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Author Topic: Openreach Drone Brings FTTP Broadband Over Rural Scottish River  (Read 461 times)


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Openreach Drone Brings FTTP Broadband Over Rural Scottish River
« on: November 07, 2018, 01:06:57 PM »

A team of Openreach (BT) engineers has once again shown how Aerial Drones can be used to help bring fibre optic (FTTP) broadband ISP cables to remote UK communities. In this case they were able to run the fibre over a 50 metre wide stretch of river in a remote rural part of Scotland.

The operator first began testing the use of drones for challenging fibre deployments at the end of last year, when they were used to connect the small rural village of Pontfadog in the rugged Ceiriog Valley (Wrexham, North Wales). Since then they’ve trained up 5 drone pilots (certified by the Civil Aviation Authority) and the latest homes to benefit from this are those in the Highlands (Scotland) community of Glenmazeran.

Openreach had already buried their armoured 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) cable long 10km of single-track road through the glen to the right of the River Findhorn, where most of the 37 scattered homes included in the first phase of the project are located. But sadly one remote property on the other side of the fast-flowing river was excluded.. until a drone was used.

    Kevin Drain, Openreach’s Chief Engineer (North Scotland), said:

    “Although Glenmazeran is only 20 miles from Inverness, the properties are very remote and scattered. We’ve had to contend with steep drops and bankings as we buried cable along the single-track road. But the biggest challenge was reaching one remote home, 400 metres away from the main route, where the fibre cable needed to span a 50-metre wide stretch of river.

    In the past we’ve tried all sorts of ways to do this – like attaching cables to fishing lines, golf balls and even hammers, which frankly proved hit and miss.

    This is the first time we’ve used a drone to drop fibre into place here in Scotland and as a delivery method it’s unbeatable. Drones will now become part of our toolkit to reach places where the terrain means traditional engineering is difficult or impossible.

    We did need to practice our technique. It’s a bit different from connecting up a street in Inverness, that’s for sure!”
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Re: Openreach Drone Brings FTTP Broadband Over Rural Scottish River
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2018, 02:10:34 PM »

And in 1934, someone attempted to shoot a rocket to the Isle of Harris, in the Western Isles, from the small Island of Scarp, as the start of a new idea for sending post to and from Scarp without the hazards of getting across in a boat. (The rocket just blew up. Twice. And that was that.)

In fact, I once met an elderly man who used to live on Scarp.