Jobs created for fibre rollout in South Somerset
by Christine O'Grady
Wessex Internet opens new Somerset base for network build to rural areas
Wessex Internet, an independent internet service provider, is on the lookout for new talent in Somerset as it creates new jobs in the county to support the rollout of its full fibre network to rural areas.
The company is now recruiting for multiple roles, including network construction team members to work from its newly opened civils operations base in Sparkford.
Rural communities from Wyke Champflower, down to Closworth, across to Ash and up to Compton Dundon are to be connected to ultrafast broadband over the next three years. The company is contracted by Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) to bring ultrafast internet to over 3,600 homes and businesses in rural South Somerset as part of a publicly funded initiative.
Hector Gibson Fleming, CEO, at Wessex Internet said: “This is a major infrastructure project as we will be installing 270 kms of fibre optic cable to connect thousands of Somerset homes. Therefore, we’re scaling up our workforce considerably – from planners and project managers to engineers and civil engineering teams – to ensure that people across South Somerset get a world class internet connection.
“Our priority right now is to expand our network construction and civils team. We’ve invested heavily in new machinery, such as mole ploughs and directional drills, and we’ve just opened a new civils yard in Sparkford. We’re looking for local people with a good work ethic, who enjoy working outdoors and know the area to join us.
He explains, “Unlike other internet providers, we predominantly lay our fibre using a soft dig method across fields and farmland, rather than digging up roads. Where possible, we recruit people who are local to the area in which we are working in and who are familiar with the type of terrain we face and farming practices.”
The company, which is based in North Dorset and now employs over 110 people, is looking for civils construction team members and network engineers in South Somerset - and project managers and schedulers for its office in Blandford, Dorset.
The company’s network construction team has already doubled in size since the beginning of the year, and is expected to grow another 50% in the coming months, with the majority of the new roles based in South Somerset. Recent recruits were attracted by the work environment and the great relationship that the team has. They have come from a variety of backgrounds – from an ex-Tattoo artist, HGV drivers, first jobbers to recruits with previous experience in utilities, groundworks or agriculture.
Employee Eloisa Townsend from Somerset joined Wessex Internet in March as a Network Planner. She said:
“My role as project planner means that I am often out and about, meeting landowners and residents. No one day is the same, and there are plenty of opportunities as the company is growing. We come from all walks of life and share a passion to get as many people as possible in rural communities connected to the internet.”
Wessex Internet’s build for the three year Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) contract commenced in May in Woolston, near North Cadbury and the first homes to be connected will be later this year in North and South Barrow, Babcary, Woolston and Marston Magna. Just some of the villages to be connected include Sutton Montis, The Charltons, Hardington, Yeovilton, Tintinhull and Compton Dundon. Industrial Estates Lynx in Yeovil and Bennetts Field in Wincanton are also included. For a full map and list of areas with connection dates visit www.wessexinternet.com/connecting-devon-and-somerset.
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