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Another Openreach cabinet demolished by a car
Tuesday 04 August 2015 20:11:39 by Andrew Ferguson

It must be the season where either Openreach fibre cabinets are invisible, or someone has decided to rid the UK of them, since one cabinet was lifted out of the ground with its plinth in Staffordshire by an accident recently and now one in Buckinghamshire has been flattened.

The cabinet is believed to be cab 37 on the Bourne End exchange, located at a T junction and we can only presume a vehicle has not stopped at the junction and driven head on into the cabinet.

Residents are understandably angry at the loss of broadband connectivity, but it seems odd for people to bother spending three hours on the phone to a retailer, when the evidence of the problem looks pretty easy to spot on the main road.

There are questions over what is a reasonable timeframe for an operator to restore service after such a significant event, and in this case it may even require new fibres if the existing fibres have been broken. How long have others suffered outages when Virgin Media or other Openreach cabinets have experienced similar car and Internet interaction.

Comments

Posted by Kebabselector about 1 year ago
I'm thinking the only way Openreach will consider upgrading my cab is if someone wipes it out.
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
Back in the sixties & seventies, the GPO had mobile exchanges to cope with congestion & failures.

In the nineties and noughties, mobile exchanges and base stations existed for similar reasons. To even deploy into war zones.

Is it beyond BT's ability to have mobile cabinets for this kind of problem? The tie cables would take some work, but the rest should be easy
Posted by scotiaman about 1 year ago
Clearly WWWombat doesn't know what goes on inside a cabinet. It's an interconnection point between the local cables supplying customers and the larger main cables from the exchange. The problem isn't the hardware, it's identifying the customers cable pairs.

The mobile exchanges in the 60's & 70's took weeks to wire up and test

And there is no comparison between a mobile base station and a street cabinet !
Posted by zhango about 1 year ago
I was without my phone line for 3 days last year due to a line fault but my mobile phone provider allows tethering so I could still get internet. It's a good back-up for what we now regard as an essential service.
Posted by Mike306 about 1 year ago
Here are picture of it

http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/news/13573038.Residents__broadband_lost__for_over_a_week__after_car_smashes_into_telecoms_cabinet_in_Bourne_End/
Posted by zhango about 1 year ago
Mike - do you appreciate that the orange words in the original article are hyperlinks?
Posted by gary_dexter about 1 year ago
"it seems odd for people to bother spending three hours on the phone to a retailer, when the evidence of the problem looks pretty easy to spot on the main road."

Do you really think everyone knows what those big green cabs are!?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
In this case as its located on the main road in the middle of the coverage area yes I'd expect most people to have noticed the demolished cabinet or asked a neighbour if their Internet was down too

Posted by zhango about 1 year ago
It is understandable that the phone call would be three hours long if it was to an Indian call centre.
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
@WWW

I suspect the time taken to make temporary fibre connections, make all the tie connections, test and configure a "temporary" cabinet is going to be at least as long as replacing one in the first place (not to mention any changes needed to back-end IT systems).

Last year I saw an FTTC cabinet in Harrow on the Hill which was nearly as badly damaged as this one. It wasn't obvious how it had happened as it was on a perfectly straight bit of road set back against a wall.

The answer is surely to have a well-equipped emergency rectification team.
Posted by csimon about 1 year ago
I'm quite amused by the person outraged that he's been almost a week without broadband because the entire cabinet was demolished. This is a regular occurrence for me. No, not my cabinet being demolished. But faults on my phone line and broadband, taking up to 5 weeks to fix. Dead approx 1-2 months per year. Currently off at the moment, a week so far, and no "update" as yet from Openreach. I'm outraged too!
Posted by TheEulerID about 1 year ago
Having looked at that map, I've cycled down that road dozens of times. It can be quite scary as it's narrow in parts and carries quite a lot of heavy traffic, including large lorries.

Looking at the Earth view is also quite interesting, as there's an extremely large four engined airliner just passing over the village a little to the east of that junction.
Posted by sneapdogg about 1 year ago
More amusingly, is the residents quote "I will be leaving BT as soon as my compensation comes through"
Now based on the exchange area, he can't get Virgin services.
So his reaction to BT (presumingly retail) being unable to repair the cab which is Openreach's job not BTR's is to leave BTR, then (based on the area) sign up to another ISP that requires that very same cabinet to be in a non demolished state in order to offer their own service to this resident.
Posted by nick2xuk about 1 year ago
There was a Digital Region cabinet on Brightside Lane in Sheffield that got totalled by a car at least 3 times in the couple of years that it was there!
Posted by DrMikeHuntHurtz about 1 year ago
@csimon

Who's your provider?
Posted by csimon about 1 year ago
Fuel BB for phone.
Posted by csimon about 1 year ago
Just rung them and they've spoken to OR. OR engineer assigned to it today apparently, but no update will be provided by OR until tomorrow morning. I guess once it's remained unfixed for 2 days then it's already gone over Ofcom's targets so they're not particularly concerned about getting it fixed after that.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Broadband Watchers.
I would think that BT/Openreach has struck a Works Order for the reconnection of this Cab FTTC and an outage logged for the ISP,s so they can advise their customers over the progress via the docket system. The delay will be determined by the work load and if they can get the power reconnected and made safe and if they have spare Contracters available.
Posted by fastman about 1 year ago
sneap that is someone what ironical So his reaction to BT (presumingly retail) being unable to repair the cab which is Openreach's job not BTR's is to leave BTR, then (based on the area) sign up to another ISP that requires that very same cabinet to be in a non demolished state in order to offer their own service to this resident or he goes to someone who wont even offer him a fibre service and gives a copper only one !!!
Posted by Wolfoz about 1 year ago
Is there any line monitoring (or any type of monitoring equipment) in the cabinet normally? The bit that worries me is the fact BT were completely unaware of the issue until it was reported to them almost a week after it happened. (Assuming the timescales reported in the article are accurate).
Posted by DrMikeHuntHurtz about 1 year ago
@csimon

I presume you must have a non-copper line, and/or the cabling to the exchange is probably the same so when a part degrades too much they replace that segment.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Csimon.
Check with your ISP on the status of your broadband if you are on the above faulty Cab and use the docket number each day that they should provide.
The ISP is the controlling factor always.I did monitor this exchange when I worked on BT.
Posted by PhilCoates about 1 year ago
Hi Blackmamba

If their fibre cabinet has been demolished and they have no internet connection, how can the ISPs advise their customers via the docket system?
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Phil. From Phil
I am trying to get across that the responsibility for the service is in the hands of the ISP who should be tracking the fault report and having the updated information the customer can use the docket number by using another broadband connection for sending/ receiving status on the problem.
Posted by PhilCoates about 1 year ago
Another Broadband connection...oh of course!
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
@scotiaman
You did note that it was a fibre cabinet demolished, not a PCP? There will still be wiring work, just not the complete set you describe.

It is a case of balancing the work needed, to choose the solution.

Nevertheless, it turns out that Openreach do have mobile fibre cabinets for such deployments:
http://forum.kitz.co.uk/index.php/topic,15761.msg295554.html#msg295554
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
@eulerid
Very true; the balance is key. And a good "emergency rectification" team would probably want some mobile cabinets in stock, in order to have the choice of solution.

I imagine that, as voice becomes a service carried over IP, then the emergency rectification team will get less time to work with.
Posted by brummygit about 1 year ago
And another one https://twitter.com/SuperfastStaffs/status/626363760576462848
Posted by The_Voyager about 1 year ago
To save this sort of thing occurring, is there no way that all this wiring etc could not be accommodated in double sized chambers - this would also appease the NIMBY brigade that objects to street furniture
Posted by PJHB about 1 year ago
'but it seems odd for people to bother spending three hours on the phone to a retailer, when the evidence of the problem looks pretty easy to spot on the main road.'

That presupposes that any one of them is able to get off the couch and actually walk around their district to look for a cause. Extremely unlikely for heavy users, unless they lived close enough to hear the crash and look out. If a line goes down, you usually try to raise support, not go out and try to fix it yourself! Support numpties won't know what the actual cause is either.
Posted by R0NSKI about 1 year ago
@scotiaman I really had to laugh when I read your post suggesting that wwwombat doesn't have a clue as to what goes. If you actually paid attention to the forums you would of noticed that he is one of the few that really does understand what goes on!

And as he's already pointed out they do have mobile cabinets, one near me (NDRAM 6) was recently completely wiped out, not sure when it happened but within the space of about 2 weeks a temporary cab was installed.

http://forum.kitz.co.uk/index.php/topic,15761.0.html
Posted by Slidey111 about 1 year ago
fwiw it was my comment regarding leaving on the bucks free press site - not quite in the context in which it was given, but the sentiment stands

totally appreciate that these things happen, however my issue is with the guesses, outright lies and BS from BTR support - telling me they were currently digging up the road, or that the fix was delayed due to the bad weather in my area!

what i'd really like would be for bt retail to speak to bt openreach and to get an ETA on this - from what we can establish openreach claimed to be unaware of the problem over a week after the cabinet was hit
Posted by Storm_Force about 1 year ago
Anyone know if this has gone live again yet?
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