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Parts of Midhurst may miss out on Openreach fibre services
Monday 23 July 2012 09:59:14 by Andrew Ferguson

New broadband slow-spots may not actually be in the countryside or at the very edges of towns, but instead could be in parts of towns and villages where objections are raised about where to place a new cabinet and Openreach cannot reach a cost-effective solution.

Midhurst in West Sussex, looks set to get a FTTC roll-out from Openreach as part of the companies £2.5 billion investment, and while a number of cabinets raised no objections, one resident in Chichester Road, is objecting to a new cabinet, going to the length of using a cot mattress (similar dimensions to the cabinet) to illustrate their objection.

In other areas of the UK where cabinets have been objected to, the delays often can mean the cabinet slips down the roll-out list, or vanishes altogether. This may mean that up to 500 homes and businesses are left with the broadband they have now, and as the area was identified as suitable for commercial investment, it may well be excluded from BDUK funding.

Of course the ideal solution would be to roll-out full fibre (FTTP) to the homes in that area, using existing ducting and pavement chambers for the passive hardware. The issue here is the extra cost of installing the fibre, particularly in towns if extra pavement chambers have to created, or duct blockages cleared.


Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
Apart from the nimbys, who probably already have good virgin cable connections in urban areas, there are also areas with businesses and leased lines, and those cabs aren't being enabled, and also areas in towns with no cabs (developed docklands) who won't get fttc either. Many residential areas in the suburbs don't get theirs upgraded either. Cherrypicking... opening up an even bigger divide.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
With a coverage plan of 2/3rds from their own investment cherry picking was going to be the norm.

As for docklands, I suggest you look at the speeds some people get, FTTC is in the area.

Also the data from Ofcom that not all FTTC is in Virgin Media areas.

BTW closest Virgin Media service to Midhurst is Petersfield 10 miles to the West.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
So if one person objects are they heard? One person could prevent faster bb speeds for 128/288 people?
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Of course its cherry picking, have B4RN gone out and blindly dug holes to areas that may or may not want the service? Of course not they've vetted interested and then committed.
Posted by ian72 over 5 years ago
That parts of Midhurst object doesn't really come as a surprise. Likely be the same across many parts of West Sussex due to National Park status of the central spine and the various wealthy residents (and the many residents who aren't so wealthy but don' get the power to control the planning process.
Posted by ian72 over 5 years ago
Be interesting to see how many objections there will be in Chichester, I suspect there will be lots and could see large swathes of Chichester missing out on FTTC.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
I can understand a street objecting if they don't allow ugly cars to park in it.

Hug a cabinet day may be needed in the future.
Posted by mitchja over 5 years ago
Also don't conservation areas need special permission for cab installs as well? I'm dreading FTTC roll out here in Lancashire as I live in a conservation area so suspect things won't be quite as straightforward if and when FTTC ever starts been rolled out here.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
In areas where BT has code powers (non-conservation) BT can erect the cabinet without planning approval.

If there are objections, these would be retrospective.

If conservation areas, the process takes place in advance of deployment, plenty are deployed in conservation areas. Just that location can be harder to find.
Posted by MrTAToad2 over 5 years ago
I can understand objects in/around Chichester centre - the least of which digging up any roads would cause untold havoc, not to mention problems with the historic buildings.
Posted by big_bubbaloola over 5 years ago
As a Chichester lad born and raised and having looked after the Midhurst area in a certain capacity, this does not surprise me sadly. In fact, I could probably guess who objected. Let's say, in many cases, its the same lot with their own personal agendas that ruin it for everyone else. I can understand objections on safety grounds but probably not this. FYI, midhurst and Chichester have no cable services.
Posted by MrTAToad2 over 5 years ago
I forgot to mention that I would expect either the CDC or WSCC to object to FTTC (for the reasons previously mentioned)...
Posted by ian72 over 5 years ago
Chichester town centre is unlikely to get cabs anyway - exchange is so close to town centre that pretty much everything within the walls is probably direct cable to exchange (so, no way about cabs but no fibre either). The outer reaches of the town are probably a little less of an issue - but it won't stop the nimby brigade - they had better not block my cab!
WSCC of course are running the local BDUK funding but not sure where that is going yet (they ran a survey but not seen anything out of it).
Posted by Oddball over 5 years ago
You will find that in all walks of life it's those that shout the loudest that get heard. The minorities groups with their own agendas tend to get the most attention. If you want to override them you have to get together with others who share your views in a proactive manner. Not sit around reading columns expounding vacuous views on the internet. You have to go out the door and get involved!
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Well said Oddball, if those in areas affected feel there is good reason for the deployment, they need to make their voices heard.

This is why local papers cover issues like this, and we are too, to try and get people to do something more than just rant online.
Posted by KarlAustin over 5 years ago
3 cabs in conservation area here - no objections, until they went up and a few said they were unhappy. But not one of those people went to the Parish Council meeting where the planning item was discussed (they have to have planning permission put in for conservation areas).
Posted by timmay over 5 years ago
Where I live BT didn't even submit an application but has left out just over 400 residential properties and a few business units.

BT know they can get money for areas that they say are too difficult simply by leaving them out!
Posted by bosie over 5 years ago
In the West End of London there are no residential FTTC or cable services and the situation looks to remain the same for a long time to come.
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
Which exchanges in LOndon?
Posted by big_bubbaloola over 5 years ago
Actually WSCC probably won't block most of the cabinets as they're not actually aware of how it all works and connects anyway, they're just managing contracts. The only real time they'll step in is if there is an objection on safety grounds (at least from a Highways point of view). Any other issues, they will work hard to resolve rather than just not allow it as they are fully aware of the impact of no cabinets will have.You may have guessed I work for WSCC, so I cannot really go out there and fight so to speak as it would be a conflict of interests.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago
If they complain just move on, they'll soon come to regret it (even if they don't use it will affect house prices - 69% of house buyers take it into account).
Posted by fastman over 5 years ago
timmay -- not quite that simple -- roll out is not complete till 2014 so how can you be sure you are not part of commercial deployment
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