A year in the life of the ITP

With the remainder of 2017’s calendar rapidly filling up, here’s a snap shot of what ITP members got up to in 2016 – from Insight Trips and Insight Calls to seminars and Awards.

SEMINAR – TELECOMS SECURITY

ITP delegates and experts from across the telecom sector descended on London’s BT ITP seminarCentre to share latest warnings and suggested solutions in the ever more challenging topic of telecom security. Presenters included: Paul Adams – Marketing Director, Nokia; Ben Azvine – Global Head of Security Research and Innovation, BT; Paul King – Director, Threat Intelligence, Cisco; Gavin Thomas – Strategic Account; Director, Consumer Security EMEA, Intel. Watch the video here if you missed it.

INSIGHT VISIT – BT TOWER

One of ITP’s favourite Insight events, the iconic London landmark is known as the hub of UK media and broadcast activity. Members enjoyed in-depth behind the scenes tours of the Media and Broadcast control room, presentations from the tower-based team and access to areas which the public never see – including the dramatic outside viewing platform approximately 600 feet above London.

GIGABIT COPPER CONFERENCE

Ten ITP members headed out to Brussels after winning an exclusive competition to win tickets to the Total Telecom Conference on Gigabit Copper. The Conference included speakers from Nokia, Swisscom and Positron.

SEMINAR – THE HISTORY AND FUTURE OF TELECOMS

The ITP Seminar provided an overview of the big trends over the last 30 years and the ITP seminar 2016major trends now being seen which will drive the industry forward. ‘Convergence’ was the watchword – it has been a goal of telecoms for many years and has shaped the evolution plans and developments but, until now, has remained elusive and incomplete. Now, given the major trends in computing, storage, cloud and software, convergence is almost inevitable and will significantly change the skills required of professionals in our industry, as the seminar revealed. A lively panel session pondered a number of questions around the ‘so what’ of the technology – how will this impact on our lives and our businesses? There was also some concern about potential show stoppers – is the Internet scalable to the degree required for IoT, for example?

INSIGHT VISIT – RADIO AND RIGGING13612326_1046935215341598_4627521998643069739_n

ITP members reached dizzy heights in July when they headed out to the Radio and Rigging training facility in Markfield, Leicester. Always a breathtaking visit, the trip saw members climbing the 300-foot Telecoms Security High Tower, making a mini rig, building a dish and – to add drama to the already exhilarating event – carrying out a dummy stretcher rescue.

INSIGHT VISIT – THE INFORMATION AGE GALLERY

ITP’s guided Tour of the Information Age Gallery with John Liffen, Curator of untitledCommunications, celebrated more than 200 years of innovation and communication technologies. ITP member Tom Chambers MCP MITP from Infrastructure Delivery Control, Openreach, was amongst the attendees. “The visit to the Science Museum was both immensely enjoyable and a bit scary,” said Tom. “To be given the opportunity to visit to the Information Age Gallery, escorted and informed by the Curator, was something which I never imagined could happen. The scary bit was to stand in front of some of the displays and realise that I was looking at equipment that I used to install which was now in a Museum!”

INSIGHT VISIT – BAWDSEY RADAR

Bawdsey Radar, Suffolk, is the world’s first operational radar station. Steeped in history, members experienced an ITP stepback-in-time, witnessing the birth of technology that changed the world as we know it. The visit was followed up with ITP’s Insight Talk on Radar by inspirational member Ray Hooper. Listen in if you missed it.

CORPORATE – MEET THE ROYAL LOGISTICS CORPS

The Royal Logistics Corps (RLC) Foundation became an ITP Corporate Associate. ITP visited its home, Dettingen House at the Princess Royal Barracks in Deepcut, Surrey, for a day of induction and celebration.

INSIGHT VISIT – INMARSAT HEADQUARTERS, LONDON

ITP members were privileged to tour Inmarsat’s hi-spec conference centre and control room where they witnessed examples of exactly what the company does on a global scale. More information was gleaned by the subsequent presentations on Inmarsat and Global Government. With the media spotlight on fibre to the home, a visit to a satellitefocussed operation was an intriguing twist for ITP guests.

INSIGHT VISIT – NETWORK HYBRID ACADEMY

A visit to BT Openreach’s Network Hybrid Academy, Stansted, gave ITP members a 14355137_1106608302707622_4505626442883978893_nunique opportunity take part in hands-on experiences throughout the day. The visitors were introduced to everything from cabinets, footway boxes and poles in the street, to the equipment that is typically seen in homes and businesses. All equipment that is normally seen in a busy local telephone exchange were on show, ranging from a System X switch and Points of Presence (PoPs) to the Main Distribution Frame (MDF).A thoroughly enlightening visit which also included an overview of the copper and fibre networks, Next Generation Access, Ethernet, DSL/Broadband, Network Security, E-side pressure, WLR/Copper and Line Testing.

INSIGHT VISIT – BT CABLES

Cable manufacturing at BT Cables’ Manchester plant began over 115 years ago, developing into a global operation. As ITP members found, over half of the massive 28-acre site at the facility is dedicated to the supply chain and logistics. This supports both internal customers within the BT Group as well as a growing portfolio of external customers across key market sectors including telecommunications (copper and fibre), transport, buildings and industrial. The supply chain team is closely integrated into other functions on site and co-ordinates activity through daily operational meetings involving sales, procurement, planning, and manufacturing.

INSIGHT VISIT – ARQIVA TOWER

ITP members received a full tour of Arqiva’s 330m-high Emley Moor transmitter in West Yorkshire. Taller than both The Shard and BT Tower, the mega structure looks after 1.5million people who rely on the mast for their digital TV channels. Alongside the tower’s role to broadcast TV and radio across Yorkshire, Arqiva has its UK transmission headquarters based on site. The tower also delivers TV to five continents 24/7, 61 airline lounges use its Wi-Fi Network along with 85,000 hotel rooms and 75 UK motorway service stations.

INSIGHT VISIT – BT ARCHIVES

BT Archives preserves the historical information of BT and its predecessor telecom and telegraph companies from the mid part of the 1800s up to the present day. Members learned how the year after the demonstration of the first telephone in 1877 by Alexander Graham Bell, The Telephone Company was launched (from which BT is descended), introducing the UK’s first telephone service. Just 30 or so years later, the company could be found designing and installing the telephone for Scott’s famous Antarctic expedition (1910). And then came the two World Wars and the advent of Colossus. Radio-telephones became the ‘next big thing’, and the paparazzi of the day captured Prince Philip making one of the first calls from the Post Office (PO) research centre at Dollis Hill in 1955. The first Radiophone (car phone) service appeared in 1959, and in 1968 the world’s first ever digital exchange opened in Kensington, London.

EVENTS – ITP FAMILY CHRISTMAS EVENT

The much loved ITP Christmas Events took place at venues across the country at the end David_Hallof last year – The University of Salford (November 26), The Birmingham Repertory Theatre Ltd (December 3), BT’s Adastral Park (December 7), The Museum of London (December 10) and Glasgow Caledonian University (December 17). The annual Christmas events aim to inspire young people about Science and Technology and welcome children from the ages of upward.

AWARDS – ITP ANNUAL DINNER AND AWARDSmatt-gobey-4

The winners of this year’s ITP Awards were presented with trophies at a glittering Awards ceremony at London’s Radisson Blu hotel in December. The prestigious event included a champagne reception, live entertainment and a three course dinner. Hosted by Ann Widdecombe, the Awards applauded apprentices and mentors in the telecoms sector.

For more information, or to book visit the ITP’s events page. Visit our Facebook page for all our Insight visit pictures. 

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ITP members go behind the scenes at the BBC

Twenty-two ITP members were recently treated to a behind the scenes look at the BBC and Salford University as part of our quarterly ‘Insight’ days.

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The tour included backstage access to the BBC Breakfast studio, the BBC’s largest soundstage, one of the biggest studios in Europe (where The Voice is filmed), a sneak peek at future technology (OLED / drones etc), and a visit to the Radio 5 Live studio. Members heard how the site is managed, and how the telecoms systems are operated.  The day ended with a visit to the University of Salford’s campus where they teach future BBC employees.
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ITP CEO Adam Oliver said “It was fascinating to see how the BBC manages such a large and complex site, and to understand the role of telecoms within this vast organisation. I’m delighted to have been able to give our members this unique opportunity.”
Insight events are available to members on a quarterly basis. For a list of upcoming events visit: https://www.theitp.org/calendar/

For all the photos from the day, see our Facebook album.