DSLAM Cabinet Metering Roll Out
Quinn Infrastructure were engaged by Open Reach to install electric meters and current protection at circa 35,000 new DSlam cabinets located within the street environment.
DSlam cabinets were installed as part of the roll out of NGA (Next Generation Access) Fibre Broadband. Each cabinet houses electronic equipment, which is mains powered and backed up with a built-in battery bank, containing both mains power (230v AC) and DC power (-48 v DC). The meter design and current protection arrangements were provided by the customer for installation.
The 35,000 DSlam cabinets had to be completed within a six month programme across the UK.
All cabinets upon completion were to be reinstated, tested and signed off prior to handing back to the customer. This was undertaken via witness testing and a controlled records/certification process.
Challenges and Solutions
To achieve the delivery of the 35,000 meters and current protection within the six-month period meant that 270 (Average) cabinets would need to be completed each working shift. This level of productivity required finite planning and logistics, resource allocation and programme management.
The project management team during the mobilisation phase, completed task specific training and familiarisation for each technician undertaking the works, so that other client assets within the DSlam Cabinets would remain unaffected – such as connector modules and splitters.
The cabinets were all Street located, therefore interfacing with the general public along with moving traffic on the highway was continually risk assessed and reviewed – each location being unique, therefore no generic solution was able to be utilised.
The DSlam cabinets themselves were also subject to vandalism and road traffic accidents. It was agreed during the early phases of installation, that a process was put in place to report any damage to the Open Reach Access Operations Centre and for our teams to remain onsite, until an Open Reach Power Engineer took custody of the cabinet in question.
A number of DSlam cabinets additionally had earth impedance issues due the ground conditions. Quinn Infrastructure worked collaboratively on the design with Open Reach to resolve and put the cabinets into use.
The finite planning of the delivery was critical to the success of the project not only from a productivity perspective but because each cabinet was installed with remote telemetry. This required Quinn Infrastructure to inform the customer in advance of the works to be carried out on an hour-by-hour basis, so as to avoid any false alarms for potential vandalism or theft. In addition to the telemetry alarms each installation was subject to witness testing and certification prior to being put into use, to ensure this process was seamless and productive actualisation of the plan was critical.