Years of hard work pay off

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An innovative young company has invented a product for communications giant Openreach to help speed up the rollout of fibre optic broadband across the country.

Permashutter, which is based at the Portfolio Innovation Centre at the University of Northampton and specialises in the design and manufacture of lower carbon products for the construction industry, has received “approved supplier” status with Openreach, the infrastructure division of BT, for its Polylid innovation.

Technical director Steve Willis said: “This is fantastic news and comes after three years of hard work for our team.

“We are delighted to have achieved approved supplier status with Openreach.

“We have been working closely with the Openreach innovation team, analysing its civil engineering methods and then supporting in the design of new products which crucially save time and money and reduce the carbon footprint.”

Polylid is a recycled polymer product which is used to seal the base of telecom street cabinets instead of having to use toxic resins.

Polylid has now been approved by Openreach for use on its network and is currently being installed nationally on the Next Generation Access (NGA) programme, which is providing faster broadband across the UK.

Openreach’s Andy Pilejko said: “This product demonstrates Permashutter’s aptitude towards innovation, partnership working and technical expertise.

“We are pleased to be associated with this solution and we look forward to working with Permashutter in the future to develop the applications and techniques further and use the solution to improve the build of our fibre network.”

Another of the company’s products, polymer headwalls, which are a quick and cost-effective alternative to casting headwalls in situ, are used widely by the Environment Agency.

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