Feeds

Broadband minister's fibre cabinet gripe snub sparks revolt

Not in our backyard leafy historic streets

Boost IT visibility and business value

City of Westminster councillors are outraged by the new broadband minister's decision to cut red tape and hasten the arrival of on-street fibre-optic cable cabinets.

The bureaucracy-slashing move means telcos can install faster broadband connections without approval from local councils, which can prevent the placing of large green junction boxes outside Brits' front doors.

“We are concerned that the ability of local people to oppose commercial broadband boxes, of which some can be large eyesores, will be diluted by these proposals," said the Tory leader of Westminster City Council Philippa Roe.

"It is more important that councils work in partnership with broadband companies to locate infrastructure sensibly."

Her comments come after the UK government's new Culture Secretary, Maria Miller - who last week replaced Jeremy Hunt - confirmed that Brits would no longer be able to object to the arrival of "ghastly" cabinets outside their homes.

The department for fun's new broom has proposed that, in order to speed the upgrade of the nation's internet infrastructure, local councils' red tape should be sidestepped.

Tory party member Miller has even threatened to either legislate immediately following a consultation on that plan, or else to use existing powers to put an end to locals snapping at BT and other broadband service providers for seeking to plonk their fibre optic cabinets on residential streets.

"I would question why the government’s approach is needed at all - it will only result in a gradual and prolonged development across the UK rather than the big bang in broadband that the UK needs," sniffed Roe, whose ward is the wealthy patch of Knightsbridge and Belgravia.

She added that the City of Westminster is able to offer businesses, residents and tourists a decent broadband connection via various means including O2's "free" Wi-Fi zones in parts of the West End, biz projects such as Sohonet for the film industry and Hub Westminster for startups.

Meanwhile, the Local Government Association is equally unimpressed by Miller effectively declaring war on NIMBYs upset about the "ugly" cabinets.

It said:

The government's proposals take the right away from people to have a say over six-foot high junction boxes outside their windows and gardens or poles and wires festooning their streets. Decisions on where to place broadband infrastructure must consider the impact on local environments rather than simply suit the convenience of companies and their engineers. Rushed and unnecessary roadworks to lay cables also risk costing council tax payers a fortune in repairs and, even when done properly, shorten the life of the roads.

Residents expect councils to protect their homes and make neighbourhoods nice places to live, and planning regulations exist to do just that. The drive to meet broadband targets shouldn't force poorly thought out knee-jerk measures that spoil local environments and needlessly damage roads. Government needs to encourage providers to work together to make better use of existing ducts and poles, rather than duplicating infrastructure.

®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
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.
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.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.