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Newlyn residents unhappy at new pole that will bring FTTP to street
Wednesday 11 December 2013 12:39:44 by Andrew Ferguson

In many countries overhead FTTP and utility infrastructure is normal, and where possible and economically feasible Openreach prefers to install its fibre infrastructure in ducting. Cornwall with its higher proportion of FTTP than any other county in the UK has a strong mix of overhead and ducted FTTP. We have visited some overhead FTTP areas in Cornwall previously and the installs are generally neat and nothing like the spiders web that you sometimes see abroad.

The local Cornish press has covered a story where residents are unhappy about a new 11m pole placed in the verge on their cul-de-sac, complaining about the lack of consulation and the obstruction the pole represents. We are not the first to cover the erection of the pole, but waited till we had checked with Openreach that this was linked to a FTTP roll-out in the street.

The new pole looks out of place, but that is because many of the properties have their telephone lines running from poles to the rear of the properties and thus these poles are in the sight line of people higher up the terracing.

The street currently has no ducting suitable for delivery of an FTTP service we have been informed and overhead was considered the best solution and with poles already present in the area we would suggest it should not be too shocking.

The area is not one of the slowest parts of Cornwall, as postcode checks suggest speeds in the 7 to 11 Mbps from ADSL2+ services for the 25 or so properties, but as Cornwall is aiming for 95% FTTC/P coverage fairly large villages like Newlyn will be getting upgrades and a good number reading this article would jump at the chance of native FTTP, which means the same pricing as FTTC services, but with the option of download speeds all the way up to 330 Mbps if you want to pay a bit more.

Maybe the Superfast Cornwall project could have consulted, but if it had to do this for every pavement chamber, cabinet and telegraph pole the project costs would rise dramatically as would timeframe for roll-out. Some may value the view more, but with plenty of research showing that people are willing to pay more for a property with faster broadband it may actually increase the value of a property. We are pretty sure when electricity first started appearing in homes, people opposed it as they believed it was too dangerous.


Posted by brandscill over 3 years ago
I'd happily of had that pole where I used to live if it meant broadband quicker than 1mbps!
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
I see the picture they took neatly missed the lamp post on the other side of the side road.
Posted by rolandrat over 3 years ago
Nice view of the bay admittedly, but the street looks a mess (regardless of the pole). Some people just live in the past and will never be happy, I'd have the pole in my front room if it meant I could get 330mb!
Posted by egan23 over 3 years ago
I wonder if people would prefer to have no windows in their houses as it appears that pleasant real views mean so little to them, and with even more wall space they could mount gigantic flat screen TV's !!
Posted by zhango over 3 years ago
I've said it before, and I know it costs more, but in the 21st century all cables should be underground. Looks DO matter!
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
Is that a good spend of money then during these times ^ spend lots more money burying cables?

Overhead cables are very very common across the whole of the world. Can't even begin to imagine the cost of burying them all for "looks"
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
I suppose the reasonable solution would be that OR will bury the cables, but at the cost to all those who do not wish the cables overhead.
Posted by jrawle over 3 years ago
"at the cost to all those who do not wish the cables overhead." Shouldn't that be: "at the cost to all those who take FTTP but do not wish the cables overhead"?
Posted by egan23 over 3 years ago
Whatever next ...

complaints about electricity pylons in areas of scenic beauty or worse, people objecting to wind turbines, but on the other hand people who like ''poles' for fibre could have turbines attached giving them ''Free'' electricity !! :}.
Posted by adslmax over 3 years ago
BT are idiot as it 21st century for god's sake. They should do underground fibre not a high pole.
Posted by adslmax over 3 years ago
Lightning and high wind (gale force hurricane) can easy knocked down high pole! Shame on you BT.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
^ Oh dear.. just... oh dear
Posted by tazz_uk over 3 years ago
BT should take it down and say fine you keep 512kb speeds and move on to people who actually want better speeds..
Posted by mervl over 3 years ago
What else have people got to do but complain? And it keeps a lot of us in business, too (including TB!).
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
Put an ugly FTTC cab in for the NIMBYS and give the FTTP hardware to some more deserving and willing community.
Posted by Northwind over 3 years ago
Well I'm glad there are still some people tha care about their built environment, rahter than acecpting any old slapdash so that they can torrent faster.

This pole is indicative of typical sort-term coporate thinking; it's cheaper to install than ducting, but in the long term has hgher maintenance costs and more frequent failures. But that's not booked to this year's balance sheet so all's good...
Posted by greenglide over 3 years ago
"but that is because many of the properties have their telephone lines running from poles to the rear of the properties"

So if the telephone cables are overhead at the rear of the properties why not run the FTTP that way? That is normal isn't it?

Posted by mhc over 3 years ago
Wonderful framing - it omits the lamp post which is just on the right hand edge and the other telegraph pole 40 metres down the side road on the left and that has been there for many years.

Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
To the Newlyn residents: Well done, it's about time to stand up to BT bullying!

If you look at Google maps, you'll see that this particular road already has GPO ducts running under the pavement. So it all boils down to comparing the costs of splicing the fibre from this duct to the few properties, including through their front yards, with the expenses of setting up this over-sized pole. My guess is the new pole solution doesn't look attractive anymore cost wise.
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
but if there is duct going along all the streets, what's it for if all the properties are fed from poles?
Posted by greenglide over 3 years ago
"but if there is duct going along all the streets, what's it for if all the properties are fed from poles? "

Ducted along street but underground without ducting to the houses? Maybe BT put the pole up to save digging up to each property?

Is this an example where G.FAST shows its value against digging up every street?
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
But the properties are fed from poles to the rear. There are no poles on the street (cul-de-sac) but ducting runs for the whole length down to the very end. Doesn´t really make any sense...
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
Even when properties are fed with a dropwire running overhead from a pole, the D-side cable can still often run underground - and the jointboxes seen in the ground hold the DP's that contain the joints between D-side and dropwire, as well as allowing routing of the D-Side to further out in the network.

Sometimes the dropwire can transit from pole to pole before passing to the house, but certainly not always.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
For example architectural cable routings, look in some of the diagrams in this presentation (Nov 2013, so as up-to-date as possible):

Older pictures of architecture can be found in previous presentations. For example:
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
But you would expect the underground part to be on the street where the poles are... not where the poles aren't. Have a look on the link to google maps. The poles are fed from the ducts on other roads. Kenstella road has no poles and all the house are fed from poles from other roads with ducts.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
The duct is being used isn't it? To feed the new pole. No reason at all why you'd start digging up from a street duct to a home if you can use a pole instead, cheaper, less disruption etc etc.
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
lack of detail in the photo, doesn't show whether duct or fed from another pole.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
Just to get a better idea: The costs of the new telegraph is between £500 and £700, plus delivery, plus labor to set it up, see It easily adds up to thousands of Pounds. Now compare this to blowing a fibre through the existing duct, and splicing/running it to the few properties that actually want to order this FTTP service on this small cul-de-sac.

This could well a case of a 'One size fits all' approach, big companies like BT are not always cost effective, nor show common sense in special local scenarios.
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
If the ducts are in a shabby state then a pole may be the most economical method of delivery.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
theman, here's another photo showing the pole fed from the duct
Posted by Gadget over 3 years ago
The discussion hinges at least to a large extent on knowing if there is existing duct to each house (perhaps the original complainant could confirm). Otherwise the cost of duct provision would easily outweigh the cost of a pole delivery
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago

The Recombu article is an interesting read, so the duct is likely GPO, although the footway box is new.

It would be funny if OR had surveyed and considered the pristine gardens of the neighbourhood, deciding on a pole to remove grievances of having front gardens dug up!
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
And clearly the residents view of a narrow path is somewhat skewed as it's wide enough to a grass verge... also the placement of the pole in where the grass verge was.
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
What about the wheelie bin in the picture blocking the pavement?
Posted by macbits2000 over 3 years ago
No pleasing some people.
If they complain, leave the complainers on a 2Mbps service, then see who shouts loudest!
Posted by lmschuffer over 3 years ago
This from the local press........WIRELESS !

“The only story here is that some people just love to complain.
Most people would be grateful to have this outlook, pole and all.
This is a wireless broadband hub, so no wires required as Mr. Zed Sinicki fears.
If the photo is anything to go by, the pavement is not restricted either, so please tell Mr. Sinicki and his neighbours to relax, count their blessings and enjoy the improved broadband service
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
I contacted the main BT press people who confirmed the pole as FTTP on behalf of the Cornish project.

Overhead fibre is not that uncommon in Cornwall
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
The "wireless" is a comment in the news feature of the ThisIsCornwall article, so not an actual part of the news item.
Posted by chrysalis over 3 years ago
This si what happens when waste time rolling out FTTP to villages instead of cities. People who live value the scenery highly whilst those of us in cities dont give a rats backside. Plus with higher polulation density cities are a better bet. I am still baffled why BT is rolling out FTTP to cornwall but not to leics, london, etc.
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