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Artists to Paint Virgin Media O2 UK’s Broadband Cabinets in Amersham UPDATE

Monday, Feb 20th, 2023 (7:42 am) - Score 2,168

A collaboration between UK ISP Virgin Media (VMO2) and the Amersham Town Council in Buckinghamshire (England) will soon allow young artists to paint a number of the operator’s broadband street cabinets around the town with pretty murals, which should make a nice change from the usually bland dark green and cream colours.

The act of disguising or softening the impact of street cabinets by painting (i.e. murals or different colours) or wrapping them in a special vinyl-based pattern or picture (i.e. usually, but not always, intended to match their surroundings) is generally uncommon, but has been growing in popularity over the past few years (examples here, here, here and here).

NOTE: The pictured cabinet is from the same project, but it’s an Openreach one from last year (before VMO2 gave similar approval).

According to the Council’s Facebook Post, the project officially started last summer after the local authority managed to secure approval from the operator. “Thanks to —- Virgin Media/O2, we now have permission to paint a number of utility cabinets around town, a project started last summer. We already have a few local artists lined up, including a talented pupil from Stony Dean School, however, would like to engage with local youth aged 16-24,” said the post.

So far the pictures of this work only show it being applied to older green cabinets – seemingly from a different operator, although it’s possible that their cream-coloured cabs may be a different matter. Using a lighter colour helps to reduce the impact of the sun (heat) on their internal electronics (i.e. the operator might not want to mess with that too much). We’re also unsure how long any of these paintings will last before the weather has its way.

In any case, the locals appear to be broadly supportive of the work and in some areas it’ll probably make a nice change from the mass of unattractive graffiti, which tends to pervade such infrastructure – across multiple operators (the occasional ‘Banksy’ notwithstanding – here).

UPDATE 8:49am

The council only mentions VMO2 in its post, but as some commenters correctly noted, the pictured cabinet actually looks more like an Openreach PCP. VMO2 does have an almost identical one, though. But we suspect that this programme may extend to more operators than just VMO2, either that or they might have painted the wrong one 🙂 .

UPDATE 10:39am

We’ve had it confirmed that other operators are also involved in the project, including Openreach. According to VMO2, none of their own cabinets have actually been painted yet, but that will soon change. A number of other local authorities are also supporting similar projects with different operators.

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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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9 Responses
  1. Avatar photo The witcher says:

    Looks suspiciously like an openreach PCP

  2. Avatar photo ex VM Engineer says:

    Although your picture is a BT cabinet and not a Virgin Media one…

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      VMO2 is the only operator mentioned by the council, but they may be working with others too (been trying to confirm that over the weekend – nothing yet). But worth noting that some of VM’s older green cabinets are almost identical to Openreach’s PCP cabs.

  3. Avatar photo Reality Bytes says:

    This is wonderful. Lots of cabinets have been decorated in a neighbouring authority and my own are working on it.

    We’re going to have cabinets around for the foreseeable so why not have them more attractive?

  4. Avatar photo Michael V says:

    We should have more projects like this. Different types of artwork would be great.

    1. Avatar photo The witcher says:

      Great in theory, just don’t block the vents.

  5. Avatar photo Badwolf says:

    That is 100 percent an Openreach pcp . Virgin have never used the triangular lock .

  6. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

    It is a nice idea, the problem is how long will it last until some idiots decide to paint it with their own style of art? The zzoomm I pass on the way to work is a right mess. I would have thought in this day and age, there would be some sort of coating to stop this.

    1. Avatar photo The witcher says:

      Any coating would need to be non toxic and non damaging to anyone or anything that touches it or comes into contact with it.

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