De-skilling critical if Europe is to hit fibre installation targets
Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017
De-skilling of installation staff throughout Europe is absolutely critical if mass deployment of optical fibre is to be achieved as part of the European Union targets for 2020. This was the warning given at the opening day of ECOC from the region's major provider of blown fibre and ducted network solutions for the telecoms industry, Emtelle.
“If Europe is to achieve its goal of a Digital Single Market by 2020, then we need to make installation of new fibre optic networks as pain-free as possible,” said Colin Kirkpatrick, Emtelle’s International Business Development Director, on the opening day of ECOC 2017.
“Europe has taken a bold step towards creating a digital society which is inclusive for all, both as individuals and as businesses. It has clearly defined its objectives and the steps that need to be taken. We welcome this approach and know only too well the benefits ubiquitous high-speed broadband can bring but it can only be achieved by the mass roll-out of optical fibre. This in turn can only be completed in the targeted time frames by finding innovative ways of making fibre faster, simpler and cheaper to deploy.”
The ability to speed up the deployment of fibre will be key to the achievement of the European Union’s Digital Agenda, part of its Europe 2020 Strategy. The Digital Agenda’s main objective is to develop a digital single market which will generate smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe. This includes encouraging more and better connectivity for citizens and businesses by promoting fast and ultra-fast Internet access for all, by investing in research and innovation, promoting digital literacy skills and enabling even more people to access ICT-enabled benefits. Very high-capacity networks are also seen as increasingly important for education, healthcare, manufacturing and transport.
From its Scottish headquarters in Hawick, Emtelle has been progressively expanding its international operations to create a strong European presence to address its growing global customer base. The recent acquisition of Moore GmbH, a German manufacturer of microducts and HDPE ducts for the telecoms and renewable markets, will ensure that Emtelle can meet the fast-growing, worldwide demand for blown fibre, driven largely by the huge growth in Internet usage, including the Internet of Things. The acquisition is part of a major €30 million investment by Emtelle in its manufacturing plants across Europe. The company now has two sites in the UK – in Jedburgh and Hawick in Scotland – as well as in Scandinavia and now Germany, making it well-placed to serve over 50 markets across the world. The appointment of a new Sales Director for Sweden, Finland and the Baltics, Peter Schulte further underpins the company’s international expansion.
In addition, the company has recently announced its new 2f Nano Cable G657A2 optical fibre for the FttX market, designed to be installed into fibre-flow microducts and tube bundles by blowing, pulling or pushing. It is a small diameter lightweight product with an ultra low friction sheath and thermoplastic layer for high quality protection. This is one of a range of products the company is developing that will help to meet the European objectives by allowing rapid deployment of fibre ever closer to the end user.
Colin Kirkpatrick added: “The targets the EU has set itself are ambitious and visionary but a necessary step towards embracing the benefits that a fully digital society can bring. The industry is determined to achieve it and we are proud to have taken so many important steps, from strategic, acquisitions, to new international appointments and product developments that will help us to play our part in this important initiative!”

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