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Connecting BT to the first geospatial data set for the UK including Northern Ireland

Combining data from Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland in one seamless service to create a dataset for the UK.

BT’s commercial and consumer markets in Northern Ireland are growing fast, so as the network develops, accurate inventory capture in the quickest, most cost‑efficient way is paramount.

To help it achieve this the company needed a step change in how it received and consumed Northern Ireland map data. OS Maps API combined with expertise from Ordnance Survey was the breakthrough solution.

The logistical challenges

In November 2015 the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, pledged that all UK homes and businesses would have access to fast broadband by 2020 [1]. Accurate network planning and implementation is vital for this rollout of Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and as the UK’s biggest ISP BT needed to streamline its location data and infrastructure to keep delivering the best service for its customers.

However, it faced a number of challenges:

- Staff were unable to load and view the most current Northern Ireland location data onto their systems, or project vector data accurately onto the British National Grid.

- Its existing data infrastructure, which included information on ducts, kiosks, poles and cabinets, had certain legacy issues.

- Planners and engineers increasingly needed fast, reliable access to the most up to minute geospatial data.

The solution

To support the growing demand for more services and accurate inventory capture, BT was looking for a step change in how it received and consumed Northern Ireland map data. Ordnance Survey consultants worked closely with us to integrate the data – and best of all it required zero coding for us.

Simon Carson, Architect Physical Inventory, BT TSO

Ordnance Survey has worked closely with BT for many years and together the team deployed the latest OS Maps API (Application Programming Interface) to help overcome these challenges.

- Switching to the OS Maps API was quick and easy for BT with consultancy and support from Ordnance Survey and no further technology, updates or coding required on its part.

- Deploying the OS Maps API meant that BT could now view numerous location-based data sets on a zoomable stack, including for the first time large scale Northern Ireland data, raster and open data, contours,
vegetation and settlements.

- Underpinning BT’s asset management system with the OS Maps API enabled planners and engineers to use the very latest geospatial data in all their operations.

The data driven benefits

BT planners and engineers now enjoy a much better user experience, deploying the most up-to-date geospatial data on Northern Ireland from the OS Maps API to view assets and properties through various levels – from macro right down to street level.

- Access to data is faster, more cost efficient and BT staff can easily overlay their own network information.

- It’s much easier to locate and manage assets via desktop and engineers in the field so that BT can provide an improved customer service, with less likelihood of delays.

- The OS Map API now projects the large scale Northern Ireland data directly onto the British National Grid, lessening the need for BT to develop the expertise to do this.

- The OS Maps API web hosting service is now a critical part of BT’s infrastructure, underpinning many complex business decisions

[1] UK Government press release. Government plans to make sure no-one is left behind on broadband access. Nov 2015.

The products used

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