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BT Disguise UK Superfast Broadband Street Cabinets with Vinyl Wraps

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013 (8:19 am) - Score 5,576

BTOpenreach, which manages access to BT’s national telecoms network in the United Kingdom, appears to have found a new way of using customised Vinyl Wraps to help camouflage some of their superfast broadband (FTTC) street cabinets.

Most people will be able to recognise BT’s street cabinets as being both green and fairly big (the new FTTC cabinets tend to be 1.6 metres high), which in some areas can make them look a bit out of place and perhaps even ugly. Openreach does paint some of its cabinets to better match their surroundings but until now nothing more extensive has been announced.

An Openreach Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk in October 2012:

We make every effort to site new fibre cabinets in a sensitive manner, in co-operation with the local authority, whilst still ensuring that residents stand to benefit from the next generation of broadband technology. We are also constantly evaluating and refining our approach to deployment, and this includes engaging with local authorities on ways to reduce the visual impact of cabinets.”

Last year the UK government’s culture spokesman, Viscount Younger, strongly suggested that “plans [were] afoot to camouflage” the big green FTTC boxes. Sadly BT later clarified that the idea had been mooted but it did not proceed beyond that point (here).

Thinkbroadband today reports that some of Openreach’s street cabinets (both FTTC and normal ones), not to mention cabinets used by other operators, have now begun to use custom vinyl wraps from WRAP and HIDE.

This allows the cabinets to be covered “in a photographic print of the background [that] will make these cabinets disappear and cease to blight the urban landscape,” alternatively you can even use an arty style like the one below.

bt hidden street cabinet arty

Apparently it costs from £29 to cover a basic meter cupboard and thus a full cabinet could set the operator or council back by well over a hundred pounds, which might be a small price to pay if it minimises the number of complaints.

Meanwhile others don’t much care what they look like, just so long as an FTTC cabinet is actually available to deliver better broadband speeds for our homes and businesses.

Leave a Comment
7 Responses
  1. Avatar Martyn Dews says:

    Simple yet effective. I like it.

  2. Avatar Sledgehammer says:

    More cost that will be passed on to the consumer, like it or not.

  3. Avatar Glenn - ChunkyChips.net says:

    April’s on the way then…

  4. Avatar John says:

    Bright pictures makes sense, camouflaging them to blend in with brick walls is unfortunately an accident waiting to happen. It really is only a matter of time until someone with poor or failing eyesight injures themselves on one, a cyclist clips their handlebars etc…

    1. Avatar Patrick says:

      Why? They’re not exactly likely to blend in so much they look 2D except in a photo, it isn’t magic! and what would a cyclist be doing on the pavement anyway. Plenty of obstacles already on the pavement as well.

  5. Avatar Sledgehammer says:

    Why BT don’t paint them all RED, just like phone boxes and have done with this problem.

  6. Avatar zemadeiran says:

    Lets get them wrapped up in the new light bending meta materials which would make them highly transparent.

    That way, people could smash into them unknowingly and cause harm to themselves in the process..

    Makes sense to me.

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