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Questions about FTTP Survey

Littlepace

Member
Hi.

I had someone come out to survey our property today for FTTP from Airband. He said the poles they would be using are Scottish Power and they can't bring their cable across them. Very annoying how close we are to getting FTTP and because of our power provider we are stuck. So they'll have to install a couple of their own poles and bring it across them (assuming it gets approved). I have a couple of questions.

1. The guy wouldn't give me any estimation on timeframe. Anyone have any ROUGH idea of how short/long I could be waiting for them to get all that done

2. Scottish Power is one of the biggest power suppliers in the country, wouldn't it be super limiting not being able to access any property that get their cables from SP?

3. We have one alternative FTTP provider in our area and they would also bring the cables across those same poles. Will it be the same issue with Airband that they can't use them? Or do different ISPs have permission to use SP poles?

Thanks for any help
 

plunet

Regular Member
The use of power utility poles probably has a number of dimensions to it,

0. Unlike Openreach there is no obligation for a DNO to provide access to their infrastructure...

1. Whether the local DNO is receptive to their poles being used at all. On the upside there is money to be made, but downsides include ongoing risk and potential aggravation.

2. Much of the decision revolves around risk and the voltage on the poles, if the power cables are generally insulated, and opportunity in height to separate the Telco and the Power cables, whilst giving the Telco enough height to string their cables between poles and over to properties whilst maintaining a minimum safe height over the highway etc.

3. Specific poles may have specific challenges which would rule them out - like a messy power setup that is too much effort for the DNO to resolve for the money they can get for pole sharing. Poles due for replacement in the short to medium term may also be a factor, as well as if the pole is already shared for example for lighting.

4. The paperwork and training that the Telco is prepared to put in, and the ability for their past pole sharing work to either be an exemplar or a car crash. Blot your copybook too many times and the DNO won't want any more aggro.

There's probably several more that I've not thought of.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Deploying new poles is work that, thanks to Permitted Development rights, can usually occur quite quickly after the operator notifies the council and posts a notice in the local area. But right now operators are in an intense period of build, so what may slow everything down is the planning/resource side. The only way to know is to keep pressing Airband for an answer.

I should add that different operators may have different agreements in place, but usually if one power company is receptive to infrastructure sharing, then it follows that multiple broadband operators may sign agreements with them. But again, you'll need to ask each operator specifically. This can also vary between different parts of the UK.

Obviously, not being able to access a power firm's poles may increase the cost of build for a specific area, which could change the economic viability calculation of their rollout. But often there are other poles they can use, such as from Openreach, and the cost of building a new pole is fairly low.
 
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