubt on the project’s feasibility. Securing capacity in the network was key to the project’s success, and therefore the scheme became a race against time. Recognising this, MSF assisted by taking on more of the project work, and increased resource in all disciplines to speed up the build.

Scope Increase

Our involvement in the scheme developed from an initial ECI survey to encompass the following:
  • 4.5km of overbuild (BT & private ducting). 100mm 2-way ducting & associated 2, 4 & 6-way chambers
  • 18 meet-me/break out chamber installations for joint housing/future network expansion
  • 2 active cabinet installations, including all associated electrical fit-out, testing & commissioning works
  • 8 passive cabinet installations
  • 40+ blockage repairs in all surface types; split coupling repairs; frame & cover replacements
  • 30km of TRR, sub-ducting & blown fibre – 25mm multi duct sub-duct with push fit connectors, 96 & 144f. Splicing & OTDR testing
  • Confined space entry to sub-duct manhole-accessed sections of the network
  • Civils avoidance – de-silting/jetting
  • Where possible, all chapter 8 by MSF. TM by sub-contractors
As part of this evolving scope of works, we also took on the following back-office support functions for the project:
  • Notice of intent (NOI) raising, route plotting & plot adjustments via the OR CP portal
  • OR whereabouts & missing/damaged inventory reporting
  • A55 reporting
  • Sourcing of STATS/liaising with other utilities
  • Day-to-day liaison with Sunderland City Council – agreeing working arrangements, joint site inspections etc. We engaged early and had a dedicated point of contact at SCC from pre-works all the way through to completion
  • Compilation & provision of the as-built drawings and installation evidence (runsheets, photos, diary sheets) for submission to the client and Openreach. We created and updated a digital map of the build using OR’s structure data, which the client then transferred to QGIS format for the finalised as-built
All 8 sites were successfully linked to the exchange within 8 months and during the construction phase, we had between 12-20 operatives on sire constructing various parts of the route.
Upon completion, all audited sections of the route passed the Openreach quality checks & the works were completed with no RIDDORS, near misses or service strikes. We built a good rapport with Sunderland City Council and had minimal permit non-conformances/reinstatement defects, any of which were rectified immediately.