3 min read

Giving Broadband the Green Light Part 7: How to Save on Network Construction

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After planning and design, you’ll enter the construction phase of the deployment process. This is the most labor-intensive part of the project, but with a sound plan, it could also be the most straight forward.

The important part of construction is choosing a construction partner who can implement your plan. Here are the keys to ensuring construction proceeds without a hitch. 

Think before you dig

The foundation of smooth construction is having a good plan and following it. The impact of straying from the plan, cutting corners, and making mistakes compounds as the project continues. Variations from the plan can slow or halt construction entirely, eating up time, labor, materials, and funds.

One thing to consider is the construction schedule. Be sure you know where construction will begin and end. Remember that construction doesn’t happen in a vacuum: have you coordinated around community events and activities that occur during your timeline?

Then there’s labor. What's the pace of your project? How much manpower do you need? Your project may require multiple crews working in tandem for certain portions of the project, is the manpower even available? With the rise in demand, fiber techs and crews can be more selective about the jobs they take. They may also charge more for their labor than in the past. Double-check availability and pricing before proceeding; the market may have changed since you started planning.

Once you have answered these questions, it’s time to start vetting construction vendors.

Do your homework on partners

While price is an important factor when choosing construction partners, deviations in quality could be more costly in the long run than any amount you might save upfront. Be sure you find a vendor who can offer consistent quality.

Do your prospective partners have the skills to carry out the project? Different parts of the construction process demand different capabilities. For example, the skills to dig trenches are quite different from those required to splice fiber cables.

Don’t just take their word for it. Wooed by the influx of capital, some companies may leap into action but lack the expertise and manpower for the job. Here’s how you can perform due diligence to weed out unqualified candidates.

Dig deeper into candidate qualifications

Don’t just take potential partners at face value. Ask them to prove their quality, expertise, and experience that is relevant to broadband deployment.

Potential partners should have a track record of successful projects, a portfolio of broadband-related experience, and credible references who will vouch for them. Don’t hesitate to verify any of their claims—a viable partner should understand your need for assurance.

Be sure to check their safety record. Not only do construction workers deserve safe working conditions, but accidents can bring a project to a standstill—and the least of mishaps can be costly.

If a prospect claims to offer a better, faster, or cheaper solution, ask them to explain their rationale and back up their approach with data. On the other hand, “We can’t do it at that price” may be a cue to reassess your options rather than looking for a lower bid.

Leverage data and digital tools

No matter who you choose to work with, visibility and transparency throughout the construction phase is crucial. Use construction management software to check progress daily or weekly from safety, budget, and timing perspectives.

To use such an application, you’ll need end-to-end data interoperability. This makes data usable from one system to another across the entire deployment process. Your autodesign partner should be able to ensure that data is complete, accurate, and can be passed into the construction management platform.

With construction management software, your project will gain budgetary and operational efficiencies throughout construction. You’ll be able to catch, minimize, or eliminate in-field variations that could magnify as construction continues. The result is orderly operations and a network more in line with original budgetary and timeline projections.

Where the tires meet the tracks

Construction is labor-intensive, but with a solid plan and a reliable construction partner, it can cruise like a well-maintained race car. Ask a few important questions to devise a clear construction plan before seeking out a construction partner. Vet potential partners thoroughly to ensure they can complete the job safely and to specifications.

As construction progresses, keep your projects on course using construction management software. Your autodesign partner should be able to help you scrub and analyze data for use by your construction management platform.

To learn more about broadband project planning, autodesign, or Biarri Networks, be sure to visit our news page. Got questions? Reach out to us, we have answers.

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