Customer Story: Award-Winning Connectivity for Construction Sites Across Britain

BUILDING POWERFUL NETWORKS ACROSS BRITAIN

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  • Goals: Drastically reduce network setup and network delays at remote sites
  • Solution: Deploy high-speed Internet combining multiple cellular connections
  • Results: Set-up times cut from months to days; bandwidth up; costs down

At a glance

When Osborne Construction, a top British construction company, wanted to reduce the network setup times and network delays at its construction sites, it turned to Onwave, a partner of Plover Bay Technologies. Using Plover Bay’s next generation Internet connectivity technology (SD-WAN), Onwave helps Osborne to rapidly deploy high-speed internet at construction sites across the UK, enabling teams to connect from remote areas under challenging internet conditions.
Osborne’s cutting-edge networking solution recently won Computer Weekly’s European Award for “Best Networking Project of the Year.” Osborne received enthusiastic praise for “a well thought-out project that displays clear savings. The project shows Osborne to be innovative, original in its ideas, and committed to getting it done right.”

How Internet builds infrastructure

Osborne strives to design, construct, and develop a better built environment. With over 90 private and public sector projects across the UK — including offices, housing, hospitals, student accommodations, civic buildings, schools, universities, railways, roads, and airports — Osborne needs seriously reliable internet connectivity.
The company’s two data centers deliver network services to several thousand staff and subcontractors, including hundreds who work remotely on laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
These employees need reliable access to core applications such as document management, industry-specific financials, scheduling, materials management, HR, and BIM (Building Information Modelling). BIM is especially important because it enables professionals to collaborate on architecture, engineering, and construction projects using a coherent set of computer models. The UK government has recently mandated the use of BIM on all centrally funded projects.

“Our industry relies on information technology to make sure that all building information is current and available on site,” Phil Gilbey, the head of IT at Osborne. “Having a reliable Internet connection from each site to our data center is critical. Delays in getting up-to-date information to our site teams can be very costly.”

The networking challenge

To meet their insatiable demand for a reliable connection, Osborne has tested and employed a wide range of networking technologies over the years, including 3G, multi-SIM 3G, 4G, wired broadband, and satellite. They’ve repeatedly found that these technologies failed to provide reliable coverage, especially in environments with ever-increasing network saturation.

“Previously we would need to install cable connections where possible,” says Gilbey. “But the lead times for these are unpredictable and could be anything from weeks to several months. These delays and uncertainties always added significant frustration and cost to the project.”

The cutting-edge solution

One of Osborne's portacabins used as a remote office.

One of Osborne’s portacabins used as a remote office.


To solve its networking challenges, Osborne turned to Onwave, an innovative managed service provider that uses powerful networking technology developed by Plover Bay Technologies. Plover Bay’s technology allows connections of different technologies (such as Ethernet, Satellite, DSL, Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G) networks to be seamlessly bonded together to form a single resilient link that increases bandwidth, enhances internet reliability, and reduces costs. Using this technology, Osborne can achieve a guaranteed level of connectivity and bandwidth at every location, whether it’s a large-scale health or academic development, or a smaller highway or railroad project.

“Plover Bay’s technology lets us maximize bandwidth from multiple sources and different providers, giving us the best blend of connectivity at every location, even the most challenging,” says Stuart Ladbrook, Commercial Director for Onwave.

Constructing tomorrow’s world

Some of Osborne's construction sites around the UK.

Some of Osborne’s construction sites around the UK.

To build the infrastructure of tomorrow, a great construction company needs to be able to get its internet up and running fast. It also needs to connect from remote areas without a glitch. Plover Bay’s next generation internet connectivity technology enables Osborne to do just that.
“Setup time is now measured in days instead of weeks or months,” said Gilbey. “We have a fixed cost and a guaranteed level of connectivity. Bandwidth goes up. Our monthly costs are reduced. And we don’t have any disruption in our communication network.”

Maybe that’s why Osborne’s cutting-edge networking solution recently won Computer Weekly’s European Award. Standing out from 130 entries and 50 finalists across Europe for “Best Networking Project of the Year,” Osborne was praised for “a well thought-out project that displays clear savings.” In skillfully utilizing next generation technology, Osborne proved to be “innovative, original in its ideas, and committed to getting it done right.”

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