Project Description

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Leased Line Construction Management

What is Construction Management?

During the service delivery of a leased line, sometimes the operator will later discover that in order to continue the external circuit build via a certain route chosen (usually selected due to it having the shortest distance) that access via ‘public thoroughfare’ such as roads, pavements & car parks is required in order for them to continue the external civils work towards the premises.

In order to deliver the service via these routes they will need to seek the relevant permissions/permits from the the local highways authority/council for the work to begin.

For example, if the operator needs access to dig roads, or access manholes in order to run fibre cabling (which will cause disruption to traffic), the operator must seek permission from the Local Council to close either portions or entire sections of roads/public pathways off.

leased line traffic management
leased line order on hold

What happens after the need for Construction Management has been identified?

After the need for construction management has been identified, the order will automatically go on hold with the carrier until the operator has been granted permission by the local highways authority/council for the work to continue.

The process for obtaining a permit from a local council for construction work to go ahead can be somewhat lengthy.  The operator will need to specify the exact location of where the work will need to be performed. Find out whether or not the work will need to be performed during out of office time. This is due to the potential impact that corned off/closed sections road and pathways might have on nearby business and traffic during the day.

Often a representative from the local council will need to meet with an operator at the location in question where the construction work is to be conducted. This is to ensure that nothing is overlooked, such as contractor or specialist equipment hire (i.e. hoist, cherry picker, gully sucker).

As a result of all of this, upon discovering that construction is required, the carrier along with the operator will advise of the order being placed on hold. They will also advise of a 13 week lead time  for the local council to approve the work proposed by the operator. Unfortunately in some instances it can take the full 13 weeks before the local council makes a decision.

Is my order likely to encounter construction works?

The likelihood of construction being required depends  on the location of the site where the service is needed, the distance between both the site and the operator’s data centre, and what lies in between both points of the circuit.

As a result of this, we are only made aware of the need for construction works when the actual circuit build has reached an area or section of land where this is needed. Usually it cannot progress without permission being sought from the local council.

To avoid this why can’t this be discovered any sooner?

Unfortunately the operator is solely in control of any service delivery (at an infrastructure level). In instances where construction is needed but not identified until either, after the Site Survey, or after some other work that has been performed. The operator will highlight that they will prioritise circuit delivery best they can.

Although we often stress to every operator who we use that we want them to take a more preemptive approach in relation to addressing any potential delays more thoroughly (as opposed to simply being reactive). This isn’t always something that can be avoided.

In many cases the operator will state that they do not have the resources in order for them to investigate the owner status/legislation of every section of land that they may or may not run your service through. 

Are there be any additional charges to the order as a result of construction being required?

The closure of the roads/paths/lanes (in order for the external circuit build to commence), usually fall within the operator’s parameters of what they are able to perform without the need for additional outside funding.

However this is very much determined by the location of the service. After discovering the need for construction work the operator has to then quantify the need for any specialist equipment (i.e. surface-breakers, hoist) needed to deliver the service. 

What happens if the local council declines the operator’s request for a permit?

Although rare, the operator will then consider searching for an alternative route in order to bypass the area in question. Typically this occurs in areas identified as protected under a Section 58 restriction (which prohibits all utilities companies from performing any digging/excavation work within a specific area/location).

However there is never a guarantee that a variable reroute will be found. In many causes the only route will be the one selected during the initial planning stage.

The most common issue with local authorities, is actually them agreeing to a date for the works to commence. Especially a timely date.  The local authority has to take into account the best time of day/week for the works to be performed on, what type of work specifically has been requested, the effect the works will have on any local business & residents, and also the scale of the management required.

When a local council does decline a request, and we have exhausted all avenues (i.e alternate routes) without a feasible solution being found. We have had some success with the customer contacting their local MP.  Explaining that there is a significant business impact caused by the delay can be something that your local MP can assist with.

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