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“Ugly” and “Intrusive” BT FTTC Broadband Cabinet Angers Fowlmere Locals

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 (11:02 am) - Score 2,111

Residents of Fowlmere, a village that’s home to around 1,200 people in southern Cambridgeshire (England), have vented anger at the local Connecting Cambridgeshire broadband project with BT after an “ugly” and “intrusive” new FTTC capable street cabinet was built to deliver superfast broadband into the community.

The state aid supported Connecting Cambridgeshire scheme, which has already helped to upgrade 45,420 premises, aims to ensure that more than 90% of homes and businesses in the county will be able to receive superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps+ by the end of 2015 (note: 98% will also be able to connect via BT’s “fibre broadbandFTTC/P network, which reflects both 24Mbps+ and sub-24Mbps speed coverage).

However, much as we’ve seen many times before, not everybody welcomes the installation of BT’s new street cabinets (a separate example cabinet is pictured above) and most tend to complain about either the chosen location or its appearance. In this instance locals complain that the cabinet was placed on a public footpath, which is despite residents being told that this wouldn’t happen.

Cllr Peter Topping, Village Representative for the Council, said:

They have installed this new junction box and what’s irritating people is that they were told it would not be put on a path, and now it has been. It’s pretty ugly and intrusive.”

A picture of the problem itself can be found on Cambridge News, although it doesn’t give a very full overview. According to the council, BTOpenreach surveyed the area three times to find the best location and that was apparently the chosen option.

In fairness it doesn’t look any different to the cabinet placements that we see across the United Kingdom and often that’s just the price you have to pay for better broadband connectivity, which most people will say is better than being stuck on slow broadband. Indeed people who can’t currently receive such services will perhaps be annoyed to see such gripes.

Meanwhile Openreach has to consider conflicts with local infrastructure and the need for access to a viable power supply. Sometimes it may be possible to place the cabinet elsewhere, yet the cost of doing so could rise significantly and that may in turn risk pushing some locations out of the deployment plan.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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