06/08/2021

A what3words address is being provided in almost half of all calls and a quarter of chats reporting damage to Openreach.

Openreach looks after 192 million kilometres of network cable, 110,000 green cabinets, and 4.9 million telephone poles and junction boxes across the UK. It keeps homes, businesses, and emergency services connected, so when part of its network is damaged, it’s vital that it can respond quickly. To do so, engineers need to know exactly where the problem is, and as many of Openreach’s poles and overhead wires are in rural or remote areas, with no address and few identifying features, this can be a challenge. Which is why what3words is so useful, both for Openreach and for members of the public.

How what3words is helping Openreach to help you
what3words has divided the world into 3-metre squares and given each one a what3words address, made up of a unique combination of three words. For example, the precise location of Openreach’s Head Office in London can be found at ///lock.factor.tall.

This makes it easy for the public to report the exact location of an incident – whether damaged equipment, vandalism, graffiti, or safety concerns. A what3words address is as accurate as GPS coordinates, but much easier to share over the phone or radio. It’s the simplest and quickest way to communicate an exact location, which allows to Openreach to respond as quickly as possible. Instead of having to ‘pole-hunt’, its engineers know exactly where to go to fix the issue.

The use of a what3words address in reporting to us is growing all the time, with nearly half of all calls and a quarter of chats providing one. Chris Sheldrick, the founder and CEO of what3words, summed it up best: “By adopting what3words, Openreach is making it really easy for the public to report damage and for their operational teams to improve efficiency. Being able to communicate a location is also critical in the event of an emergency”.

Visit https://www.openreach.com to learn more about the UK’s digital network business.

To hear more about how what3words can help your organisation to run more efficiently and keep customers safe, get in touch by clicking the button below.

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