A year of work in progress – day 149

Day 149 – 3 September 2014

Another day, another dollar and another chance to get back on the horse. I was still smarting after yesterday’s ServCheck and the traffic on the way in was a nightmare (collapsed gas main in Chester le Street) but today I tried to dust myself down and pick myself up again. The chief executive of Broadband Delivery UK was making a visit to us and so my attentions turned to Digital Durham.

We’d never met before. I think this is the third, if not forth chief executive they have had since I got involved with them, not that I had anything to do with the length of their tenure. Chris was in charge of the London Olympics and was involved in the launch of Sky Sports so he has a great pedigree.

It was a great opportunity for us to display our shop window and so we planned to make the best use of the three hours we had.               The first hour was spent in a small meeting with Tony and Neil talking about how the programme is going, where we are with phase one and our plans for phase two. Our invitation to tender for the next phase is complete and is with the suppliers on the framework for consultation. Take up and demand stimulation were also covered and the relationship between this and the relative deprivation across the county. This remains the area we need to focus our resource upon.

We then spent some time getting to meet the rest of the programme board over a sandwich or two. We talked about the importance of partnership with the work we have done to get us to together and the role superfast broadband is going to play in the future economy of the region. The economy is the number one priority for the council and it is good to be doing something that is making a huge difference. Remember this is a social issue rather than a technical one. Of course the subject of money came up and the difficulty of raising match funding in these straightened times.

From there we all went to world headquarters to meet with the rest of the team. The bus looked fantastic gleaming in the rare September sunshine and was a great introduction to the work that goes on at Spennymoor. We whipped through one of our fortnightly Joint Programme Team meetings in the thirty minutes that we had left before Chris had to go back. Alli put together a pack of marketing goodies for him to look at on the long train trip back down south.

It all went swimmingly.

Learning points for today: TLC can mean total land charges; it’s a small world; field marketing is another word for face to face marketing; you can be in the top five and best in class; fibre to the basement is the new name for connectivity into a multi-tenant building and; a little thanks goes a long way.

Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – bad traffic, good programme.

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