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Get your ugly cabinet off our footpath
Tuesday 18 November 2014 10:11:25 by Andrew Ferguson

A Cambridgeshire community has complained about the location of an 'ugly' fibre cabinet on a 'scenic footpath' as part of the Cambridgeshire BDUK project.

The village is Fowlmere better known for its RSPB Wildfowl reserve and the cabinet in question is cabinet 2 (expected live date of December 2014) on the Fowlmere exchange which serves a good chunk of the village (cabinet 1 serving Thriplow is already live). What is interesting is the choice of the picture angle in the local press with the old buildings in the background and prosaic descriptions one expects a pretty picture postcode village but visit Google Maps and you will see the cabinet is off the main road on a footpath, and the 'scenic footpath' runs alongside some relatively new properties. There is a question mark over what gap has been left on the foot path, but so long as this meets accessibility standards then there is little to complain about. In many other parts of the UK the footpath would have a fence chicane or bollards to restrict access by bicycles and motorbikes.

In an ideal world the cabinet would have been on the grass behind the existing phone cabinet, but for all we know this may have existing services running under it, or be private land and the wayleave proved too expensive. Of course deploying FTTP would resolve the cabinet issue, but then might draw objections as extra hardware and tubing is placed on telegraph poles.


Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
Reading the comments under the newspaper article, there's not a lot of sympathy.

A colleague who was a parish councilor told me that they were forever dealing with this sort of stuff. They had to deal with one complaint about a park bench on a green where somebody complained it would encourage people to sit down and spy on her house.
Posted by mhc over 2 years ago

A wonderfully distorted picture! Then look at the leg of the person on the left - nicely bent at the knee to worsen the illusion.

It is certainly a lot nicer looking than all of the posters and notices that local residents have chosen to litter the place with - look at the telegraph pole in Google Maps, at least 5 on there alone.

Posted by rtho782 over 2 years ago
At the first complaint, BT/BDUK should just pull the cabinet and answer any enquiries with "No install due to complaint by Mr XXX of XXX Road".

It should then be chargeable to install FTTC out of process later on.
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Broadband Watchers.
On the first complaint the New Cab should have been dropped to the end of the contract and let the local Councilers sort it out as it is on the local pavement or cancelled it completley if no agreement
Posted by timmay over 2 years ago
BT should just remove it and devalue their houses by 20% or more... lol.
Posted by max360 over 2 years ago
There is nothing scenic about the village. Ordinary looking.
Posted by kev445 over 2 years ago
Yet it's ok to have a massive payphone on the street? That's not very authentic?
Posted by PhilCoates over 2 years ago
Interesting comment from the guy who already has VM at 150Mbps and says his entire village was cabled by them some years ago.

I wonder if the BT cab he complains about is part of their commercial rollout or BDUK?
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago

Just a bit out of his geographical area. He's clearly got a grudge over the green box that's adjacent to his property. Perhaps he'll post a photo.
Posted by Gadget over 2 years ago
If you check on Google Earth,0.073008&spn=0.000621,0.001742&t=h&z=20 you'll see the pathway alongside what looks like a recent property development across the road from the pub and the Indian restaurant
Posted by otester over 2 years ago
Just remove the cabinet, give it to a more grateful community.
Posted by SimonMackay over 2 years ago
Why don't people work on integrating these cabinets in to the street furniture? This could be achieved through cabinets that have integrated litter / recycling bin housings, integrated benches amd the like or be integrated in to a building's or fence's design. As well, the cabinet designers coudl work harder on designing them to suit particular streetscapes.
Posted by themanstan over 2 years ago

Simple cost and economies of scale
Posted by Blackmamba over 2 years ago
Hi Broadband Watchers.
The only good responce from the above report is that Thinkbroadband map may get more data reports in the Exchange Area hoping they will be in the range of SFB not the low reading showing now
Posted by snake007uk over 2 years ago
I don't understand this hate for the cabinets - then the complaints poor in about poor speeds. I would give BT space on my drive way if they cut me a deal to have FTTP in my house!
Posted by Hubz over 2 years ago
I dont think they used a wide enough lens to take that picture...
Posted by YaZiN over 2 years ago
Two options here; 1) Take it away and point all complaints to the Cllr and Parish Cllr who don't like how it looks. 2) Get rid of the Cllr and Parish Cllr. I wonder what most people would choose.
Posted by zhango over 2 years ago
BT has just installed the new fibre cabinet directly outside my property. I couldn't be more pleased - it must have added at least £20 to the value and makes my property much easier to sell so brilliant!
Posted by dsf58 over 2 years ago
Reading the article, it looks like people being told they would be consulted and then a big ugly box just appearing.

"Cllr ... said: "They have installed this new junction box and what's irritating people is that they were told it would not be put on a path, and now it has been. It's pretty ugly and intrusive.

"There may be a very good engineering reason as to why this has to go here, but not to keep the community informed is unacceptable."

They should have originally told the village that they get their box where BT chooses to put it?
Posted by Teefenn1 over 2 years ago
On the face of it they do appear to be a bunch of NIMBYs but I can sympaphise to the extent that they were lied to by Openreach (allegedly).
Posted by dsf58 over 2 years ago
Placing of these boxes is not subject to much control.

Suppose post Royal Mail privatisation, UK Mail, Fed-Ex, DX etc. where all allowed to place pillar boxes where-ever they liked?

Cluttering paths and roads (including with council placed traffic signs) is an issue and needs some form of consultation/control.

But what?
Posted by YaZiN over 2 years ago
There is no consultation with the public as this isn't required.
In my experience, Openreach approached the local highway authority with lists of proposed cab's (both commercial and BDUK) and if there were any highway issues (blocking sight lines at junctions etc.) then this would be dealt with while the rest were permitted for streetworks to begin.
Posted by ThorpeCottage over 2 years ago
One of these has appeared on our High Street. It is half the width of the pavement - essentially a blockage. It is a hazard to visually impaired/wheelchair users and people with prams. It is just not acceptable. Shopkeepers are told NOT to put "A" boards outside their shops so how does BT get away with it? I'm not against progress but these are monsters.
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