ICL: the specialist provider of fibre solutions

10 Jul , 2019  

Integrated Communications Ltd. (ICL) is one of Ireland’s premier providers of optical fibre services. Building Ireland had a chat with MD Padraig Kelly and CFO Sonya Walshe to find out more about this industry-leading operation, which has been providing essential services to the telecommunications industry for almost a quarter of a century.

Established in Carlow in 1995, ICL provides services ranging from full fibre turnkey solutions, network surveying, wayleaving and installations (residential and B2B) to network build and maintenance. They can provide full optical fibre services to customers, ranging from installation and fibre blowing to splicing and testing.

ICL has been providing services to the telecommunications industry since its inception and has adapted to the growing needs and demands of the industry, providing skilled technicians, project management and the latest technology.

Managing Director Padraig Kelly reveals: “Our main services are fibre splicing and testing; fibre cable blowing and installation; network surveys; and wayleaving as a part of that.”

Generating direct gainful employment for a team of 50 vastly-experienced and fully-qualified personnel – including a mixture of fibre splicers / testers, surveyors, wayleavers and fibre blowers – ICL provides critical services to a who’s who of telecommunications, network and information infrastructure providers across Ireland and the UK, including the likes of Actavo, Obelisk, Secto, Siro, M & M Contractors, Netwatch, Gaeltec, Quasar, UPC / Virgin Media, Axione, BT, ReachActive, etc.

ICL has played a key role in the installation of Fibre networks in Ireland to date. “Fibre optics is crucial to the telecommunications and highspeed broadband infrastructure where we predominantly operate. We made a decision a few years ago to specialise in this area,” confirms Sonya Walshe, CFO.

“We used to do a lot of coax cables for transmitting television signals but we decided to go down this fibre route and hired in specialists in splicing and testing,” Padraig continues. “The networks are being upgraded and all the main players are introducing fibre networks. It’s all about high-speed broadband these days and fibre is a key part of this.”

The work is highly specialised and a significant investment has been undertaken by ICL over the last number of years.  Each of ICL’s service and installation vehicles carry specialist equipment and products required to meet client standards. “Splicing and Testing Fibre optics is a very technical process and requires precise attention to detail” Padraig notes.

In Cavan in 2013, ICL participated in a pilot project in partnership with ReachActive for ESB / Vodafone (now known as SIRO – one of Ireland’s largest Fibre to the Building (FTTB) operators delivering speed, reliability and instant access). The very first trial to bring broadband to homes in Ireland, the project entailed using the existing electricity network to provide 100% fibre broadband directly into residential homes or businesses enabling speeds of up to 1GB per second.

ICL were approached to pilot this project based on their proven history in project management and their status as specialist providers of fibre solutions. They provided a full turnkey solution, comprising design, fibre build, fibre testing and Fibre Installation to the Building. Following the successful completion of this Fibre to the Building trial, ICL have since secured several other contracts working on the SIRO project.

ICL’s vast experience of working on various networks means they fully understand the technical workings behind these networks. They provide a dedicated service for all areas and work closely with clients and partners to ensure project specs and deadlines are adhered to. Taking a partnership approach with all their clients is what ICL feels gives added value to any project. A key company value of ICL is to deliver high levels of skill and expertise; meeting customer demands and expectations within a highly competitive market.

They adhere to strict Health & Safety policies, ensuring that the highest industry standards are implemented and monitored closely. ICL are proud to have retained their ISO accreditations and believe it is a testament to their investment in both employees and systems. They hold the following accreditations; ISO 9001:2015- Quality Management Systems, ISO 14001:2015, Environmental Management Systems and OHSAS 18001:2007, Health & Safety Management.

ICL believe that training and upskilling is key to providing quality service to their clients. Their team of knowledgeable technicians have accreditations ranging from City & Guilds Level 2 Fibre Optic Cabling to Sign, Lighting & Guarding and First Aid. All technicians carry Safe Pass cards and Manual Handling certificates.

Fibre optic technicians complete the installation, testing and maintenance of fibre optic cable systems using fusion splicers and OTDRs. They are experienced in the Fusion splicing of single and multimode fibre optic cable, and have experience of FTTB installations and blown fibre.

ICL have completed a large volume of network surveys throughout Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. Their experienced surveyors boast many years’ experience working on various networks (new or old). Surveys can be carried out on a site-by-site or project basis obtaining the required data and information as specified by the client.

Optimising the use of latest technology is recognised as key to improving the customer experience. In this area, through a custom-built workflow management system, Simply Workflow, all data is captured electronically improving efficiency and providing real-time information via a paperless system.

When asked what he considers to be the key to the company’s success, the MD quickly answers: “The quality of our people and the quality of our work. We can provide a complete service and all our people have the credentials and capabilities to work on the fibre network. The experience and quality of our people enables us to secure a lot of repeat business.”

The business has established itself as the fibre solutions provider of choice and Padraig says they are not ready to rest on their laurels: “We intend to invest in people and broaden the list of customers we work for. The launch of the National Broadband Plan would mean additional work in our field of expertise as there would be a bigger piece of the proverbial pie for everybody.”

“One of the biggest challenges is getting skilled resources,” Sonya adds. “People are key to our success and we are lucky to have a team of knowledgeable technicians and support staff working at ICL. We are getting a lot of business in the telecommunications industry through word of mouth on the back of successfully-completed projects but we are also always actively seeking new business and new revenue streams.”

Padraig concludes. “Spin-offs and ancillary work from building the network would be what the future eventually holds for us. As well as focusing fully on the here and now, you have to be thinking ahead all the time and trying to determine what services will be in demand in the future.”

Integrated Communications Ltd.,

Deerpark Business Park,

Dublin Road,

County Carlow.

Tel: 059 9723340

Web: www.icltd.ie

Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, March/April, Vol 5 No 3