CityFibre's COVID-19 update
CityFibre continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation and the associated risk of virus transmission to staff, contractors, customers and the general public. The health and safety of all continues to be our number one priority. In line with recent Government ‘Covid Secure’ guidelines, we are now completing the risk assessments required to enable us to re-open our offices across the UK, while ensuring that our people continue to work from home wherever possible.
Last updated 14/05/2020
We continue to build
In March, the Government declared telecommunications infrastructure as critical to allow both society and the economy to function and to enable rapid economic recovery when the COVID-19 crisis is over. In parallel, our field-staff and those of our contractors were designated as ‘key workers’, making them exempt from restrictions on movement. This has enabled us to continue to build to the levels of productivity agreed with local authorities, and to maintain our networks throughout this challenging period.
In order to carry out our work, our staff and contractors are required to adhere to strict protocols on social distancing and minimising of contact with members of the public. They also continue to work to the highest health and safety construction standards. This includes leaving trenches in a safe and manageable state at the end of every working day.
If you see our staff or contractors working in your town or city, please appreciate their critical role in keeping our nation connected and help them by following Government guidelines on social distancing for your own protection as well as theirs.
We’re preparing to return to our offices
Following Government advice issued in March, all our office-based staff began working ‘smart’ from the safety of their own homes in order to minimise exposure to risks. Agile-working staff also began avoiding all non-essential travel. Throughout the period, all staff have continued to adhere to strict social distancing guidelines if face-to-face engagement is unavoidable.
In line with Government ‘Covid Secure’ guidelines issued during May, we are now completing the risk assessments required to allow us to re-open our offices across the UK, while, ensuring that our people continue to work from home wherever possible.
Only offices/buildings where this assessment has been completed will be opened. Where this is the case, clear signage is being displayed to reassure employees and visitors that the building is is Covid Secure and safe to enter as long as local guidelines (also clearly displayed) are followed.
Covid Secure status means that we have assessed the risk to employees and put in place strict social distancing and control measures to minimise risk the risk of Covid-19 virus transmission.
We’re protecting people
We’ve put in place clear policies to ensure our staff and contractors do not compromise the health and safety of themselves, our customers or the general public.
Our staff and contractors are adhering to all government guidelines in order to mitigate risks of exposure to or transmission of COVID-19.
If engineers need to attend a customer site to carry out a survey, installation or repair on our behalf they will endeavour to call in advance. Before entering the premises, the engineer will ask:
Has anyone in the premises been diagnosed with COVID-19, been asked to self-isolate, or has travelled to a Coronavirus high-risk area or country in the last 14 days?
Is anyone in the premises suffering from flu-like symptoms?
If the answer to question one is yes, or the customer independently decides they no longer want us to proceed, our order management team will be alerted and the job will be placed ‘on hold’ until a future date – to be agreed with the relevant service provider partner.
If the answer to question two is ‘yes’, the engineer can proceed, but will undertake additional hygiene actions. This includes wiping surfaces, asking the end customer to remain in a different room, not accepting the offer of drinks and bypassing the sign-off with the customer when the job is finished.
We’re connecting and serving customers
COVID-19 is creating unprecedented challenges for UK businesses, households and those seeking to maintain vital public services. As our nation strives to stay connected with colleagues, customers and loved ones, the availability and reliability of connectivity services has never been more important.
We are in daily conversation with the partners who support our service installation, maintenance and repair. By working together to ensure social distancing guidelines are followed and that personal protective equipment is available, we are currently seeing no material impact on our day to day service operations.
We serve critical sites, as well as homes
Our full fibre networks are about more than just bringing gigabit speed broadband services to homes across the UK. We also serve thousands of critical healthcare, education and community sites too, including hospitals, GP surgeries, care homes, community buildings, schools and council offices.
Even in residential streets, our network is empowering legions of people to work effectively from home, as well as providing a backbone for the imminent rollout of 5G services. In short – this is critical digital infrastructure.
We prepared early
CityFibre has always taken business continuity seriously. In early February we set up a COVID-19 Task Force to monitor the emerging risk and government advice on a daily basis. We used this to develop a clear mitigation strategy with key elements as follows:
Identifying agile workforce within CityFibre and our contractors
Enhancing our ability to tailor plans and respond quickly to mitigate different levels of risks
Ensuring our smart-working capability is scalable and robust
Refining our communications processes to ensure speed, clarity and the ability to rapidly update and trigger actions
Undertaking a period of intense scenario simulation to test our readiness.
This proactive planning has so far enabled us to minimise risk of exposure for all, stay open for business and respond quickly as advice changes.
Our networks are designed for the challenge
Our full fibre networks are modern built and capacity rich, this means we can easily sustain increased usage and higher dependency on our infrastructure – even at peak times.
Once we are through this crisis period, we will play our part in supporting the recovery of our economy and society. To power the nation’s future, our country needs a world-class digital infrastructure, and we remain fully committed to building it.
We’ll keep you updated
UK Government advice and information from our contractors and partners is guiding the decisions we make and the actions we take. We’ll update this page as needed and be honest if we think something may impact our operations.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or believe that our staff or contractors are not following social distancing guidelines, please get in touch.
Official information and advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19) is available via:
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