Why the Government is asking us to carry on working
The Government considers telecommunications operations critical for the UK. As a result, we’ve been asked to continue to build and maintain our networks during the current COVID-19 crisis.
Last updated 26/03/2020
Building critical digital infrastructure
Our full fibre networks are transforming towns and cities across the UK.
As well as bringing gigabit speed broadband services to homes and businesses, we’re serving thousands of critical healthcare, education and community sites, including hospitals, GP surgeries, community buildings, schools and council offices. Our networks also provide the backbone for the imminent rollout of 5G services. In short – this is critical digital infrastructure.
To power the nation’s future, our country needs a world-class digital infrastructure, and we remain fully committed to building it.
Our construction teams are key workers
The Government has designated CityFibre’s field-staff and those of our contractors as ‘key workers’, making them exempt from the wider restrictions on movement.
We’ve put in place clear policies to ensure our staff and contractors don’t compromise the health and safety of themselves, our customers or the general public, this includes strict protocols on social distancing and minimising of contact with members of the public. Our teams also work to the highest health and safety construction standards and will ensure that any build sites are left in a safe and manageable state at the end of every working day.
Where heightened localised lockdown restrictions are in force, we are further reinforcing Covid-19 safety protocol across our key workers as well as taking steps to minimise all but the most essential movement of staff and contractors between geographies. The health and safety of all continues to be our number one priority.
Keeping our team, partners and the public safe
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.
If you have to speak to a member of our team, please ensure you are staying at least two metres apart.
Contact with the public
If you decide to take a service our engineers may need to attend your home. If our engineers need to enter your property to carry out a survey, installation or repair on our behalf they will try to call in advance. Before entering the premises, the engineer will ask:
If anyone in your 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
If anyone in your premises is suffering from flu-like symptoms
If the answer to question one is yes, or you no longer want us to proceed, the job will be placed ‘on hold’ until a future date – to be agreed with your service provider.
If the answer to question two is ‘yes’, the engineer can proceed, but will undertake additional hygiene actions. This includes wiping surfaces, asking you and any family members to remain in a different room and not asking you to sign to say you are happy that their work is complete.
Frequently asked questions
The Government considers telecommunications infrastructure as critical and as such, it has designated our teams as being key workers exempt from the general restrictions on movement.
If you are interested in finding out more about full fibre and would like to pre-register your interest in services, visit our Gigabit Cities page.
We have been working with our build partners to adopt protocols on social distancing and on minimising contact with members of the public. These measures are monitored daily and we would ask that you only approach our teams if it is absolutely necessary and practice social distancing.
We would never compromise the health or safety of our staff, nor that of our build partners. To ensure this, we adhere to all Government’s advice. Our staff and those working on our behalf adhere to rules on social distancing and minimising contact with members of the public.
We have created a ‘Key Worker Accreditation’ letter for our teams. You can ask them to show this to you if you have any concerns. However, we must reiterate the Government’s advice that you should only leave your home if it is absolutely essential and even then, you should be keeping two metres away from anyone who is not a member of your household.
We’re already working with your local council’s permission as well as the Government’s. CityFibre are in daily contact with the Government to ensure it is ok for us to continue.
We appreciate this is a difficult situation for all of us, however, the Government has made it clear to us that it wants us to continue to build and maintain our networks throughout this period.
The Scottish Government has also identified telecommunications as Critical National Infrastructure necessary for the functioning of the country and the delivery of the essential services upon which daily life in Scotland depends.
The Scottish Road Works Commissioner has issued guidance stating that, while non-essential construction activity across the country should cease, there are some essential areas where work needs to continue to ensure that vital services are provided: including electricity, gas, heat, water, transport and telecommunications networks.
We are working closely with local authorities across Scotland to identify essential works and have put in place strict social distancing guidelines to keep our staff, contractors and members of the public safe.
If you have any additional questions or believe that our staff or contractors are not following social distancing guidelines, please get in touch on 0800 083 6160.
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