Broadband News

Lifespan of Openreach FTTC installs may be 20 years

Openreach with its code powers does not need to always apply for planning permission when locating its cabinets for VDSL2. In areas such as nominated conservation areas, planning permission will be required. Details of four cabinet planning applications in Montrose, Angus reveal some interesting facts.

Usually Openreach street cabinets are green, but in this case Openreach was asking to install grey cabinets but has had the condition imposed that the cabinets need to be green, though the exact shade of green has yet to be defined.

Standard Openreach FTTC street furniture

The four locations, for those who live in the area and thus will be familiar with the streets, are:

  • On the north side of the pedestrian footway on North Street, close to its junction with Murray Street/North Esk Road.
  • On the north side of the pedestrian footway on Hume Street, close to its junction with High Street.
  • At the rear of the pedestrian footway on the west side of Union Place, close to its junction with Wellington Street.
  • At the rear of the pedestrian footway on the south side of St Peter’s Road, within the Mid Links area.

The full planning application gives some other interesting information about the Openreach cabinets, for those who have not seen one in the real world yet, the standard full sized cabinet is 130cm high x 75cm wide and 40cm deep with a 0.3sq metre footprint. The interesting snippet that reveals a lot about the future of broadband in the UK is that Openreach is informing councils that the cabinets which supply Super Fast Fibre Access are likely to be in place for some 20 years. By 2032 whether the cabinets will be supplying VDSL2 or a newer even faster xDSL variant or perhaps they may be housing fibre concentrators to merge the data from 200 or more homes that are then fed by fibre rather copper is open to debate and crystal ball gazing.


Note latest superfast spade in picture.

  • Somerset
  • over 9 years ago

Dear god, I hope cyberdoyle doesn't read this!

Seriously though, I'm not worried about this, the cabinets I'm sure will be used at a later date as fibre cabinets so.... fibre to the cab and then from there fibre to the home, obviously they aren't really needed but as the ducts to those cabs are already their the might as well use them, plus it gives them a migration path

  • GMAN99
  • over 9 years ago

"plus it gives them a migration path"
By then people will be migrating via cable. They can already move stuff across a lab.

  • uniquename
  • over 9 years ago

Not sure what you mean?

I mean the cabs can be used to serve Voice/ADSL (now) plus Voice/ADSL/VDSL (now) and Voice/ADSL/VDSL/FTTH (future) and eventually one day in the distant future just FTTH.... very distant no doubt

  • GMAN99
  • over 9 years ago

It does mean they will be an eyesore for 20 years though. 4ft 3in high is not small, although they must have done some optimisation if these are the 'standard' cabinets as the ones in London were bigger. A GPON cabinet would be 1/6 the size so if they do migrate there will be a lot of empty space

A friend of mine in Sheffield was complaining about the Digital Region cabinets and they are only just over 1 metre high. He would be apoplectic with these.

  • nickkcin
  • over 9 years ago

True but cabs will always be needed whilst an area needs voice only or voice and ADSL, which might still be in use for many many years in some areas

  • GMAN99
  • over 9 years ago

The Digital Region cabinets are bigger than the latest BT fibre cabinets. The estate I live on both, and the DR cabinets are taller and wider. The BT fibre cabinet doesn't look much bigger than a normal telephone cabinet.

  • wb99999
  • over 9 years ago

I'd quite happily have a cabinet right outside my house if it meant getting any sort of decent broadband.

  • huwwatkins
  • over 9 years ago

Uniquename: I get it ;-)

  • The_Engineer
  • over 9 years ago

130cm high x 75cm wide and 40cm is one of the small cabinets. The cabinet shown in the photo looks like a large Huawei cabinet, approx 1.6m high x 1.2m wide

  • rogan8
  • over 9 years ago

We do moderate news comments, if people want to insult others then can I suggest they find another source for their anguish.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 9 years ago

"In areas such as nominated conversation areas..." typo I'm guessing it should read conservation areas? Or is this the newest social media where you need planning permission first before you can use it?

  • Saurus
  • over 9 years ago

The one at the bottom of our road is a dark brown. Very hard to notice.

  • Capn
  • over 9 years ago

Our local Council threw out 90% of BT's DSLAM applications because "they completely ignored the Council's guidelines" so BT infinity is on hold - main reason "not compliant with the street scene" because they are BIG, UGLY and only come in green!

  • AlconburyTelecom
  • over 9 years ago

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