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Full fibre deployment expansion

July 21st, 2021

Although the UK has been slow in deploying fibre to the premises (FTTP or “full fibre”) compared with some other countries, commercial investment in FTTP is gaining momentum with major investments by established and alternative network operators. Over 5 million premises are now within areas in the UK where a full fibre service is available.

The UK government’s industrial strategy has the aim of connecting 15 million premises to full fibre broadband by 2025 and provide full fibre broadband coverage across all the UK by 2033.

Such a deployment expansion will require many more personnel with the necessary skills and knowledge to install, test and maintain the access networks that deliver FTTP services.

Digital apprenticeships are an important supply route for trained personnel in the telecoms and ICT sectors and PTT courses provide a Covid-secure and cost-effective method of delivering the knowledge requirements of such apprenticeships.

PTT has just released a new online course “Telecoms testing and fault-finding” course which together with its companion course “Telecoms access networks” supports the delivery of the new Telecoms field operative apprenticeship standard.


Closure of the PSTN

July 15th, 2021

Ahead of its planned closure of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) in 2025, broadband provider Openreach is calling on UK businesses to start planning for life without the analogue phone network, by conducting an audit of their systems and devices to discover potential compatibility issues.

The analogue telephone service is being replaced with a voice over IP (VoIP) service delivered over broadband connections. Then telephones are plugged into a VoIP-enabled router instead of being connected to the copper telephone line.

Over 16 million telephone lines in the UK will need to be moved to a VoIP service to meet the 2025 deadline.
The migration to VoIP may impact services such as security and fire alarms, telecare devices and retail payment terminals which rely on some attributes of the PSTN that may not be fully replicated in VoIP-based platforms.
The PTT online courses “Voice over IP” and “VoIP systems” cover in detail the principles and provision of a public telephony service using VoIP.


Bridging the skills gap

March 24th, 2021

Lack of digital skills

The UK is heading towards a digital skills shortage disaster, a think tank has warned. The Learning & Work Institute’s research reveals that fewer than half of British employers believe young people are leaving full-time education with sufficient advanced digital skills, while 76% of firms think a lack of digital skills would hit their profitability. The reasons for this shortfall as sited by WorldSkills UK, the organisation that commissioned the report, include a lack of understanding and guidance about potential career paths in the digital sector with teachers not understanding possible careers.

Supporting apprenticeships

Apprenticeships offer an effective way of providing the skills the digital sector requires of its employees. PTT is at the forefront of addressing the digital skills gap by supporting the delivery of apprenticeships for ICT and telecommunications companies with its catalogue of online courses. Apart from supplying online courses, PTT assists employers and partner training providers in developing a blended learning approach to training apprentices.

New field operative course

The new Telecoms field operative apprenticeship standard is aimed at those responsible for the installation and maintenance of the access networks that provide residential and business customers with telephony and broadband access to the Internet. PTT’s new online course “Telecoms access networks” covers many of the required knowledge elements of this standard. This and other PTT courses provide a covid-secure way of supporting the delivery of digital apprenticeships.