According to a new report from LinesearchbeforeUdig (LSBUD), 2020 saw a 24% increase in the amount of digging work performed by the UK telecoms industry compared to 2019

The UK is rolling out fibre at a thunderous pace, with the telecoms sector spurred forward by the government’s ambitious targets of 85% gigabit-capable broadband coverage by 2025 and its accompanying £5 billion strategy.
Now, extent of the UK’s fibre rollout is becoming apparent, with LSBUD’s most recent Digging up Britain 2021 report showing a 24% increase in the amount of digging work being performed by the sector in 2020 compared to the previous year.
LSBUD, which operates a free online search facility for underground pipes and cables, saw 1,125,843 searches take place by telecoms operators and their contractors in 2020, with the sector now accounting for 36% of all searches made. These searches are used by the industry to help identify any potential risks before any digging work begins.
“Given these ambitions at Government-level, it’s easy to see why the telecoms industry continues to top the charts in terms of searches. I can’t see this momentum slowing down for a while to come,” said Richard Broome, Managing Director at LSBUD.
LSBUD’s portal registered a total of 3,078,670 enquiries through its system in 2020, representing 77 per cent of all digging work taking place in the UK. Of this roughly 3 million enquiries, around 900,000 were performed under the ‘initial enquiry’ category, increasing around 35% year-on-year and indicating a growing appetite for new projects.
“What this shows is that while still able to carry out projects in 2020, the telecoms industry was also looking forward to doing more this year,” said Broome. “As Covid-19 restrictions are eased and non-essential projects get up and running again, the level of excavation work will boom, so it is important that each site has been planned accordingly, allowing the contractors working on behalf of the telecoms companies to hit the ground running.”
Is the UK’s fibre rollout moving fast enough to hit the government’s targets? Hear from key stakeholders from throughout the industry at this year’s live Connected Britain event 
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