The French Way : Ensuring digital communication and damage prevention through private initiatives catalysing the nationwide call before you dig regulation implementation and improvement
Damien Schmitz
Damien Schmitz, Jean-Loup Delaveau
Part of the proceedings of

With 4,5 million kilometres of networks and almost 2 millions of works near these networks each year, France has, as any country, the need to ensure the best flow of information between contractors and network operators to prevent damages and protect all stakeholders. This issue, while tackled since 2000 by private players such as Sogelink and a first regulation became more critical after a few major incidents in 2008 including loss of lives. The French government decided to enforce a more stringent regulation, making compulsory both the request from contractors to all networks in the digging area and the registering and obligation to answer for all networks operators. While the government is taking care of the national online repository of every network asset and point of contact, existing private actors like Sogelink were instrumental in the success of the initiative, providing digital services and solutions for both requesters and network operators. This collaboration of a public driven regulation and comprehensive inventory and private companies catalysing the change while creating value through digital tools and innovations appears a good example of framework for an effective call before you dig system. Using fully digital cloud based solutions such as Sogelink’s, actors of the CBYD ecosystem can exchange information in the most efficient and cost effective way. Nowadays more than 30 millions documents are exchanged every year in France and the number of damages was reduced by more than 1/3 in the last 5 years.

The presentation will be explaining in depths what are the results and feedbacks of this French original public/private paradigm and what next steps are now worked on (common background map with PCRS and vector based answers with Star-DT) by all stakeholders.

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