Name: Sajeev Thomas.
Job Title: Backbone Supervisor. Time with G.Network: 2.7 years.
At the core of London’s fibre future - an Interview with Backbone Supervisor, Sajeev Thomas.
What has your career path been? How did you come to join G.Network?
Before G.Network, I studied Computer Science for 4 years at university, and worked in various IT and development roles across the world, everywhere from India to New Zealand.
After moving back to the UK and starting my job search, I saw that G.Network was hiring for Fibre Specialists, so I applied and was lucky enough to be offered the job.
Since then, I’ve buckled down and worked my way up from Fibre Specialist to my current role as Backbone Supervisor.
And what’s your current role like? What does being a Backbone Supervisor involve?
Whereas most broadband companies piggyback off existing infrastructure, G.Network is building its own from scratch, and that comes with huge responsibility.
The backbone teams that I supervise play a key part in bringing full-fibre broadband to the streets of London. We’re the ones building and maintaining the core network.
From handling site issues to planning jobs allocating projects to the correct teams, I make sure my teams have everything they need to get the job done both on time and to a high standard.
Why is your role important? What impact does it have?
As a Backbone Supervisor, I’m the first point of contact for my backbone teams.
So, as soon as a project gets dispatched, it’s my responsibility to make sure that my teams complete it successfully. So, if any issues arise, I’m there and ready to implement quick and effective solutions.
We’ve got a strong community built around team spirit and helping each other, and my focus is on making sure my Fibre Specialists have everything they need to excel in their roles.
What does an average day look like for you?
Our work is incredibly varied and fast-paced, and no two jobs are the same.
I spend a large part of my time on-site, but I try to break my day down into two chunks:
In the morning, I conduct site visits and touch base with my Fibre Specialists to see how they’re getting on. I’m always available by phone or email, but if there are any pressing issues, this is their chance to discuss them with me face-to-face. I’ll always do my best to address any urgent issues there and then.
In the afternoon, I set my sights on tackling any outstanding and non-urgent issues, alongside reporting on performance and planning upcoming projects so they’re ready to be assigned to my team.
Once I’ve added any upcoming projects into our system, our Fibre Specialist teams on the ground get real-time notifications that tell them exactly where their next job is, so they can focus on doing what they do best.
And what about a member of your team. What does an average day look like for them?
The Fibre Specialists in our backbone team are 100% field-based. Rain or shine, they work across London to get the streets live with full-fibre broadband. If you’re not a fan of office life, this is definitely where you want to be.
As part of a 2-person team, our Fibre Specialists climb down into chambers to carefully lay cables ready for our installation teams to connect them to customer sites.
Fibre cables are as thin as a strand of hair and incredibly brittle, so their role as a Fibre Specialist is heavily process-driven. As a result, they need high attention to detail and a steady hand to follow the step-by-step instructions that they’re provided with.
Why a career in fibre?
Right now, London’s internet is mostly copper - and copper is incredibly restrictive. With the importance of the internet to day-to-day life, there’s an incredible amount of strain on these copper networks, and they’re not cut out for the job.
As a result, people in London are left with pretty miserable broadband speeds.
However, fibre brings limitless speed and capacity, so when we install full-fibre broadband on a site, that customer could end up with speeds that are 18x faster than what they’d had the day before. That’s game-changing.
Fibre is the future, and with that comes endless career opportunities. If you’re hard-working and reliable, a career in fibre could be your place to shine.
Who are you looking to join your team?
Because fibre is such a new and fast-growing market, we don’t require previous industry experience.
As a result, we focus more on an individual’s skills and personality traits over their professional background.
For example, you might have a retail background, but if you’re a natural problem solver with a keen eye for detail, a career as a Fibre Specialist could be the perfect next move for you.
If you’ve got those all-important skills, you’ll begin your G.Network journey with thorough training at our state-of-the-art Fibre Academy, where you’ll learn everything you need to know about building our fibre network.
Why G.Network? What makes it a great place to work?
I’ve worked with companies of all sizes across the world, but over the last few years, G.Network has absolutely amazed me.
The teams I’ve worked with have always been receptive to ideas and combined with working on a brand-new network, the opportunities for both personal and professional development is second-to-none.
G.Network has done so much for me as an individual. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them to anyone considering a career change or looking for their next steps.
What can you expect from a career at G.Network?
From initial Fibre Academy training to on-the-job upskilling, G.Network invests in you as an individual.
If you’ve got a strong work ethic, are willing to learn new things and can be flexible in fast-paced environments, there’ll be clearly defined opportunities for career progression ready to be taken.
What advice would you give to someone considering a career in your field?
No matter your background and no matter where you go, be honest and demonstrate a commitment to your job. The rest will fall into place.
I’ve been with G.Network since the start. I’ve learned the trade and now have the opportunity to share my knowledge with my teams and help nurture G.Network’s next generation of supervisors, managers and more. That’s incredibly rewarding.