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Briton Ferry Residents Vent Anger at New BT Superfast Broadband Cabinet

Friday, November 16th, 2012 (8:09 am) - Score 1,254

Two residents of Shelone Road in the south Wales (UK) town of Briton Ferry (Llansawel) have expressed anger and frustration towards BTOpenreach engineers, whom were allegedly rude to them, after one of BT’s new superfast broadband (FTTC) street cabinets was installed outside their home.

The residents, Debra Phillips and her partner David Gray, claim that they “hadn’t been given any notice about it” and that the engineers were allegedly rude to them when they queried what was going on and why the 1.6 metre high green box had been placed outside of their home (BT aren’t required to give locals notice of such developments).

According to This is South Wales (shows a picture of the cabinet in place), the couple were also told by a local estate agent that the new cabinet “could devalue the property“, which is despite a growing number of surveys suggesting that it could actually add value to have access to the best superfast broadband speeds (currently up to 80Mbps via FTTC).

A Spokeswoman for BT said:

We are going to investigate the alleged rudeness as this is something of great concern to us.

We understand Miss Phillips’s concerns regarding the location of our cabinet. We will look for the best location to place it to provide as many customers as possible with the option to have our fibre based broadband in their homes and businesses.”

Typically such complaints are nothing new, although in this case the high wall in front of the couple’s home is actually almost a foot taller than the cabinet and thus it’s hard to take this situation as seriously as some of the perhaps more legitimate complaints of past stories (e.g. cabinets obstructing physical access or almost completely blocking windows etc.).

Ultimately we think such boxes are more often than not a small price to pay for the potentially huge benefits that having access to superfast broadband can bring, although in some cases their placement can indeed be a matter of legitimate concern.

The newly proposed Growth and Infrastructure Bill (GIB), which is currently being debated and pledges to soften existing planning restrictions even further, could potentially lead to a rise in related complaints. Never the less many see it as a necessary step to help cut costs and boost the speed of making superfast broadband available to 90% of UK people by spring 2015.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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12 Responses
  1. Avatar dragoneast says:

    People want the broadband but don’t want the cabinets. What’s wrong with that?

    In the modern west where we’ve all been brought up on comics and cartoons, and watch all the advertisements, you can have everything and anything you want and with no consequences whatsoever, can’t you?

  2. Avatar FibreFred says:

    It must be a smaller cab than usual, I can’t even see it with the naked eye 😉

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      As per the article :), follow the link for a picture of the cabinet. Sadly we don’t live locally and thus have no permission to re-print the original articles picture, so I had to find it via Street View and took a shot of the area with a wider angle.

    2. Avatar FibreFred says:

      🙂 I’m only joking, yeah I mean they certainly can’t see it from their own home that is for sure, you can imagine complaining if they had a low wall but… I dunno some people

    3. Avatar mark says:

      what are you talking about have you got a peanut for a brain how would you like a 5ft steel box outside your house there are plenty of places they could of put that box. the otherside of the road or even where the old bt box was on the corner of the street or even better use a flush manhole cover instead of that ugly thing.

    4. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Hidden behind a wall on the public footpath ? I would have no problem at all

  3. Avatar kirk says:

    Me and my friend are looking at a house/flat to rent. One of our priorities is that the speed of the broadband is very good for us to do our work, therefore I would actually like one of these cabinet in front of our house 🙂

  4. Avatar Bob2002 says:

    Bad news – ugly cabinet outside house.
    Good news – very cheap fibre on demand upgrade.

  5. Avatar Andrew says:

    Yikes I reckon Nimbyism is spreading to Cymru! I would love to challenge the estate agent on the cabinet devaluing the house prices!

  6. Avatar zemadeiran says:

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t….

    I did not realise that their property rights extend to the curb???

    The contractor should be fined by BT for the lack of information, transparency and civility toward the couple in question.

    Please do not piss on me and tell me it’s raining…

  7. Avatar Darren says:

    I wonder if they are enjoying their superfast broadband yet!

    They see it as a negativem, a perspective buyer may see it as a possitive, I know I would.

  8. Avatar RD says:

    Well to be fair it has to go somewhere and upset someone.If it was me i would of brought the engineers some tea and biscuits and asked how soon i could be hooked up.How much to run a fibre cable from that cab? £200? Lucky gits!!

    Anyways i dont get why thier so upset.The steps and wall to thier house is not only ugly and lacks paint but its dirty.Hell i think that house and its lack of paint would de value it more than the BT cab.

    might want to get a powerhose out first

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