The Big Interview

A life in day of...Paul Terry, service delivery manager, Colt

Agnes Stubbs

12 Nov 2015

“The fibre planning, provisioning and construction – I am in charge of them all,” says Terry. 

He manages the provisioning, faults and construction teams in the UK and Europe, where he also oversees matters relating to budgets and processes. 

From Colt headquarters in London, UK, his week kicks off with a review of orders from new customers which require provisioning. The next step is to survey the sites to ascertain if there is access for a fibre dig. 

“You need to find out what you can do from a street point of view into the customer’s structure. There may be restrictions like cycle or bus lanes. There are a lot of elements that we have to consider to work out how best to connect the buildings with minimum disruptions,” he says. 

The processing time for a permit in a metropolitan city like London ranges between 10 to 90 days, depending on how busy the road or area around the site is. Once the permit request is successful, Terry then alerts local authorities to the impending work and assigns a team to dig up the site. 

Terry says that the UK broadband voucher scheme introduced by the government in 2013 has contributed to a significant rise in small businesses calling on Colt to get them connected. 

“That covers any costs businesses incur in connecting the sites. It’s a move by the government to encourage high-speed services for businesses. We’ve become busier as a result,” he says. 

Terry’s teams work 24/7: the construction teams are assigned to dig up the street during the day, while the provisioning and faults teams are deployed in the night to ensure minimum disruption to local businesses during installations. Approximately 100 chambers are covered each night in the city of London alone. 

Terry joined Colt 15 years ago as a supervisor on its fibre team and has seen the industry evolve: “There has been a lot of change. The closer we get into the buildings, the easier it is to connect sites, but it also becomes harder to get into buildings because of security matters. Today we have to do a lot of security checks which can take up to 90 days”. Terry is presently working with the British Standards Institution (BSI) Group to standardise that process to speed up delivery for its customers in the UK.

“We’ve got fantastic assets at Colt. To optimise that, we need to make the right delivery choices. Our goal is always to connect our customers faster and quicker,” says Terry.