Interview With A Senior OSP Locate Tech Manager
February 9th, 2024
It’s that time of the month again where we get to introduce you to another incredible member of Team UTOPIA! In today’s installment, we will be talking to Senior OSP Locate Tech Jason Bennett for a behind-the-scenes look into what it’s like to work in the locator department at UTOPIA Fiber.
What’s your name, and position, and how long have you been at UTOPIA Fiber?
My name is Jason Bennett, I am the Senior OSP Locate Manager and I’ve been here for 4 years.
What do you do as the Senior OSP Locate Tech Manager at UTOPIA Fiber?
Damage prevention and I coordinate with multiple managers to make sure jobs and projects get done in a timely manner.
What is the job of a locator?
Our job is to find underground utilities so contractors don’t hit them and paint them out in accordance with blue stakes demands.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
It’s meetings and coordinating with multiple managers who work for me as well as locating utilities.
How do you decide who goes where when assigning locating jobs?
We have a system called UtiliSphere that has areas broken down that go directly to the Locators. Then we manage those tickets to make sure that the Locators are not getting overloaded or getting tickets that they might not be able to handle and then we spread those tickets out to the managers.
How do you guys find the Fiber lines to mark?
We follow a map and then on top of that we hook up with a piece of equipment that sends a radio frequency down the tracer wire and we pick that up with a receiver.
What inspired you to go into this line of work?
I bumped into it on accident and stuck with it. I applied to be a locator, I got the job and stuck with it forever at this point.
What led you to work at UTOPIA Fiber?
I was working at one locating company and my boss knew Keith and then one thing led to another. They interviewed me and here we are 4 years later.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle you face in your position?
Ticketload. There are days where it’s really really high and then we do have our low days but this year it’s been a bit steady. I don’t know what the exact measurement of how many tickets we get in a day but we did 125,000 tickets last year between 17 of us. We do about on average 3 ½ tickets in an hour.
What should people do if they are planning construction, should they call you?
They should call 811. When they do that we will get a ticket through UtiliSphere to mark the UTOPIA Fiber lines.
What’s your favorite thing about working at UTOPIA Fiber?
The people and the atmosphere is different than anywhere else you go.
What do you wish people knew about UTOPIA Fiber?
I wish they knew the difference between good communication and bad communication. Most fiber companies are a GPON network and we’re not. Which means we provide true fiber to the house and I wish people understood that and could see the difference between what you’re getting and what you should be getting.
What’s been your favorite memory you’ve made at UTOPIA Fiber?
I think my first day was probably my favorite experience because it was so different. The Atmosphere is completely different, there’s no way to explain it until you’ve worked here.
.If you were stranded on a desert Island what department at UTOPIA would you want to be stranded with?
The locators. They’ve worked around me long enough that they would know exactly what I was trying to explain to them about how we can either get out of this or live with it.
We hope you enjoyed getting to learn more about our locator team and all that they do to help our network continue to run without interruption! We are so grateful to Jason and his team for the incredible work that they do every day to keep our fiber lines safe and running smoothly!