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Kensington rejects 96 Openreach cabinet applications
Thursday 31 May 2012 07:59:23 by Andrew Ferguson

The roll-out of superfast broadband which Openreach is in the middle of has taken a distinct step backwards in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The area was due to receive a FTTC service from Openreach via 108 cabinets, but after the council rejected plans for 96 of these Openreach has withdrawn its plans to roll-out FTTC and/or FTTP to the area.

Locating new street cabinets has always been a problem in conservation areas, but generally a solution can be found, but this has to be the largest problem to date. The rejections arise due to an on-going plan by the council to de-clutter the streets. BT withdrawing means some 34,000 premises will remain stuck on ADSL2+ for the foreseeable future.

"BT has not worked in a spirit of cooperation and needs to consider our historic streetscape. Perhaps one of its competitors will step into the role."

A Kensington and Chelsea spokesman talking to City AM

In theory BT could avoid the problem by installing its fibre to the premises solution in the borough, which uses passive hardware and does not require a new street cabinet, but would require extra chambers in the pavement and possible disruption as the fibre tubing is fed to each of the 34,000 premises, which may not be popular with the council.

As the Openreach roll-out is commercial led, then Openreach is at liberty to re-deploy its assets to another area that is more welcoming to the cabinets. Another solution used abroad is cabinets that are sunk into the pavement. There is also now an opening for alternate fibre operators to make a move into the area.


Posted by farrina over 5 years ago
Morning :-)
Typo in article "cabients"
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Typo fixed
Posted by mhc over 5 years ago

Kensington and Chelsea have not worked in the spirit of cooperation!

How can anyone in stall a service when the council is so entrenched and will not allow progress.

Posted by smidge over 5 years ago
Chelsea resident: My broadband is slow, what are you going to do about it?
BT: We want to install some cabinets in the street to improve the broadband in this area.
Chelsea resident: I don't want that that ugly cabinet near my house.
BT: OK no FTTC for you.
Chelsea resident: My broadband is slow, what are you going to do about it?

Oh well.....
Posted by New_Londoner over 5 years ago
I doubt very much whether the unhelpful attitude of the council reflects the views of the majority of residents and businesses in the area. Strange the council are blaming BT when they seem to be managing to work with every other London borough.

Let's hope local people (voters!) start to make their views known on this. Its about time councils reflected what the majority of local people think rather than working to their own agendas and those of special interest groups.
Posted by jrawle over 5 years ago
It's funny how people on this site think the whole world revolves around fast broadband. You are a "special interest group" too you know. Many people in Kensington are rather elderly and uninterested in broadband so would probably vote for the status quo, and those who want it are rich enough to pay for a bespoke fibre service.
Posted by New_Londoner over 5 years ago
Whilst its true there are some wealthy people in Kensington, there are quite a few rather less well off too, including a fair amount living in social housing (over 20,000 houses and flats). No reason why they should miss out as they certainly cannot afford a "bespoke fibre service"!
Posted by rreadman over 5 years ago
There's nothing like forward thinking and they're clearly nothing like....
Posted by mhc over 5 years ago
@jrawle If someone wants a bespoke fibre service it will require street works - will K&C give permission easily? Probably not - they seem to be one of the most obstructive Local Authorities.
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
There is cable in the area so where are their boxes?
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
hahahah this is hilarious, I'm glad OR have seen sense and moved on instead of waste valuable time and effort that can be spent elsewhere

"Perhaps one of its competitors will step into the role."

Looks left, looks right... sorry I can't see anyone else knocking on our door, any chance we can get BT back in with their ugly cabs?
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
They're quite happy with their hundreds of ugly parking meters...
Posted by undecidedadrian over 5 years ago
What we want is a report in the Daily Mail saying that a lack of high speed broadband on your residence drops the value by 5%.

That would have all the nimbys and stuck up councils hammering on BT's door.
Posted by FTTH over 5 years ago
I think credit has to go to Kensington Council, the Active cabinets are not needed if you go for Fibre to the Premises. There will certainly be competitors eying this, BT have to open up their duct work & not every operators deployment method is as complex as BTs. This one will be interesting.
Posted by Dixinormous over 5 years ago
Somerset - most of the cable network in West London is underground. Taps, amps, etc, are in pits, only the mains powered optical nodes and telephony muxes are above ground in many areas with the odd standard cabinet here and there outside conservation areas.
Posted by Pigmaster over 5 years ago
I love the attitude of BT and wish more company's would act that way towards obstinate organisations thus leaving the obstinate organisations to then listen to hundreds of complaints from their customers for the lack of broadband. We tried to give you fast broadband but your council said No so if you don't like it then complain to the council not us (BT)
Posted by kevindb over 5 years ago
Dear BT, please re-allocate those cabinets to Basingstoke so you can complete your FTTC in-fill project.
Posted by Borisvon over 5 years ago
i will take one of those spare cabs if there going to waste :D
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
@FTTH, correct but there was nothing stopping competitors doing that before this announcement? Since last November other ISP's/Telcos can deploy fibre in BT ducts/over their poles
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
...Yet... we've not seen anyone do it yet, I know we'll get the usual "oh its too expensive" etc but that's not my point, other providers could do what you are referring to before this announcement so I doubt anything will change

Despite the dream FTTP is still expensive to deploy in built up areas, not as expensive are rural but pricey all the same, it will take a long time to get your investment back and I doubt many companies are looking for long term returns at the moment.
Posted by creakycopperline over 5 years ago
Hmmm where did my comment go? oh wait it's because it told the truth, proven yet again that this site is for the BT Openreach stooges and lackeys like GMANN99 to display their cronie lies and bile propaganda.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
@Creakycopperline, the comment was removed because you made a personal attack on a fellow commentator.

It is easy enough to be polite and still disagree with a point someone is making. Do that and your comments will remain visible, as the vast majority do.
Posted by creakycopperline over 5 years ago
Spectre_01 you can see plenty of it from gmann99
from his perspective the sun shines out of openreach's arse. he is their devoted propaganda lackey. and moderators here don't like me exposing him for what he really is, tell me, have you seen one comment from him where he doesn't agree with what they are doing? neither have i.
to him they can do no wrong.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
A final warning, creakycopperline:

I have left the post, so that people can see exactly why you are getting the warning.

You are basically having an argument with a person, rather than debating the pro's and con's of different deployment methods.

This argument is getting personal and involves name calling and insults, that are not acceptable in our news comments.

This is not about you criticising Openreach or any other company, but about how you are talking to other posters.
Posted by creakycopperline over 5 years ago
Oh no i'm shacking in my boots, been able to post on this site is my oxygen lol. so you're denying that he is touting a one sided biast view in favour of openreach and BT retail.
go ahead and ban me, this site is a joke.
your threats don't scare me.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
There is nothing wrong with saying that you believe another poster is giving a biased view, just the language and personal attacks you are using to convey that feeling.
Posted by Spectre_01 over 5 years ago
most tolerant person of the year award goes to *drum-roll* andrew.
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
It's not drum-rolls any more.

It's 'goes to... (long pause)... Andrew!'
Posted by Spectre_01 over 5 years ago
Creaky could do with a spell checker... "i'm shacking in my boots" "biast view" I love this guys posts.
Posted by caterps over 5 years ago
It's hardly BT's loss - just the residents of K&C. If they want fibre K&C residents need to tell their councillors to allow the instal.

BT might compromise if K&C offered to fund BT's additional costs to install to K&C's 'satisfaction'??

And - before others write & say that BT's a big company & should pay - ask youself - "what's in it for BT to spend an additional £1 million or £2M, just to satisfy the whim of a small group of people?"

Because if BT were to do that, on that basis I'd like FTTH - does anyone think BT would install it just because I were to ask them???
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
I can see a few options:-

1)The residents kick the council into touch and get them to get BT back in.

2)The council look for another telco to provide FTTP but the cost is too high leaving residents with yesteryear broadband.

3)Another telco takes up the chance to deploy and it is very expensive for the telco and the residents and the residents are locked in with one supplier only for fibre broadband, means a choice of one for the customer
Posted by FTTH over 5 years ago
I think it is a big loss to BT, Financially not so much maybe but with regards to a marketing exercise this will present a real opportunity for equal competition.

Hyperoptic seem to be tyre kicking already, not good publicity for BT.

A newbie coming in and offering 1Gb for £50 a month.... without cabinets. This will be an irritation to BT.

More importantly, unlike many areas BT will not be able to come in and deploy their FTTC at a lower cost to take out the competition.

I could see BT Trialling FTTP, just to keep the competition away. Either way - it will be interesting to watch.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Can a newbie come in and provide 1Gb for £50 a month with an attractive installation cost? I hope so and if they can that is great news for competition. Hyperoptic might be tyre kicking but I'd rather see them deploy there instead to show how its done.

BT don't need to trial FTTP they have already done it and they'll be able to put out FTTP where ever FTTC exists from next year should the customer want it
Posted by FTTH over 5 years ago
Good Catch, I should probably not say Trial FTTP sorry, but it probably would be a new deployment model for them, not their preferred method.
Regardless, I could See BT deploying FTTP to stop the rot.

The Install costs Hyperoptic throw around is £40, not sure how that will cost out on this type of build though, their normal targets are Tower Blocks.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
No what I'm saying is they could do FTTP there with their current model as they have done in York and other places, its nothing different. The problem is that they could only charge for FTTP the same as FTTC whether that is via BT Retail or Wholesale and it costs a heck of a lot more to deploy FTTP which is why its a turn off for them.

So unless the council are willing to pay the extra for full FTTP I doubt it will happen.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Yeah the Hyperoptic model is a lot different and easier, it hits a single area with lots of customers in one go (one fibre feed to an area) I'm not sure they could do a £40 install to non tower blocks, would be nice to see what the price would be though.
Posted by vinylweatherman over 5 years ago
It is probably only a delay. BT are working hard to get this rolled out nationally, and they are being prodded by the government to do the work as fast as possible. This does not make struggling with a reluctant council top priority, as these more difficult cases can be better dealt with once the deployment has more or less finished. K & C will probably get it in the end, they have just been sent to the back of the queue.
Posted by queer1 over 5 years ago
I live in the RBK&C and have to tolerate slow connections as we are nearly two miles from the exchange and as a private estate, are simply by-passed by the likes of Virgin Media. So our only remaining option was this. Now this roll-out is no more. The RBKC council are playing hard ball, objecting to the new wave of BT cabinets as they are. The net effect is both objectionable and disproportionate. For years to come it seems a great many local residents will be left stranded in the 20th century.

central Kensington (W11) resident.
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