News & Insights

Taking the Frustration Away from A55s


We break down why the A55 is so important, highlight the processes involved in clearing blockages in telecoms ducts, and share how MapAll has transformed the efficiency and accuracy of A55 reports, giving an all-encompassing view of the fibre rollout process, and creating strong relationships with Openreach for ISPs. 

What is an A55 and why is it so important?

An A55 is a detailed diagram created to report the location and specifics of blockages in telecom ducts. This process is crucial for fibre rollout projects, as it helps identify and address blockages that can otherwise cause significant delays and increased costs for contractors. The timely production of highly accurate A55s can be game-changing in the swift and timely resolution of blockages, in addition to other potential obstacles and challenges ISPs and contractors can face. 

The issue with blockages

Blockages in telecom ducts present a substantial challenge for contractors. These obstructions can halt progress, leading to extended downtime, missed deadlines, and financial penalties. Traditional methods of managing blockages involve manual sketching and data entry, which are time-consuming and prone to errors. This inefficiency can result in:

  1. Extended downtime: Delays in identifying and clearing blockages can lead to projects being stalled for days or even weeks, leading to missed deadlines and delayed service delivery.
  2. Permitting issues: Obtaining the necessary permits to clear blockages can quickly become a time-consuming, bureaucratic hurdle.
  3. Increased costs: Repeated excavation and repair efforts due to inaccurate information can unnecessarily increase project costs.
  4. Safety hazards: Incorrect information can lead to unnecessary excavations, posing risks to both workers and the public.

How can the A55 process help mitigate delays caused by blockages?

To understand the critical steps involved in the A55 process and how digital tools streamline operations, consider the following breakdown:

Firstly, engineers must identify the blockage using rods and cameras to pinpoint blockages accurately. This allows for precise reporting and swift action to clear the duct ready for fibre installation. The A55 then needs to be created using accurate diagrams to cite and report blockages. Digital tools like MapAll’s app facilitate real-time data capture, reducing errors and improving efficiency.

Once the A55 is created, the accuracy of the information it contains needs to be validated to prevent civil engineers making dangerous, costly and  unnecessary excavations. This is why the A55 must go through a series of checks before being passed on for approval. 

MapAll’s platform includes comprehensive checks, ensuring the information is correct before approval from asset owners, most typically, Openreach,  mitigating the risk of unnecessary excavation and the hazards they create. 

Before excavation commences, engineers must obtain the necessary permits to ensure safe and minimally disruptive work. In addition, nearby utilities must be marked up and barriers must be positioned to ensure safety and compliance. Once everything is in place, the excavation is carefully conducted to clear blockages and repair any damage. Proper backfilling can prevent future issues such as collapsing and subsidence. 

Finally, engineers must document and demonstrate compliance with safety measures to obtain sign-off ahead of completing the project. This documentation, which takes the form of an SPO, is essential for final approval and invoicing.  Mapall enables the SPO and A55 to be stored in the same location, for ease of access to information and swift project completion.

The A55 process is crucial for the successful implementation of fibre rollout projects. With the advent of digital solutions like MapAll, the efficiency and effectiveness of this process have been significantly improved through streamlining the A55 process, but also providing contractors with the fastest routes to clearing more than one issue, to get houses to market and online as quickly as possible.

How does MapAll streamline the A55 process?

MapAll has been designed and customised to address the exact pain points contractors and ISPs face when blockages occur. The platform provides:

  • Real-time tracking to monitor build progress and crew activities instantly. This real-time visibility helps manage resources effectively and ensures timely intervention when issues arise.
  • Accurate mapping using up-to-date network information to plan projects efficiently. Accurate mapping prevents errors that can lead to costly rework.
  • Fast blockage reporting to resolve blockages quickly, reducing delays. MapAll’s digital tools enable engineers to capture and report blockages in minutes, compared to the hours it took with manual methods.
  • A larger scale view than its competitors, collating multiple data points and information sources to provide a comprehensive, well informed approach to the fastest route to completion, minimising wasted cost and unnecessary disruption.

MapAll allows users to create accurate diagrams, obtain necessary approvals, and complete comprehensive documentation with ease. By leveraging MapAll, businesses can streamline workflows, reduce errors, and improve collaboration. 

The A55 process, supported by our expertly built, user-friendly software, empowers telecom professionals to deliver projects with precision, ensuring seamless network adjustments and swift, cost-effective telecom infrastructure deployments. From blockages through to mapping the fibre rollout process, the software is intuitive, and built by industry experts to provide a one-stop solution that is proven to drive business-changing efficiencies. 

Don’t just take our word for it

Truespeed, a telecom company, experienced a dramatic improvement in their A55 process after adopting MapAll:

Before using MapAll, Truespeed submitted 10-15 blockage reports per month. With MapAll, this increased to 40-50 per month. Additionally, the acceptance rate for A55s rose to 98%, and for A55bs to 95%, after implementing MapAll. This improvement is due to the platform’s precise data capture and validation features.

After adopting MapAll, Openreach classified Truespeed as a Preferred Communications Provider, owing to the high standards of A55 forms created using the software, which reduced the audit rate of blockage reports from 90% to 10%. This proved extremely valuable,  both in saving costs, but also in raising Truespeed’s profile and reputation in the sector. 

Fancy a 98% A55 acceptance rate?

That’s what MapAll did for Community Fibre, London’s top-rated ISP on Trustpilot, serving over 1.3 million homes with more than 250,000 subscribed customers. Community Fibre Limited (CFL) faced significant challenges in processing A55 forms for network blockages. Using paper forms and generic mobile apps resulted in inconsistent data, high rejection rates from Openreach, and extensive manual data re-entry. This inefficiency left millions in potential funds unclaimed.

In 2021, CFL adopted the MapAll solution to standardise data collection, improve evidence quality, and integrate directly with Openreach via API, streamlining the submission process—the intuitive interface led to a 100% user adoption rate.

The implementation of MapAll led to substantial improvements:

  • 400% Increase in A55s Managed: From 121 to 659 A55s per month.
  • 100% Increase in A55Bs Managed: From 213 to 431 A55Bs per month.
  • 98% Acceptance Rate: Up from 50%, thanks to enhanced data quality and consistency.

Millions claimed from Openreach due to accurate and efficient blockage reporting.

In short, MapAll has completely revolutionised CFL’s operations. Their network adjustments now boast a 98% quality pass rate, reducing failures and strengthening their collaboration with Openreach. 

Experience how MapAll can take the frustration out of A55s and streamline your fibre rollout operations.  Detect and remove blockages as one part of a systemic solution built to provide fast results. Get a demo today and see the difference our digital solutions can make.

Building fibre networks? You need to MapAll.