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Complaints Mire 950Mbps Sky Broadband FTTH Trial in Basingstoke UK

Wednesday, Jul 30th, 2014 (1:02 pm) - Score 3,441

Sky Broadband’s 12 month trial of a new 950Mbps (Megabits per second) capable GPON based Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH/P) network in the town of Basingstoke (Hampshire, England) has been hit by complaints from locals who object to the installation of new telegraph poles, which are apparently deemed unsightly by residents of Hackwood Road.

The existence of Sky’s new Superfast Fibre Trial, which is being conducted alongside Love Digital TV, was revealed last month and is entirely separate from Sky’s similar Joint Venture with CityFibre and TalkTalk in the city of York (here). Sky’s trial network aims to deliver the service directly into homes by using overhead fibre optic lines from telegraph poles, which in some areas is preferable to the greater disruption caused by having to dig up roads and gardens.


Unfortunately the attraction of being able to benefit from one of the fastest and most advanced broadband services in the United Kingdom isn’t enough to satisfy some locals, with around 20 letters of complaint having already found their way into the inbox of local councillor Brian Gurden (Liberal Democrat).

Brian Gurden, Councillor for Basingstoke South East, said:

The Camrose estate has some old-style telephone poles that we would rather get rid of because, as someone said, it makes it look like a third-world country. They should not be putting this trial in here. They should be seeking to reach other parts of the country, the rural areas, that are hard to reach.”

The Basingstoke Gazette article reveals that the trial involves around 120 homes along streets including Camberry Close, Camrose Way, Chesterfield Way and Westfield Road etc. A number of the complainants reference the fact that they were not told the trial would involve the use of telegraph poles, although Sky did in fact stick related notices on several poles in the area beforehand and the trial itself also has the support of Hampshire County Council.

Apparently one of the major gripes locals have is that they view telegraph poles as being an “old way of delivering infrastructure” and apparently it’s all “a bit much if you live in a house with a new telegraph pole in front“. Speaking as somebody who sees telegraph poles all around, including the one connecting my own home, I’d respectfully beg to differ.

Indeed such poles are still normal for many areas and just because some live in a location where they haven’t been present for a while doesn’t make it an out of date method for running cables into properties. The issue also holds more than a passing similarity to the complaints that arose from residents of Kenstella Road in Newlyn (Cornwall, England) after BT installed a new 11 metre high pole (here).


Many people would gladly allow such poles to be installed if it meant they could get Gigabit style broadband speeds. In the meantime Sky has politely apologised and said they were “working hard to minimise any disruption to residents, and we are pleased with feedback we have received from triallists to date“.

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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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