We’ve been stocking up on thousands of snow shoes, salt and screen wash this winter to make sure millions of people stay connected in the event of severe weather.
So far our seasonal shopping list includes: 78,000 kilos of rock salt; 1,500 snow shovels; 6,300 ice and snow grips for footwear; 2,050 sets of snow socks for van tyres; 27,800 litres of screen wash; 29,700 half litre de-icer sprays; and 3,550 kilos of salt solution for de-icing frozen manholes.
Last winter was extremely challenging with heavy snowfall in December followed by the ‘Beast from the East’ in February and several major storms. We know there’ll be similar challenges this winter and our aim is to minimise the impact of service disruption to customers.
We’ve been investing heavily in network protection to try to prevent problems in the first place, but we can’t pre-empt the damage that gale-force winds will cause to some overhead cables or predict where lightning will strike.
We’d also like people to alert us if they spot any damage to our network, like dangling cables or broken poles, so we can crack on with repairs. When mother nature does come calling, we’ll be ready and able to fight back and keep the UK’s second biggest workforce fleet and army of engineers on the road.
If you spot any damage to the Openreach network following bad weather this winter, you can report it by calling 0800 023 2023.
By Matt Walker, Director for Customer Service, Operations and Planning