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Mark Lamden, Business Unit Leader - Professional Services
As well as providing Virgin Media with HFC upgrades and transmission designs, our Flomatik Professional Services (FPS) division perform telco obsolescence upgrades and SDH migration projects too.
Last week FPS finished its latest Virgin Media project – upgrading and migrating Virgin Media business and residential customers fed from Camden hub site, planned for closure, to new hosting site at Haringey in London.
Upgrading obsolete equipment improves metro connectivity and quality of service for customers, but it can entail unavoidable service outages.
It’s a fantastic result then for Flomatik Telecom Engineers, Eddie Triggle and John MacGairy who worked over 6 months on the Camden site closure project with no unplanned outages for Virgin Media customers.
Eddie and John achieved this excellent result by working in a day/night shift pattern. Daytime installations meant building and testing new capacity at Haringey Head End and adding new ECI hardware into 100 street side cabinets fed from Camden hub. To mitigate the inevitable customer impact, services were migrated overnight away from Camden hub on new optical feeds to Haringey.
Eddie Triggle was pivotal in the success of the project, leading the engineering team with his thorough knowledge of the equipment and migration/delivery processes. Customer impact was minimised by moving each circuit individually – in every case ensuring outages were kept to just a few minutes.
At times during the migration, the team worked alongside Virgin Media Principal Engineer, Gary Lewis.
From a social distance and wearing PPE, Mark Lamden, Flomatik Business Unit lead, joined the team one early morning in Kentish Town in April (pictured) to witness the team’s working environment. In the unnerving quiet of London streets in Coronavirus lockdown, Mark saw how the engineers’ work is often frustrated by missing connection cables, inconsistent quality of ageing street cabinets and obsolete or unsupported hardware. Every cabinet provides a different challenge, and Mark was inspired to see Flomatik and Virgin Media collaborating to calmly analyse and resolve each problem as it arose. In every case, the cabinet was successfully migrated with no unexpected customer impact.
Full credit to the team for their commitment and care to avoid any unexpected outages for customers and to complete the migration project with a week to spare.
Services fed from Camden’s obsolete Nortel equipment are now all fed from Haringey, bringing better reliability, security, and management of services. Flomatik’s part in the project is complete, allowing the Camden site to close as planned at the end of June.
The Flomatik team has moved on to their next challenge – to assist with the Virgin Media upgrade and site closure of a key POP site in the Midlands by the end of 2020.