Leveraging The Katapult Pro Platform For OTMR Applications
Updated: Mar 20
A few months ago, we wrote an article about how the Katapult Pro platform can be leveraged to improve the third-party and joint-use pole attachments process, using our internal workflow as a case study. The new one-touch make ready and self-help rules align very well with the existing Katapult methodology, making the platform a great fit for the changing pole attachments process. Here are a few of the unique ways Katapult Pro can be leveraged to accommodate OTMR and speed up safe access to poles:
1. Route Determination
We talk about route determination often because it plays such a crucial role in the pole attachments and broadband deployment process. While there aren't always a ton of options when planning your build, avoiding certain types of situations can save you tens of thousands of dollars and months of headaches dealing with permitting hassles.
The Katapult Pro platform is designed to make the field workflow as lean as possible, allowing your team to field collect multiple potential routes at a very low cost. Then, back in the office, designers can quickly calculate the make ready engineering required to accommodate a new attachment, allowing your team to pick an optimal route. A miscalculation often requires a re-visit, increasing your field exposure and incurring unnecessary costs. Using Katapult Pro, you can collect multiple potential routes in the same amount of time, and have the assurance that re-visits won't be necessary.
Additionally, the Make Ready Tool creates a real-time heat map of simple, medium, and complex make ready with your design, giving stakeholders an easy way to view the problem spots in any given route—at a glance.
2. Bifurcate Applications
On the surface, the fundamental problem with one-touch make ready applications is that so few routes qualify for the process. While it's true that almost every application will require some form of complex (electrical) make ready, our strategy is to split up each design into two parts: poles with simple (or no) make ready, and poles with complex make ready. Splitting up jobs is simple using Katapult Pro's Copy Nodes power tool, and it allows users to submit an application to the pole owner using the traditional methods, as well as elect for the OTMR process on the poles that qualify. This results in cost savings for the attacher, and should also take some pressure off the pole owner due to lower volumes requiring full data collection and engineering.
An important detail to note is that bifurcating applications, in general, will not accelerate your project's timeline. Because electrical make ready will be required at locations interspersed throughout your design, the OTMR process is better equipped to save your team money than it is to shorten your timelines. Self-help is a better tool to decrease your time-to-market, as it allows make ready construction to be performed for all parties by an approved contractor once foreign utilities have failed to meet required deadlines.
3. Sharing Jobs
Depending on your workflow, handing off engineering data to another party may seem like a recipe for disaster. We've seen the danger of diverging data as spreadsheets and calculations are worked on and edited in different places, which is part of why Katapult Pro was built as a collaborative, real-time web application. Though electing for OTMR may mean handing off survey data to one or two engineering contractors, the Katapult Pro platform ensures that all parties are operating under the same assumptions and provides accountability due to increased transparency and engineering visibility.
4. Post Construction Inspections
As we've discussed before, OTMR and Self-Help take some power out of the pole owners' hands. This can be dangerous because protecting the public, pole workers, and electrical distribution assets is of the utmost importance. The primary way that pole owners will hold approved contractors accountable is with post-construction inspections. Documenting the final state of the pole ensures that distribution standards are being met and that make ready construction follows the engineering plan.
Katapult Pro has a robust PCI workflow, allowing solo or two-person crews to quickly photo document poles after construction is complete. If the initial survey was performed in Katapult Pro, the PCI workflow is a lean stack that uses previous measurements and make ready engineering calls to quickly calibrate the PCI photos and verify that the construction work was done correctly.
Thanks for reading! We're looking for partners to conduct FREE one-touch make ready attachment applications in local service territories, as a part of our overarching goal to build the industry standard solution for the pole attachments process. Let us know you're interested by emailing us at email@example.com!