With winter officially here, the UK's largest connectivity infrastructure provider has been offering details about the steps it will be taking to ensure its engineers can keep working effectively whatever the conditions as they expand the UK's broadband network and respond to any disruption.
Openreach explained it has learned the lessons of past severe winters and has therefore invested significantly in winter weather equipment to ensure its employees can remain safe and access rural and remote locations.
As well as the personal protective equipment and road safety tools that will be necessary at any time of year, Openreach is stocking up on 62,000kg of rock salt, 3,400 ice and snow grips for footwear, 1,700 snow shovels and 20,000 deicer sprays to ensure its teams won't be left unable to complete their work, no matter what the winter throws at them.
Huw Jones, director of operations for Wales and the Midlands at the organisation, said: "Making sure they have access to the latest winter weather kit is not only important to help them do their job, but also essential to make sure they can stay safe, particularly in snow and ice. Our network covers some of the most remote places in the region so this is something that’s really important to us."
He added that while it is impossible to predict what conditions Openreach's engineers will face, the firm's employees will be out and about in all conditions over the colder months.
This not only includes maintaining the network and repairing any urgent faults that occur over the winter, but also continuing with the firm's rollout of full fibre-to-the-premises broadband networks.
With Openreach having ambitious targets for connecting millions of properties to this network in the coming years, the company cannot afford to delay work due to weather. Some of the locations where installations will be continuing in the coming months highlighted by Mr Jones include Birmingham, Coventry, Derby, Nottingham and Northampton.
Openreach's comments should be a reminder to any networking engineers of the importance of being well-prepared when working in difficult conditions and the need for the right safety equipment and accessories