Before the end of 2024, Open Dutch Fiber (ODF) wants 23.000 homes in the heart of Amsterdam to be connected to the fibre network. A huge project, requiring very tight preparation. That is why ODF chose Circet as its partner. Circet ensures not only a very precise, but also a very innovative preparation. Tjabin van Bergen, Construction Director ODF and Geert Platenburg, Operations Manager ODF, look back on the extraordinary preparation process.
Connecting 23,000 homes to the fibre network in central Amsterdam, including 4,000 staircase-access houses and 7,000 high-rise connections.
A multiple FTU (distributor) in the stairwell... and ironclad project management.
Safety and quality are priorities
Amsterdam. The city of many canals, narrow streets, trams, countless cyclists, cars ... In other words, it is not an easy environment for laying kilometres of fibre network. "We are carrying out this project in a very complex environment," Tjabin explains. That makes this project unlike any other."
Geert adds: "Getting the cables from one quay to another is a big challenge. In addition, Amsterdam is very “crowded”, including underground. It is full of other utilities and poles on which the city is built."
For this project, ODF had very good reasons to choose Circet as its partner. Tjabin: "Amsterdam was still unknown territory for Circet. We actually found that to be an advantage: this made Circet look at the entire process in a very innovative way. Because of their innovative perspective, we are now going to build the network in a different way than we are used to."
Solution for connections in staircase-access buildings
Geert adds: "We have indeed developed a unique concept to connect all staircase-access buildings - which are typical for Amsterdam. This type of house shares a front door and central hall with about three to five other houses in the property. We normally lay the main network for each property in front of the front door, under the pavement. That would be an impossible task for all these houses, as we would have to work in the public space all the time. Instead, we install a multiple FTU, a kind of distributor, in the stairwell. From that distributor, we connect the houses indoors."
No mapped-out route
The preparations alone took six months. Geert: "For projects in these kinds of areas, there is no predetermined roadmap. That makes project and stakeholder management - there are 15 stakeholders in total, including ...... – absolutely critical."
A workable implementation process
Tjabin: "The biggest civil challenge will be digging under the Overtoom, a busy thoroughfare. We consider the digging itself 'ordinary work', but its organisation is very complex." Geert adds: "By identifying all risks in advance and carefully outlining the processes, you end up with a workable implementation process. And then you can get started."