Alan Hawthorne, Service Team Delivery Manager
What is your role in maintaining the network and supporting customers during COVID-19?
My role as field delivery manager is to maintain the day to day operations for our field-based network team, ensuring customers’ visits are complete, network upgrades and faults are completed, that the build and commissioning of our new network nodes is completed on time and getting new networks online as quickly as is possible.
Has your role changed since the lockdown? If so, how?
As I am the only person in the office, I have found myself covering a number of roles to ensure the smooth operation of the business and network, running the warehouse, issuing and configuring equipment as well as my managerial duties; I spend as much time as possible supporting the teams while they are field-based.
Why do you think it is important that you continue to work during COVID-19?
Due to being the closest member of the team to the rural office, which is located just outside Banbury, Oxfordshire, I have elected to keep the office open and work out of the office where necessary to support our field-based teams. This keeps people living in rural communities connected in this unprecedented time.
What do you find most difficult about working during the lockdown? Why?
As we learned about lockdown, our family discovered that our 14-year-old son’s cancer had reoccurred. A blow to us all. I am, now, very much needed at home - balancing that with the responsibilities of my teams and the business is a difficult job. I am working very hard to ensure not only the safety of our customers and staff, but also that of my family. Oscar’s treatment will have a serious effect on his immunity and keeping us all safe is a top priority.
Can you tell us about your proudest moment while working during the lockdown?
We’ve recently upgraded part of the network, making lockdown that bit easier for a number of our customers – one of whom had previously had to connect to 4G from her phone whilst sat in a field! Knowing most of our customers personally, it gives me great satisfaction every time we are able to provide our best service.
Has the response you receive from the public changed since the lockdown?
Some customers are surprised that we are still working, but on the whole we have a positive response, being connected at this time is hugely important and people are all incredibly grateful for the work my teams do.