D-side Copper Telecoms

“D-side Copper Cable Jointing & Testing” covers our training courses for BT work on the local loop copper access network, and other external copper telecoms networks such as Network Rail & Highways Agency Communications Cabling.

telecoms cable terminationD-side is the term used for the copper communications cabling on the ‘Distribution’ side of the BT local exchange. These are the cables that go from the exchange, to distribute telephone and broadband services to client homes, businesses and other organisations.

Since the majority of homes and business premises in the UK are connected to this distribution, or D-side, network, this is a huge network and a significant asset to BT. As with any large network there are continuous maintenance and connection issues, that demand a large and skilled work force to address. There is more information on the BT copper network and typical cable jointing work and job roles below.

D-side Copper Cable Jointing Training Course

An Open Awards (OA) accredited course at level 2 with a duration of 5 days or longer depending on trainee’s previous experience and requirements. Covers skills required to work as copper telecoms jointers on the BT D-side network. This is currently an area with demand for trained staff, and the prospect of a long and rewarding career for hard workers.

D-side Copper Telephone Cable Testing

An Open College Network (OCN) accredited course at level 3 with a duration from 5-days to around 10-days depending on previous cable test and measurement experience. Covers test, evaluation and analysis skills required to work as copper cable testers or faultsmen on the BT D-side telephone network. Details…

BT Telephone Cable Jointer Training

D-side cable jointing is telephone cable jointing with copper cables containing up to 100 pairs of copper wires. These cables are installed underground for new build, but many incumbent telephone operators, like BT in the UK, have a huge overhead D-side cable network that must be maintained. Indeed this distribution side of the network is arguable the most valuable, and so there is a need for cable jointers and poling gangs to replace the cables and telegraph poles.

Both our D-side courses are mostly run as company events, but we can also run them as public courses “on Demand”, that is, for 2-3 or more people booking together we can schedule a public course open to individual bookings at Lucid Training CentreDetails…

BT D-side Cable Jointing Work

Since deregulation and privatisation of many traditional telephony companies, there has been a huge reduction in the numbers of people being trained to work on these copper telephone cables. Indeed much of the work on the BT network is now doen by BT contractors, and without long term contracts to justify the investments they have not been able to train the hundreds of new telephone cable jointers and telegraph pole erectors required by the industry.

D-side cable jointing is skilled work, with BT and their contractors demanding a high quality standard in the jointing of their cables. The work is mostly outdoors and can involve either underground cables or overhead cables, but there is also the possibility of some indoor work or working at street cabinets. The variety of work means that it takes a long time to become a fast and efficient cable jointer able to tackle work on all parts of the D-side network. This can mean that when first employed as a cable jointer rewards are modest, but with increasing skill levels it is possible for a BT cable jointer to make a very comfortable living.

Lucid’s telephone cable jointing training courses and qualifications are a way into this industry as a skilled cable jointer and a route to a rewarding career. See our careers page for more information.

Many of the jobs for cable jointers will be with BT contractors or sub-contractors, rather than directly with BT – although we have trained cable jointers who have been poached by BT from their contractors! The skills are also applicable to some other organisations who utilise copper cable, and hence requires skilled cable jointers, examples of note are Network Rail and the Highways Agency and their contractors.

Basic Skills to become a D-side Copper Cable Jointer

In order to work as a copper D-side cable jointer, trainees will need good hand eye coordination, attention to detail, and not badly colour blind. The work includes a manual element, handling equipment and cables, and so requires a good level of physical fitness, and a head for heights can be useful as some cables are overhead on telegraph poles.

In addition to these basic requirements, trainee cable jointers will need to do a training course and demonstrate some cabling skills in order to get a ‘start’ with a contractor. An additional qualification to the specialist cabling skills, that is often a benefit is the New Roads and Streetworks Act (NRSWA), which is required by at least one worker in each gang.

Network Rail Cable Jointers and Testers

To work on the rail network cables operated by Network Rail, you are required to be multi-skilled in that their cables are both fibre optic and copper cables. This aside the D-side cable jointing skills are transferable, but workers are also required to have track safety certification.

Highways Agency Cable Jointers

The UK Highways Agency have a network of cables running up and down the UK’s trunk routes. These cables are fibre optic and copper based cables used for traffic cameras and signs on motorways and some other trunk routes. As with BT and Network Rail, although they have their own staff, much of the cable jointing work is done by contractors.