Openreach stocks up for winter to keep Wales connected
Openreach is stocking up on thousands of snow shoes, salt and screenwash to make sure millions of people stay connected in the event of severe weather this winter.
Lessons learned from dealing with extreme weather over the last few winters has seen the UK’s digital network business invest in record amounts of stock this year to keep its engineers on the road.
So far the shopping list includes: 78,000 kilos of rock salt; 1,500 snow shovels; 6,300 ice and snow grips for footwear; 2,050 sets of snow socks for van tyres; 27,800 litres of screenwash; 29,700 half litre de-icer sprays; and 3,550 kilos of salt solution for de-icing frozen manholes.
Huw Jones, Openreach regional director for service delivery in Wales, said: “We’ve been working to minimise the potential for service disruption as we head into the season which brought us heavy snowfall followed by the ‘Beast from the East’ last year.
“We’ve been stocking up on essentials like ice grips for shoes so that the UK’s largest team of engineers on the road can keep working whatever the weather, to maintain our phone and broadband network and continue with our ambitious programme to roll-out fibre broadband across the country.
“We’d also urge people to alert us if they spot any damage to our network, like dangling cables or broken poles, so we can crack on with repairs. When mother nature does come calling, we’ll be ready and able to fight back.”
As well as stocking up on supplies, Openreach has placed increased focus and investment in geographic hotspots which have proved susceptible to storms and wild weather in recent winters, including Wales, Wessex and Scotland. A fleet of 100 4x4 vehicles has been strategically placed around the UK to reach isolated communities quickly.
Openreach recently announced that it will be recruiting more than 200 - mostly trainee engineers - across Wales as part of a 3,000 recruitment drive by the organisation throughout the UK.
Openreach provides the telephone and broadband network used by hundreds of service providers such as Sky, TalkTalk and BT. Its fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 27 million premises.
Anyone spotting any damage to the Openreach network following bad weather this winter, like loose, snapped or dangling cables, damaged telephone poles or missing manhole covers, can report it by calling 0800 023 2023.