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SCCi Alphatrack

WATMOS Community Housing

SCCI Alphatrack implement 4 Fibre technology for WATMOS community housing, within 1,268 dwellings and 40 blocks, on 4 estates in Walsall, Staffordshire.



Sites: 4 estates, WATMOS Walsall

Dwellings: 1,268

Location: Walsall

Project Timescale: 12 months

The Development

The Burrowes Street Estate is one of four WATMOS estates, located on the edge of Walsall town centre, a short walk from Walsall's main shopping area.

This estate consists of 6 high-rise,  and 3 low-rise blocks of 1950's built flats.

The TMO carries out a full range of housing services, including allocations/lettings, repairs, caretaking, environmental improvements, tenancy and estate management and housing advice.

They also try to build community spirit by running social activities and providing facilities for the children who live in the area.

The TMO primary objectives are:

  • To maintain our current level of service to residents;
  • To continually seek to improve on what we do;
  • To have a clean and tidy environment for all;
  • To provide a secure and safe environment;
  • To offer a well-run repairs system with a quick response to emergency jobs;
  • To be friendly and approachable.

Their goal for the future is to maintain and improve services to residents who live on the estate.

The Proposal

SCCI tendered and secured the installation of a new TV system, with fibre broadband capacity for all of WATMOS Walsall 1,268 dwellings on 4 estates in Walsall, including Borrowes Estate.

Works were to be completed ahead of a refurbishment project include: external wall insulation, new windows and balconies. The main works being for a TV installation with facility for Sky Q – but with an allowance for fibre, for future broadband delivery.

The upgrade program was to follow the planned refurbishment project, ahead of the scaffold being fitted to each building, thus allowing any redundant cabling and dishes to be removed permanently.

Our proposal for the fibre broadband provision was our multi fibre solution – 4 Fibre

The fibre broadband facility was to be installed, ensuring no cables were fitted to the building after the external wall insulation (EWI) was completed.

The scheme is currently serviced by an ageing copper only telecom and broadband service, resulting in resident demands for better connectivity speeds and choice.

WATMOS Community Homes wanted a full fibre solution to fulfil resident demands for broadband access, providing improved broadband speed & an increased choice of fibre broadband providers - but were keen ensure their building was wired once only, and then resealed and certified as fire safe.

Our offering was an IRS single cable dSCR solution to support Freeview Sky Q, Hotbird and radio services, with a 4 Fibre solution installed alongside, using a single penetration through each riser (fire sealed afterwards)

Seeing the obvious benefits of this approach, the tender was secured by SCCI and our 4 Fibre proposal was accepted.

The Delivery

The project consists of 40 blocks with 1,268 dwellings on 7 estates - we started with 6 blocks on 3 estates, following the planned block refurbishment program.

A detailed survey was carried out and a planning pack submitted for each building.

Wishing to minimise the impact of the cables and to enable all external cables to be removed, an internal installation was decided upon. This consisted of all cables running up and down risers, and then in trunking to each apartment front door, where services were then extended (by appointment) to each lounge. 

The 4 Fibre solution provides access for up to 4 internet service providers (ISPs), each with their own dedicated fibre cable, but installed through only one penetration to each apartment.

Once complete, the building will not need to be wired again, each time another broadband provider wishes to provide their services to the building.

We identified suitable locations for the aggregation of the Internet Service Provider (ISP) distribution cabinets within each block, and then ran our multi-fibre cables from there to each apartment. The cables were terminated & spliced in to a discrete Point of Entry (POE) box outside each apartment, ready for the ISP to provide service

We have also pre-installed blown fibre tubes from the ISP distribution cabinets, back to the BT Upturn (where BT enters the block), thus negating the need for any ISP to have to run any cables in, or around the building.

The system has been designed around PIA (physical infrastructure access) – the use of BT's existing duct network. Consequently, any ISP can use BT duct to get to the block, and our 4 Fibre networks to get to each apartment in the estate.

4 Fibre ISP distribution, cabinet location

ISP cabling

The Conclusion

As each building is completed, it becomes full fibre ready for up to 4 different ISPs.

The deployed system is ready to deliver a much-improved full fibre broadband service, with increased speeds and provider choice for the resident.

With PIA being used for delivering service to the buildings via the BT Openreach network, and 4 Fibre being used to take service from the BT Upturn to every apartment - there will be negligible disruption to the area and the existing services, when the ISP arrives to service the building.

SCCI have also:

  • minimised the number of penetrations through the walls.
  • minimised the number of cables that need to be run through the common parts.
  • delivered in one period, work that would have traditionally been done four times
  • fire sealed every penetration and provided certification for each hole
WATMOS are delighted with the quality of the 4fibre solution installed by SCCi Alphatrack. With just one installation, Watmos is able to give customers much greater choice and a fibre solution that is fit for the future. Darrius Burrows, Assets & Development Consultant, WATMOS Community Homes
SCCI has developed a really innovative solution to keep buildings well maintained and alleviate fears of multiple holes, cables, cabinets and teams of installers, whilst still giving residents a choice of providers. The quality of workmanship of Farringdon House & Dover House was also excellent. Lee Mercer, Lee Mercer Consultancy Ltd (working on behalf of WATMOS)

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