World-leading superfast fibre broadband is to be installed in every home and business in Jersey with help from a fleet of Renault Trafic and Master panel vans.
Comprising of 10 Trafic and nine Master models, the fleet has been bought by JT (formally Jersey Telecoms) to use solely in the delivery of its ‘Gigabit Jersey’ programme – the award-winning internet service provider’s (ISP) strategy that will provide everyone on Jersey with the opportunity to benefit from full FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) broadband.
JT has laid more than one million metres of cabling throughout the island to complete the fibre network’s backbone.
All schools are connected to fibre with a total of 50% of Jersey’s broadband users now on the advanced network and enjoying internet speeds of up to one gigabyte a second – the fastest for a residential network in the western world.
The Renault LCVs will be used by JT’s technicians in the ongoing installation of the advanced fibre network that replaces the island’s existing copper network, which dates from 1948 and until now has been used to provide broadband services. The upgrade will make Jersey one of the most connected places in the world.
The Trafics chosen were a short wheelbase, low roof (SL27) format with the dCi 115 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine, while the Masters were specified with a medium wheelbase, medium roof (MM33) and the dCi 125 2.3-litre turbodiesel engine.
Both models feature the Business level of trim, which includes DAB radio with Bluetooth, electronic stability control with hill start assist and Grip Xtend; which allows the vehicle to regain traction on loose ground such as sand, mud or snow; electric front windows and remote central locking.
Kevin Hunt, procurement manager at JT, said: “Our vans will only cover a few miles each day but they will be in constant use and are absolutely critical to the success of the gigabit project.
“Our criteria was quite unique as we needed vehicles that could accommodate a lot of heavy, bulky kit and still have enough room for operatives to work in the back, but at the same time they had to, literally, be a good fit for the thin local roads.
"Although offering plenty of space and a good payload, we found that the width of the Renault vans was especially suited to the island’s infrastructure – something that was very important as with FTTP broadband we are running cables right up to the door of every house."