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BT Openreach Launch UK Street Cabinet Level FTTC Broadband Check

Monday, Aug 4th, 2014 (10:02 am) - Score 117,483

Consumers wanting to know whether or not they are covered by and can receive a superfast broadband connection using BTOpenreach’s ‘up to’ 80Mbps Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology will, from today, now be given a more useful result after the national UK telecoms operator updates their availability test to include Street Cabinet status.

At present, if a postcode is entered into Openreach’s Checker, all the results come back at an exchange level. As a result of this an entire exchange area is listed as ‘Accepting Orders’ once the first cabinet served by the hybrid-fibre providing exchange is enabled to take fibre orders.


However this system, which worked fine for older ADSL based broadband lines that ran from the exchange, can be potentially misleading for those seeking to find out whether or not FTTC is available. This is because FTTC lines reflect actual coverage from the local Street Cabinet and not BT’s Telephone Exchange (e.g. it might claim you can get FTTC but if only 1 out of say 50 cabinets have been upgraded then you probably can’t).

But, effective from later today, Openreach will update their “fibre availability map” on the superfast website to show cabinet level results where an exchange area is enabled. This will give users a more accurate view of the current status of the cabinet which serves their property. Depending upon the status, the user will then be advised that their cab falls into one of the eight following categories:

Availability Categories

* Accepting orders: Great news. Superfast Fibre is in your area and your cabinet is enabled and accepting orders. Contact your preferred communications provider for your home or business to order.

* Enabled area: Your area is enabled for Superfast Fibre but your cabinet is not ready yet so you can’t place an order today. It is in our plans to be upgraded and we update this info weekly, so please check back later.

* High demand: Your area is enabled for Superfast Fibre but demand is high on your cabinet right now. This means you can’t order Superfast Fibre today but we’re working to increase capacity as soon as possible. Click here to find out more.

* Under review: We’re in your area but we’re still assessing whether or not we can upgrade your cabinet. This means you can’t order Superfast Fibre. Click here to find out more.

* ?: Superfast Fibre is in your area but we can’t tell by your postcode if you can get it right now. Please contact your communications provider, who can check using your phone number. Check out our FAQ for more information.

* Coming soon: Your area will be enabled within the next six months and we’ll provide more details nearer the time. At the moment you can’t order Superfast Fibre.

* Planned area: Your area is in our future plans and should be enabled within the next 18 months. We’ll provide more details nearer the time. At the moment you can’t order Superfast Fibre.

* Exploring Solutions: We’re keen to bring Superfast Fibre to your area and are exploring how best to achieve that. We may deliver it as part of our commercial programme, or by working in partnership with your local authority. At the moment you can’t order Superfast Fibre. For more information visit the FAQ section.

Openreach sees this as being one of the ways in which they can help to address the on-going calls for more coverage information to be release as part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, although it remains to be seen whether the extra data will be enough to silence the operators critics (it would have been nice had they done this right from the start).

NOTE: The new service is currently beta and doesn’t really add much in terms of new details, it should just be more reflective given the use of cabinet-based coverage.


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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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