Feeds

BT's giant new faster broadband boxes blocked

Too ugly for Muswell Hill

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

BT has been forced to put the brakes on an ongoing pilot of faster broadband technology in north London because of protests from local residents, who say its new roadside cabinets are too big and ugly.

Haringey Council has blocked BT from installing any further equipment on the leafy streets of Muswell Hill until it rethinks the new network of 1.8 metre-tall cabinets.

Muswell Hill is the first urban area in the country to benefit from BT's £1.5bn commitment to replace the copper wiring that typically connects local exchanges to roadside cabinets with fibre optics. The new technology offers downstream broadband speeds of up to 40Mbit/s.

BT said most of the trial equipment had been installed successfully and was up and running, but it had met opposition from residents in a conservation area.

Mike Snowdon, a spokesman for Haringey Council, said: "There were objections from a number of people and organisations, including the Conservation Area Advisory Committee.

"Officers have already met BT and their agents, following the refusal of the applications, and will be meeting them again to discuss possible alternative sitings for some of the installations, to see if there is a way forward."

He added that as well as being significantly taller than the previous generation of roadside cabinets - which BT hasn't removed to make way - the new equipment was also "more bulky". In places, Snowdon said, people had complained that as well as being an eyesore they caused problems for buggies and wheelchair users.

A BT spokeswoman said the new cabinets had to be larger because they needed powered electronics to convert the light signals transmitted over fibre optics to electrical signals to be transmitted to and from homes, over copper. The current all-copper links from homes to cabinets, to local exchanges, don't require such powered conversion.

She said: "The majority of cabinets have been successfully installed in Muswell Hill and customers are already enjoying super fast broadband.

"There is an issue with a small number of cabinets in a conservation area and Openreach is in dialogue with the council on a solution."

While it works on a solution, BT said it would bring forward more pilots in either Edinburgh, Glasgow or Manchester "to provide the desired footprint as we want to learn as much as possible."

There are more details of the broader national upgrade schedule here. BT plans to deploy fibre to cabinets covering 40 per cent of premises by mid-2012. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.