Disadvantages of Digging

Broadband Networks

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The unprecedented importance of a full fibre network must be implemented to take us to the next step of our digital journey, as a nation. The Government recognizes this importance. So much so that they aim for 85% of all UK premises to have the ability to connect to fibre broadband.  

There are specific methods of implementing such networks, one of these is digging. However, this post will discuss the disruption, the potential destruction and other disadvantages of digging home broadband networks.

What is Digging?  

Digging is the method of building new underground networks where none currently exist.  

This usually results in an invisible network for generations to come and a connection to a full fibre network with no repercussions moving forward.  

However, this post will be explaining why it isn’t  always the flawless installation method that many believe. Many caveats often go unrecognized during and after the build process. Today, we will enlighten you on just some of the impacts that a dig can inflict on your town, road, and even your premises. 

The Hidden Side of Digging  

Many people associate digging with some disruption for a week or so and then life back to normal.  

While we always try our best to keep builds as short as possible, it can be highly stressful for those involved.  

Noise Pollution  

Firstly, with many of the UK population now working from home, the noise that usually takes place during office hours is now a factor in online meetings and virtual calls. Focus, especially at home, is crucial given the drastic change in the working environment; however, consistent noise pollution coming from a dig build can affect the quality of your work.  

Congestion/Restricted Road Access  

If you don’t work from home, it can also disrupt the access in and out of your road. We have seen many complaints about digs in our industry, where they have resulted in traffic build-up, access restriction, and even forcing residents to take a longer way home.  

Given the importance of school runs, going to work retail hours or night shifts, the last thing on your mind should be trying to rush out the house 15 minutes early because you know the digging outside is causing congestion amongst your road/town.  

Accidental Cable Cuts  

There have been many cases where builds have caused existing cables to be cut, and in some circumstances leaving premises with no phone, internet or power. Due to the uncertainty of the materials found in the ground, or the inaccuracy of existing network documentation, cables could be dug shallower than expected, resulting in cuts.  

Without any power, food goes to waste, paid workdays off are lost, and overall stress levels increase.  

Accessibility Issues  

If something goes wrong with your connection after the build is completed, accessing the cabling becomes increasingly difficult. Rectifying the issue can become a miniature build within itself, and the mentioned points in this post come into play for a second time.  

This would happen every time there is a connectivity issue moving forward.  

Invasion of Personal Boundaries  

To receive a full fibre optic cable connection, we must set up an internal power unit in your home. To access the power unit from the CBT (the terminal in which your connecting line will be connected to the entire network), we must drill a hole into your house and thread the cable through.  

This is after digging up your driveway to feed the line underneath your home. This will leave scarring on your beautiful drive and cause louder noise pollution the closer we get to your home.  

Furthermore, throughout the build process, there is a potential of footfall on your private land resulting in trampled grass, front gardens or flowers.   

Day off from Work  

Because of the need to enter your home and install the connection internally, you will need to be home that day. For those who work from home, this isn’t as much of an issue; however, for those who do not, a day’s holiday will need to be taken. 

Dust Pollution  

During our builds, natural residual dust is released into the air, which could pose as harmful to those who breathe it in. We always follow safety procedures to ensure that sites are kept tidy and safe to work in; however, some things remain out of our control. 

Involvement of Landlords  

If you are a tenant and want to have an underground connection, we will need to speak to your landlord to ensure that we are allowed to build into and underneath their property. This could result in a delay to the build, depending on the responsiveness of your landlord.  

Dig Vibrations have Caused Damage  

During builds, there have been cases where the vibrations of breaching the concrete surface have caused vibrations so severe that ornaments have broken, and boundary walls have been damaged. Due to the intensity of the build, second-hand damage can be caused to older houses or precious items.  

Timescales  

The timescale of a full fibre implementation will be increased if the build process is done via digging. This is due to the more technical work required, the time needed to layout roadworks/diversion signs, and the tidying and refilling of any ditches we have dug into the ground.  

All this extra work means that it will take longer for you to receive your lightning-fast broadband and remain on a network that simply cannot keep up with today’s digital demands.  

Long Term Damage to Pavements  

We have to trench along the pavements, and because of the intensity of our machinery, this sometimes can cause cracks adjacent to our trenching. These cracks can have water fill them, freeze, and then crack even further with time.  

Along the surfaced pavements would be trip hazards and unsafe walkways for generations. Any caps or band-aids that we use to cover these cracking issues can also become slippery when wet, which furthers the trip/slip hazards caused by micro trenching.   

Digging isn’t Always the Answer  

Despite the obvious aesthetic benefits of keeping networks underground, many disadvantages of digging home and business broadband networks, seem to be swept under the proverbial rug.  

On the other hand, we’ve also discussed why telegraph poles can help add £5,000 value to your home.

If you do have queries from the back of this post, please do get in touch with our team and we will see if we can help resolve your questions.  

Furthermore, if you want to learn more about our industry and some of the locations we’re targeting, feel free to read more of our blog posts. 

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