06 September 2022

Creating new connections: fibre delivery sector leads recent growth at one.network

With the volume of permit applications for street works higher than ever before, over 100 forward-thinking utilities and contractors have recently subscribed to the one.network platform to help further accelerate the application process. 

These include organisations such as Southern Water, Northern Gas Networks, South Staffs Water, Kelly Group, KCOM, CityFibre, Network Plus, Hyperoptic and many more.

Since 2020, with the combined impact of Brexit and Covid-19, utility and contractor organisations have struggled with limited access to resources and a lack of skilled workers, resulting in mass disruption across the street works industry. 

This, alongside the additional pressures of Project Gigabit, has culminated in an increased volume of permits, leaving utilities, contractors and traffic management companies competing for road space on an extremely busy network.

Clive Bairsto, Chief Executive of Street Works UK, has observed the strain exerted upon these organisations, their staff and the industry as a whole: 

I have seen first-hand that the street works sector is facing some serious challenges after the impact of the previous few years of COVID and Brexit’s unintended consequences, seem to take effect. Utility organisations, particularly the permitting teams, are now grappling with increasingly heavy workloads – given extant Government priorities, combined with the general lack of excess manpower available.

In short, it seems that our traditional methods of street works planning, are proving a shade too slow for the overwhelming number of permits needing to be processed to reach the targets demanded.” 

Digital infrastructure company, Telent spoke with one.network directly about these struggles, relaying the laboriousness of the planning process, as part of which permitting teams were visiting four separate systems and contacting several departments at highway authorities to find the information needed for applications. 

CEO and Founder of one.network, James Harris commented on this: 

It’s encouraging to see the sector embracing innovation and adopting technology at scale to improve processes. For the past ten years, I’ve been watching highway authorities transform the planning, coordination and communication of roadworks with the help of one.network. Now, it’s great to see the other side of the streetworks community accelerating on their journey. 

I know there’s even more value we can unlock for these organisations and look forward to sharing more good news later this year at the Street Works UK Conference.” 

The one.network platform provides utilities and contractors with all critical road data they require in one place, helping to streamline the planning process, eliminating the need for multiple touch points to access essential data for permit applications.

Matt Bright, Business Solutions Consultant for Utilities at one.network has been a direct witness to the positive impact the platform is delivering for utility organisations: 

Working with these organisations and seeing how one.network has transformed their permit planning processes has been fantastic. I’m thrilled to see the platform driving value in the industry and helping permitting teams deal with demand. The feedback we are receiving is overwhelmingly positive; Telent, for example, has seen a 166% ROI with an increase of over 30% in first-time permit approvals.

With the surge of fibre roll out and the success that Telent has had, it’s no wonder we’re seeing such huge platform adoption from local delivery partners.” 

Since implementing one.network, Telent, alongside an increase in first-time permit approvals, has seen a reduction in permit planning time, allowing the organisation to reach company and team targets. 

Benjamin Pearce, Head of Programme Management at Telent, told us: 

one.network has provided an efficient one stop shop, enabling quicker access to permit approvals, speeding up the overall process.” 

Similarly, hyperfast broadband provider Hyperoptic, has seen a reduction in permit planning time since formally adopting one.network. 

Jovana Radulovic, Civils Support Manager for Hyperoptic, told us: 

one.network helps us easily differentiate between permittable and non-permittable streets, find designations and USRN numbers, as well as check for other works in the area to avoid clashes.

The platform also provides us with local authority boundaries, public events, bus stops, lane rental schemes and S58 restrictions all in one place, which is incredibly useful when coordinating permits. We no longer need to check multiple platforms to schedule permits. Everything is just on one system.” 

With such success, many of these utilities and contractors are already expanding their use of the one.network platform to further digitally transform and future proof their permit planning processes. 

The one.network team is excited to be driving such value for the sector and is looking forward to partnering with more organisations to deliver further benefits for both them and the public at large.