Sitetracker: GIS link to speed global broadband deployments

20th September 2023
Sheryl Miles

Sitetracker, the global deployment operations management software provider serving nearly 300 companies, has launched new capabilities to its platform designed to help network operators, engineering, and construction companies accelerate the rollout of fibre broadband by layering construction plans with geographic information systems (GIS) data.

Sitetracker GIS Link connects geospatial data from web GIS systems such as Esri's ArcGIS within Sitetracker's deployment operations suite. GIS Link will also support new functionality within Sitetracker that will provide network operators enhanced visibility into deployments by rolling up key metrics such as homes passed by market and servicing area. These new capabilities will allow GIS data to be shared more efficiently, driving improved collaboration between internal and external parties, and enabling broadband to reach rural and underserved communities faster.

"We're excited to be among the first to roll out Sitetracker GIS Link. With fibre work continuing to ramp up, GIS-enabled workflows are vital to improving collaboration while reducing inefficiency," said Rob Reynolds, Chief Information Officer and Chief Administrative Officer at Congruex. "Aligning geospatial data with projects is a logical evolution that enables Sitetracker to remain a key and core system in our overall architecture."

Sitetracker GIS Link will also benefit telecom tower operators, solar developers, EV companies, and other infrastructure companies by enabling multiple map layers, so companies can reduce swivel-chair analysis of wireless site candidates or solar developments and instead use proprietary site data within their deployment operations management functionality.

"Globally, broadband deployment is at an all-time high driven by large-scale investments from both public and private sectors, and providers simply cannot work quickly enough to meet this surging demand," said Charlie Kennamer, Sitetracker's Vice President of Telecom, Americas. "We can only meet aggressive build-out targets by shedding outdated processes and adapting modern, efficiency-oriented technology and solutions."

With fully integrated geospatial data, GIS Link makes it easy to align planning, engineering, and construction work. The solution offers a unified, real-time workflow between stakeholders allowing them to keep network plans aligned with construction progress and enabling more efficient handoffs. For project managers, engineers, and construction managers still relying on paper copies and ad hoc collaboration tools, the software simplifies the ability to receive GIS-based work plans, organise and schedule work, accurately capture production progress, and quickly report – all without manual processes or duplicate data entry. With these capabilities, Sitetracker GIS Link helps accelerate broadband and other types of deployments to meet the goals set out by programmes such as Internet for All in the US, Project Gigabit in the UK, and the European Union's Digital Decade.

According to the World Broadband Association, fibre connectivity is tied to economic growth and participation among citizens in education, business, and civic opportunities. Yet, the cost of deployment, regulations, and resource constraints are hindering broadband deployment, particularly in rural areas and developing countries. Efficiency gains are key to more critical infrastructure development.

"We are excited about the efficiency gains that the Esri Sitetracker partnership will provide the industry to better bridge the world's digital divide," said Randall René, Director of Telecommunications Industry Solutions at Esri.

Even before the launch of GIS Link, Sitetracker helped companies shorten their construction timeframes from project launch to close-out by 31% on average, allowing them to more easily manage projects, assets, and sites as well as processes for capital planning, permitting, ongoing maintenance and more, all in a single platform.

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