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Kenstella Road Residents Furious Over New 11 Metre BT Telegraph Pole

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 (2:32 pm) - Score 3,903

Telegraph poles have been a part of the United Kingdom’s street landscape for as long as we can remember. But that hasn’t stopped an outpouring of anger from local residents after BT decided to erect a new 11 metre high pole along one side of Kenstella Road in Newlyn (Cornwall, England) to help improve broadband speeds.

According to This is Cornwall, more than a dozen Kenstella Road residents were “flabbergasted” and have complained to BT’s CEO after the pole suddenly appeared two weeks ago and without any prior consultation. The cul-de-sac overlooks a previously unbroken view of the sea (assuming you can ignore the other local houses and small port in front of that).

One local resident, Zed Sinicki, now fears for the value of their property. “When this pole is rigged and wired it is certain to be a blot on our area. It will reduce the value of our property and reduce the beauty of our views,” said Zed. Mr Sinicki also notes that wheelchair access may now be harder given the slight 6″ reduction in pavement width.

A BT Spokesperson said:

BT has rights in law to erect telephone poles in the public highway in order that the phone and broadband needs of local communities can be met promptly and efficiently,” he said. In this case, the pole has been installed to provide improved broadband services for local households.

In view of concerns raised by a local resident, our engineers revisited the site and are satisfied that the pole is in the best location. It meets all the necessary guidelines and should not create any problems for people using a wheelchair or a pushchair.”

The article fails to make clear precisely how BT intends to use the pole and some separate reports suggest that in may in fact only have been setup to act as a form of wireless broadband hub, which would mean that there won’t be a requirement for a lot of new wires to crisscross local views.

Similarly most people live in locations where such poles are normal and it could thus be argued that the improvement in local broadband connectivity might ultimately outweigh any perceived loss of value. But in fairness this is very difficult to judge.

Unfortunately this isn’t the first time that BT has suffered a public backlash as a result of installing new infrastructure to improve local connectivity, although such frustrations are usually directed towards the operators green FTTC street cabinets rather than telegraph poles. Oh what would the Telegraph Pole Appreciation Society say about all this (yes.. it does exist! We found it on Google).

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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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63 Responses
  1. Avatar Thefacts

    Daily Mail readers?

  2. There are lots of communities around the UK that are begging for BT to upgrade their Broadband and Telephone infrastructure.

    Nice views are all well and good but you can’t eat the view.

    Survey the area and if most of them don’t want the pole then they can put up with no or slow broadband and the money can be spent elsewhere.

    BT: If you want to upgrade my are early to FTTC you would be very welcome.

  3. Avatar Ignitionnet

    Oh look the NIMBY is worried about his property price.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Yep

      Just look at how wide that pole is, you’ll barely get any sunlight anymore, even worse when those super thick cables are strung up, it will be a permanent state of darkness.

  4. Avatar FibreFred

    Yeah its pretty tall, but I can’t see how it would impact wheelchair users.

    NIMBY’s strike again

  5. Avatar Stephen

    I’ve just had a dozen wind turbines plonked right in front of my house, I would give my right arm if BT put up 1 little telegraph pole to give me faster broadband!!!!!

  6. Avatar JNeuhoff

    I think the local residents have done the right thing complaining about this pole.

    It is bad enough to have to cope with such a backwards company which lives decades in the past and is unable to provide a proper up-to-date telecom service. There is nothing wrong with using underground ducts, with fibre running to the premises. No need for erecting an eleven metre tall pole.

    • Avatar Ignitionnet

      I’m sure the people using largely pole mounted Verizon FiOS and Google Fibre, along with those in Japan, where the majority of wiring is overhead, would disagree.

      Besides this may be a radio relay. How do you suggest one of those goes underground?

      I’m guessing you still can’t get FTTx?

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Good questions Ignition, they don’t help his BT bashing ambitions though

    • Avatar JNeuhoff

      Just look at the picture! The residents must have already had landlines through underground ducts, and the area is not very suitable for a long-distance wireless service as it appears to be quite hilly.

      And yes, one of our lines has been using a FTTx technology for more than ten years now. That has nothing to do with the fact that BT is of a poorest quality telecom service company. I grew up in a big cit where no telegraph poles were there at all, so I know it can be done!

      Ask New_Londoner who claims you can fibre everywhewre in the UK 🙂

    • Avatar FibreFred

      JNeuhoff, its a aerial delivery area, please do your homework

    • Avatar Unknown101

      Your right everywhere in the UK could be ducted to the door step but not everyone will agree an give permission to dig up their gardens so the best option is to feed most home overhead, even works for FTTP so future proofed. A pole isn’t that much of an eyesore they just need to get a life, of course it won’t affect their house price!

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @JNeuhoff – true, no sign of poles. Probably cable laid directly under pavement with no ducts. Your plan is?

    • Avatar FibreFred

      @Thefacts, the poles are sat behind the properties in the picture, not visible on that picture but on Google maps/streetview

    • Avatar Ignitionnet

      Must’ve missed where VDSL 2 was available decades ago. Huh.

      Unsure what relevance a presumably leased line has with this matter.

      Beyond that not going to get into this too heavily. You seem obsessed with the delivery method rather than the end result which is contrary to most people’s intuition. Those in Openreach FTTP areas by an overwhelming majority take FTTC-equivalent speeds, the majority of those served by Virgin Media take the lowest speed, the overwhelming majority low or mid tiers.

      While you’re getting upset over the lack of FTTP I’ll carry on streaming Netflix in Super HD, browsing near-instantaneously, and working from home smoothly via my decades-old technology connection.

      You seem to want FTTP to go in offering ultra-fast speeds at low prices. It can work in small areas where community funding and assistance can reduce initial costs, alongside full vertical integration. It’s trickier on a commercial, wholesale scale. Just ask KPN or BT, both of whom significantly scaled back FTTP deployments in favour of FTTH. Or perhaps talk to Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Swisscom, etc., on why they are such luddites.

    • Avatar GNewton

      “fed from behind with a pole” … “ducted street as there is GPO boxes in the pavement so looks like this area is going to be FTTP” … “aerial delivery area”

      I think you all have to agree that at this stage anybody can make a guess. Can someone provide some real sources and links here?

      This forum thread seems to deviate too much from the original subject, namely that residents in a small town objected to the setup of a large pole on their road.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      GNewton, not at all its all relevant.

      Its an FTTP delivery and the pole looks out of place because the shared power/telco poles are all behind those properties. All relevant to the discussion. A user (who didn’t look into it) asked why it wasn’t being fed in by ducts and there is the answer.

    • Avatar GNewton

      How do you know that road will be in a FTTP area? Any links?

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Yep, if you Google up “Newlyn residents fttp” look at the first two links, two independent sites have contacted BT and confirmed its FTTP

    • Avatar GNewton

      Thanks, that should settle this question. Here is a link with more details:

      http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/6199-newlyn-residents-unhappy-at-new-pole-that-will-be-fttp-to-street.html

      So your original assumption of “aerial delivery area” appears to be wrong.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      ?

      How so, the fibre will be delivered by that pole, hence… aerial delivery. And all of the poles behind the properties serve the properties hence it being an aerial delivery area as I said.

      Not sure where the misunderstanding can occur there

    • Avatar GNewton

      “aerial” usually refers to an antenna which can be used in a wireless broadband delivery. Maybe that’s why people misunderstood you? Indeed, if you look at the Google maps, there is at least one house on Kenstella Road which has a stub antenna on the roof, commonly used for wireless services. We used to cover a whole town with a wireless mesh using these kind of antennas.

      But as I said, thinkbroadband has confirmed that in this case they’ll use FTTP on Kenstella Road. End of discussion.

    • Avatar MikeW

      As a noun, an aerial is indeed what you say. As an adjective, it just means that it pertains to something in the air. Aerial walkways (as seen in Australian jungle-related entertainment programs) are walkways in the air.

      I would have chosen the word ‘overhead’ instead, but I certainly didn’t find the use of the word ‘aerial’ to be particularly confusing.

  7. Avatar JNeuhoff

    @FibreFred: Are you here again blaming others with BT-bashing again here? You can’t stand it when posters here have a different opinion than you, can you? Grow up! There is more to life than your beloved over-charged VDSL copper wire!

    • Avatar FibreFred

      I don’t mind in the slightest when people disagree its what makes the Internet, was is rather childish is when you just post something as you have your usual axe to grind.

      Like suggesting using ducts to deliver to the home when its a pole served areas I mean…. why… why would they do that?

    • Avatar JNeuhoff

      “Like suggesting using ducts to deliver to the home when its a pole served areas I mean…. why… why would they do that?”

      Because there was no pole in that cul-de-sac road up until a few weeks ago?

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Maybe you should use street view and you would find they are fed from behind with a pole as are all if the properties in that area. Hence my homework comment 😐

    • Avatar JNeuhoff

      FibreFred and homework? You are constantly posting on this forum, as if you have nothing better to do with your life! And up to this very day you have no proper idea about fibre broadband, as is evident by your constantly praising everything BT, especially its VDSL copper broadband, for which you pay an overcharged price. If there is indeed a pole behind those properties, you might share your findings on this forum. Of course, this would also mean that these home owners have even more reason to object to this oversized new pole. Believe it or not, there are people for whom there are things more important than copper VDSL!

    • Avatar Unknown101

      It would seem the poles to the rear are all joint user power/openreach poles, if openreach wanted to do FTTP they would need their own poles hence the new one, seems to be a ducted street as there is GPO boxes in the pavement so looks like this area is going to be FTTP – don’t know what the residence are moaning about id kill to have that!

    • Avatar FibreFred

      JNeuhoff why do you have to resort to insults? All I’ve done is point out your failings a simple “Arr yes you are right, it is a pole served street just from behind that’s all I can see why they wouldn’t do a duct to home delivery now” would have sufficed.

    • Avatar Ignitionnet

      VDSL over-charged?

      I went from paying a tenner a month for 1.5Mb down, 200kb up to paying 20 for 66Mb down, 18Mb up.

      Seems I am paying a fair amount less per Mb now. I can’t say I feel overcharged.

    • Avatar JNeuhoff

      @FibreFred: Apologies if I offended you. However, your constant praising of everything BT/VDSL does comes accross as trolling amongst many readers. As this news story shows there is more to life than copper VDSL! And there are people who have different opinions.

      @Ignitionnet: Copper VDSL by its nature is an up-to e.g. 80Mbps service, so if 2 users from the same neighborhood pay the same amount of money, but one only gets e.g. 50Mbps, the other get the full 80Mbps service, than the first one is clearly considerably overcharged.

    • Avatar Ignitionnet

      With all due by that metric anyone who pays more than the cheapest service available is being overcharged. It could also be said that someone served by FTTP that doesn’t receive full speeds 24×7 is overcharged compared with someone who does.

      We aren’t all on leased lines, there are no guarantees, if people don’t want to pay for 80Mb they can take 40Mb.

      I don’t feel overcharged even though I don’t receive 76Mb. I was quoted a figure and chose to pay the monthly fee. I am not going to base my perception of value around what other people get.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      No I wasn’t offended, just wondered why you had to resort to insults.

      I’ve not praised anything in this article, its been about poles and existing delivery nothing to do with VDSL.

      As for your comment re overcharging as you know its an up to product. If it was 80Mbps fixed and you only got 50 sure you’d be overcharged but that isn’t how it works as you well know.

      I got quoted 35Mbps for my FTTC service and I get over 50, guess I’m being undercharged in your world

    • Avatar JNeuhoff

      We can leave this up to the users to decide what they make of FibreFred’s posts. A simple Google search, e.g. “ispreview FibreFred” will reveal that FibreFred is extremely biased toward anything BT, which will come as trolling to many.

      As regards the Kenstella Road residents: I sincerely hope their objections to this oversized pole will have some effects.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      We don’t need to leave anything to the users, I doubt anyone actually cares JNeuhoff it seems there’s only yourself that is obsessed with me and my views! 🙂

      I’m sure a Google of yourself would reveal a dislike of anything BT so… swings and roundabouts I guess, you jump on the bandwagon of haters I choose not to and have a view that reflects common sense and value for money one shared by most telco’s around the globe not just in the UK

      As for the Kenstella Road residents, I hope they object away and the pole gets taken away, if they don’t want an FTTP service that’s fine I just hope they aren’t crying when everyone else in the area is getting FTTP speeds and they are stuck on ADSL speeds

  8. Avatar dragoneast

    Do the English worry about anything other than their property prices?

    • Avatar Paul

      Only one other thing – gaining the advantage by the use of fancy words on someone else that they’ll never meet in person (and therefore never have to fight man on man) on some random internet forum.

    • Avatar Nilsatis

      Its a cultural thing apparently once upon a time they built castles everywhere.

    • Avatar JNeuhoff

      They should worry because it is only a question of time before the next big housing market price collapse.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      Having access to fast broadband is important for many house buyers. No evidence that poles for power or phones affect prices in other areas.

    • Avatar GNewton

      “No evidence that poles for power or phones affect prices in other areas.”

      Can you show us some studies (sources, links) which show that house prices are not affected when there are power and telephone poles, as opposed to areas where these utilities are delivered underground through pavement ducts?

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Can you show us evidence that they do affect prices? Thefacts says there’s no evidence to say there is, if you have some please post it up.

      You can’t prove something isn’t something if it isn’t something in the first place.

      What a ridiculous statement, please provide evidence that something isn’t an issue, if its not an issue why would there be any evidence? Unless you are suggesting its someones job to provide reports on things that don’t exist

      eh?

    • Avatar GNewton

      I beg to differ. TheFacts claimed that “No evidence that poles for power or phones affect prices in other areas” without backing it up. I have some local experience from real estate prices that there seems to be a relation between house prices and the lack of poles. Maybe TheFacts meant that he isn’t aware of any study that shows this relationship on a nationwide basis? That doesn’t necessarily mean that these statistics don’t exist.

      Anyway, back to the original subject. This whole forum thread seems to have gone off topic, especially with hardly anybody backing up their statements about the situation in Kenstella Road.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      What statements need to be backed up?

      JNeuhoff said why aren’t the homes being fed from ducts as there’s no poles around so there must be existing ducts. I’ve already said you can see the homes are pole fed already but from behind by using Google Streeview.

      Problem solved

    • Avatar GNewton

      FibreFred, I am not sure what you try to accomplish on this forum thread. The only hint you ever gave as a potential source, after hours of useless debates, was a suggestion of using certain keywords on a Google search.

      Everything else was just mere guess, the Google map streetviews are far from conclusive.

      Someone suggested the existence of a ducted street with GPO boxes in the pavement on Kenstella Road. So JNeuhoff’s suggestion of running fibre through the existing duct on the small cul-de-sac road was not as absurd than you think it was, though I am not sure about the costs. Would be useful to find out more about how much it costs to erect a new pole for just this small cul-de-sac as opposed to fibre delivery through the existing pavement ducts.

      Anyway, end of discussion! I am offline now.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      You certainly are a strange character GNewton/JNeuhoff it was all plain to see even before your linked source confirmed everything that I said:-

      The existing area is fed by poles
      No existing duct delivery to the home

      Chop and change your name the results are the same

      Once again you chase for something that is obvious. You try to compare the cost of putting up a pole and feeding cables from that pole to 12-20 properties to digging up the road and properties for a delivery. Why even discuss the two its just obvious which costs more, its all research you could do yourself if you were bothered, underground vs overground delivery.

    • Avatar JNeuhoff

      @GNewton: Don’t worry, FibreFred is a hopeless BT advocate, he can’t help it, always merging other posters into one person whenever they disagree with him. As I said, there is more to life than copper VDSL, and it’s good to see that some residents like the ones on Kenstella Road stand up to the BT bullying.

  9. Avatar bonjan

    @Unknown101: “… of course it won’t affect their house price!”

    I disagree, it will affect their house price, but positively 🙂 having fast and reliable broadband is a must for most people, see Fast broadband more important to house buyers than parking.

    • Avatar bonjan

      Modern movers rely on the internet so much for work and leisure that a good connection speed can even add 5 per cent to a property’s value.

  10. Superfast Cornwall have had bag loads of money spent on this project and yet some still moan. Meanwhile in Devon & Somerset we wait and wait for many years to come. We are not alone of course – there are too many areas in the UK that have been failed by the farcical handling of roll-out via the UK Government.

  11. Avatar Slow Somerset

    @Superfast Cornwall have had bag loads of money spent on this project and yet some still moan. Meanwhile in Devon & Somerset we wait and wait for many years to come. Yes totally agree all they seem to be doing is coming out of the main towns and not doing anything Rural at all.

  12. Avatar Slow Somerset

    @Corfe not rural? Yes I agree but like I have said all along they are all around Taunton In Somerset, probably all the villages where all the Somerset County Councillors live. When I spoke to someone from the county council and said this would happen I was told Oh No it won’t be like that, well it’s happening.

  13. Avatar DTMark

    When I lived in urban areas I never even saw any telegraph poles. The areas were always cabled, except for one, no poles, all underground ducting. Later when we had to go somewhere not cabled, again all underground. I thought poles were used in a tiny minority of cases and was surprised to find this isn’t true.

    Now in a rural area – frankly the poles do look ugly. Actually less so the poles, more the wires hanging off of them. There’s one outside this window although not in direct line of sight. I’d guess it is about 20ft tall. I wouldn’t want someone putting a taller one in my line of sight most especially when there is absolutely no need to put up poles to deliver modern services.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Cost DTMark, cost… like everything

      There’s a finite budget for Cornwall, so you are saying that rather that put up any poles they should dig up roads, paths, gardens etc to deliver at greater expense eating into the budget even more meaning that the number of homes covered by the project is reduced.

      I’m sure as long as you got your broadband and were not left out because of that decision you’d be fine with that.

    • Avatar GNewton

      Care to tell us about the exact costs of setting up this pole for Kenstalla Road, including the overhead cables, as opposed to using the existing ducts under the pavement? Lets assume a generous 5 homes will signup to this fibre broadband in this example!

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Exact costs are not needed just common sense. A pole can serve many homes install it once and then there’s just drop wires and minimum work at the premise

      No brainer

    • Avatar Ignitionnet

      Previous property in Twickenham was served aerially.

      I think I’m close to 50:50 over the course of the many moves in my life between duct, or more accurately strung along terraces / blocks of flats, and aerial delivery. This having spent most of my adult life in towns and cities with populations around 100k and up.

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