Bristol to Birmingham NEC

JSM was appointed by a major telecoms client to prove the existing 8 way Direct Buried Sub-Duct (DBSD) network between Bristol and Birmingham, c.170km and design the cable route including joint locations and install a 144F cable end to end.

The route is divided into 2 sections: In line Amplifier (ILA) Repeater site to ILA Repeater site:

  • Section 1 – Alveston ILA to Tewkesbury ILA – 90km
  • Section 2 – Tewkesbury ILA to Birmingham NEC POP – 80km

The 8W DBSD network is a legacy network acquired by the telecoms client in 2014. Originally populated with a single 48F cable, they required an overlay to meet demand. The DBSD was installed in 2000 and apart from localised diversion works has remained untouched until 2015. The original network was built traversing both public highway and private land with chambers at c.1800m centres and joints at up to 5400m centres.

The major telecoms client’s scope was to design and install the new cable and joints to match where possible the original build whilst minimising cable wastage. This created a number of challenges which JSM managed as


  • Cable blowing was deployed over the long box-to-box sections
  • A programme of blockage clearance was deployed to clear areas where settlement had occurred
  • Stakeholder management was key to ensure access was gained across private land
  • The programme was carefully managed and manipulated to avoid flooded areas
  • Coordination with Local Authorities for permits and traffic management

JSM successfully overcame the challenges and delivered the project within the 6 month timescale set by our client.