More innovative installation solutions are required if the UK is to fully capitalise on the economic benefits of fibre optic connections highlighted in a recent independent review of the Government’s Superfast Broadband Programme.
The recent Ipsos MORI report found that homes connected to superfast broadband saw their value rise by £3,500 since the programme’s 2012 introduction, with 17,600 jobs created in rollout areas and a £1.1 billion increase in Gross Value Added through workplace productivity. According to REHAU, these impressive findings demonstrate the pressing need to connect even more properties to fibre optic broadband, especially as the nation recovers from the economic impact of the pandemic.
“The recent report into superfast broadband was welcome but unsurprising news, especially considering the potential of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology,” says Paul Churm, Fibre Optic Specialist at REHAU. “Fibre optic broadband’s benefits are already well-established, but what matters now is the speed at which a nationwide rollout can occur.
“Indeed, it is in the statistics around this rollout that the most interesting reading can be found. Specifically, while the report showing that while 96 percent of UK homes can access superfast broadband, a previous Ofcom report calculated that 11 million compatible households are missing out on this potentially transformational technology. With the economic benefits of upgrading so clearly demonstrated in this report, it is vital ISPs look into solutions that could hasten the adoption of FTTH technology on the national level.”
A traditional barrier to the quick implementation of fibre optic technology has been the logistical difficulties associated with blowing in cables from the exchange to the home. Two installers and access to the home has usually been required for this process, leading to logistical difficulties arranging installation appointment times with homeowners. It is with this in mind that REHAU has developed RAUSPEED EasyConnect, which can be externally installed at the end of a micro duct to allow one installer to quickly connect multiple homes all at once.
“Fibre installation has previously been riven with inconveniences, from the need for two installers to the arranging of individual home visits for blowing in,” explains Paul. “But to maximise the benefits afforded by fibre optic broadband, this cable blowing-in process needs to be streamlined, so skilled personnel can be redeployed to more installations and bring this 11 million-figure down.
““We therefore need practical tools like EasyConnect to get more people connected to fibre broadband, which, as this report shows, will clearly be instrumental to the UK’s post-COVID economic recovery. In the medium-to-long term, a more extensive nation-wide fibre optic telecommunications infrastructure will also be key to the UK coping with surging data transfer levels incurred by new technologies and the likely post-pandemic trend towards working-from-home arrangements.”
The EasyConnect is designed with a mechanism that slows down the cable as it enters the box, and a house connection micro duct that is automatically sealed and water and gas-tight up to 0.5 bars of pressure. Its sponge catcher and attached water tank collects and stores excess humidity and lubrication to ensure a contaminant-free blowing-in process. Splicing can be done at a later date as excess cable lengths are collected for ease.
For more information on fibre broadband and REHAU’s new EasyConnect system, visit: https://www.rehau.com/uk-en/telecommunication