back to article Muswell Hillbillies force BT to move broadband boxes

BT has been ordered to move 20 of the bulkier new streetside cabinets planned to power its trial of faster broadband, after they offended aesthetic sensibilities in leafy Muswell Hill, north London. The local council, Haringey, is also arranging for all the boxes to be repainted black rather than their current green, to "blend …

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Grenade

Why not...

just telll em no cabinets no faster BB...

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Joke

BT are welcome

To build a new exchange in my garden if they like, rent free, just give me better than 1 meg on my "up to" 20 Meg line :-(

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Coat

quite right too.

I don't want my little angel irradiated by these porn mongering internet boxes. They could've at least made them organic. What's even worse is the terrible view given to me by one of the engineers bending over to look into one of these things. Dear little Porscher's eyes burned.

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Car name or Latin name?

I suspect the organic lentil munching residents of Muswell Hill will spell their daughter's name 'Portia'. Calling your daughter 'Porsche' is a bit too Premiership footballer...

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Coat

Could BT subcontract the work.

To Virgin?

Cable would be faster, probably cheaper to install and less intrusive.

I'll get my coat.

ttfn

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Boffin

In the ground?

How about sinking the boxes so they are half buried? A hydraulic platform can be implemented to raise the cabinet out of the ground fully when work needs to be done. Sure it might cost BT a bit more, but it's a concept that can be taken further to the point of having the cabinets completely submerged in the pavement unless the equipment contained within requires maintenance.

The only drawback to submersion of equipment is existing utility equipment already buried in the pavement. Suitable sites will be limited because of this.

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Waterproof

I assume sitting in a nice hole in the ground the electronics would have wellies to keep them dry?

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Except for...

...flooding. Probably with tramp piss.

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FAIL

In the ground?

"How about sinking the boxes so they are half buried? A hydraulic platform can be implemented to raise the cabinet out of the ground fully when work needs to be done."

Yeah - that platform would also come in handy to be able to raise it after any rain to allow the water to drain out of the equipment!

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Boffin

Several suggestions of water...

None of the idiots at the council resurfacing the pavement, and completely covering over the aperture?

http://thereifixedit.com/2009/11/28/awkward-fire-hydrant-is-awkward/

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FAIL

Unless...

...the issue you've come to fix is a failure in the hydraulics. Possibly caused by corrosion from little Portia's grateful tears.

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Grenade

@ Matt Ryan, James Thomas, GettinSadda, Alan Firminger

It's hardly a miracle in scientific advancement to ensure that a) the cabinet is waterproof and b) there is a drainage channel. Sheesh, if man was able to implement the marvel of London's sewer system in the 1860s then I'm sure that tapping a drainage port between each cabinet and existing roadside sewer channels will be child's play with today's technology.

You do realise that there are a number of existing deployments of submerged infrastructure across the UK that works on the exact principle I described originally? BT's own infratructure across the Highlands of Scotland already uses submerged cabinet structures that rise up when maintenance is required. These were deployed at the end of the 90s in order to eliminate telegraph poles from the majority of the countryside.

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Joke

no tramps im Muswell Hill

they are not aesthetically pleasing enough,..

maybe el-reg can do a compertiton for us commentards to design a cabnet that will fit in in Muswell Hill.... or a second comp to design a tramp cover so that the nice folk of Haringey are not subject to endure the reality of modern life..

my design for a tramp cover would be a large brick construction, with multiple devisions, with glass openings to let in light and fresh air.. that can cover up several tramps.... i would build my tramp cover on the site that currently is occupied by Haringey Social services,,,, be3cause we know how useless they are....

Joke alert, because haringay/muswell hill are just that !!

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Joke

As Muswell Hill is about 2 miles from Tottenham...

...then I'm guessing the boxes in Tottenham will be painted to match the graffiti covered burnt our cars with no tyres on bricks. :)

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Please come and install in Wimborne

Please please come and install in Wimborne in Dorset!

We would not worry about the design of the 'street furniture'!

Get on with it BT and local councils!

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WTF?

Maybe we should

Deport them to the States so they can go and live anongst the Amish and not hold back the country.

Sodding luddites!

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Stop

Pedant alert!

Think you'll find that the original luddites were not against technology. They were all for it, providing people's rights were respected and people were not made destitute by scumbag companies, hellbent on trampling small cottage industry under foot!

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Pint

F@ck 'em

I'm finding it dificult to choose which side to be on - one part of me says "F@cking NIMBYs - why give them faster broadband when they obviously don't want it" while the other says "if BT get away with putting these oversized cabinets in conservation areas, you can bet that the mobile operators will be clamouring to get their radiation emitters^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H telephone masts put up in the same area."

If these bastards are complaining about slow broadband as well, then fuck 'em. Give it to someone who wants it and do not care if these boxes are the size of an elephant in bright purple with fluorescent yellow spots.

Beer coz it helps me forget

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Badgers

@RichyS

Point taken. The child would be called either Saab or Twingo. Bless its little free range socks.

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title.

Fuck 'em.

I know many parts of the country that would be happy to have anything this side of a transit van sitting in the street, if it meant they had enough netspeed to watch iplayer or youtube without buffering

Rip out the ADSL2 kit out while you're at it - leave them with a small, unobtrusive 28.8k modem cabinet.

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not hard

"Fuck 'em.

I know many parts of the country that would be happy to have anything this side of a transit van sitting in the street, if it meant they had enough netspeed to watch iplayer or youtube without buffering

Rip out the ADSL2 kit out while you're at it - leave them with a small, unobtrusive 28.8k modem cabinet."

Well, tell those people to move closer to an exchange and pay BT money. Then they will get their broadband.

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Liberal!

Now you're sounding like a nampy pampy liberal.

28.8k?

What's wrong with two cups and a wet bit of string, or would that be deemed unsightly in such a posh area?

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Coat

Why not taunt them?

Rather than a 28.8K modem, how about giving them a V.90 modem, just to give them a little hope... and then put a DACS on the line.........

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Boffin

Pics?

Can we have a pic or two of these garguantuan cabinets to we can judge for ourselves whether they are really a pavement obstruction and general eyesore, or whether the Muswell lot are being muppets.

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Nice one BT

So BT, given the WHOLE of the UK to choose from to put it's new Jumbo Cabinets, went for a conservation area with complex planning laws and stuck-up residents who have no problem parking a car the size of the Titanic outside their houses but baulk at the idea of a 1.6m tall telecoms cabinet.

Great work BT!

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WTF?

What the hell is the problem with you people?

Conservation area or not, BT has a blatant disregard for the environs when it installs boxes - new or old - and that monsterous green colour should have gone years ago. I don't see why residents shouldn't have a say in what they do to the area, especially since this a trial and BT should now be more aware when it rolls it out elsewhere.

Or maybe where you all live is already an ugly shithole so you don't care?

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hear hear

mod this post up!

I can't believe so many people seem to think it's ok to just shove big ugly boxes anywhere.

As you say, they must all live in ugly shitholes.

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Boffin

Perhaps you should get some perspective

Can't really see how what manner of boxes telcos choose to install would improve civic beauty in any sufficiently decent-looking suburb, since they're all so crowded with cars and 8 foot high 4x4s that you can't see the bloody street anyway. If you want to nominate something offensive and pointless to get rid of which will pretty this country up a bit, try the all-pervasive motor car instead of some inoffensive green boxes that actually provide a service rather than choke the place up.

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I agree completely

But it should still be up to the people who actually live there to decide rather than BT.

Incidentally I know the road this concerns and it's actually not that pretty to begin with, but the principle still holds :)

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Stop

F*ck em

'F*ck em' was my immediate thought and it's nice to see there are a couple of other high brow thinkers of the same mind.

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Unhappy

40% of properties

Well that accounts for all the major population centres, and the rest of the country can whistle... as we currently do for Cable, LLU etc. etc. etc.

Forgive me, BT, if I am not overflowing with excitement at the prospect of FTTC - especially as I will be paying for it through my land line tax (thank's so much Darling) as well as line rental and definitely not reaping any benefit.

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Anonymous Coward

Tzael's got it

I think Tzael has got the best idea. Leave it in the ground. When the BT engineer requires access, they press a button, the lid opens and it rises out of the ground. Very futuristic. Also, might help scupper some of the vandals.

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Two problems in a hole

The hole will fill with water

The lift will fail so the box, hand wound up, is left above ground

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huh

So put a drainage hole in the exterior hoist housing and make the electronics cabinet water-tight. Not exactly difficult.

While you're about it, make the lifting mechanism hydraulic/compressed-air operated using a compressor on board the service vehicle to prevent the local scrotes from opening the thing and nicking the insides.

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Water tight?

Pretty sure that box is going to need some cooling... How exactly are they getting that lovely hot air out of their buried water tight box?

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Grenade

Moan moan moan

They should be thankful they've got a f**king working telephone line, f**k what the cabinets looks like. I'd be tempted to suggest BT just blow up the exchange and let them have f**k all ... give them two cups and a bit of string and see how broadband you get out that!!

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Stop

I fully support Balefire's proposal

Why do they paint them green anyway? To blend in? So you can walk into them?

Along Balefire's lines, I'd modify it to cow- or hippopotamus shaped,* and just let local artists paint them as they like. As was uselessly done by the Cow Parade people. Or assorted animals, totems and food objects --- will help a lot of people, from misplaced tourists to small children. "You go right at the icecream, until you see the penguin, then bend left to where you see the unicorn, and ask again," and the bobby can help the crying infant that knows she lives close to the carrot.

*cables to be routed through legs, hence possibly second preferable.

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Genius

Holy shitsticks, Marvin. That's blummin inspired! Street furniture as street art? Genius!

I especially like the mental (both senses) image of the sobbing kid with the balloon looking for a giant carrot. Carroll would be proud.

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TRT
Silver badge

High stuff near roads

Well, a fence within a metre of a public roadway needs planning permission over 1m height because of visibility issues for road users. So (1) these boxes will no doubt be bigger than some people's garden walls and (2) they will add various blind spots to the roads. Well thought out there, BT. Why not put them underground or make them low and long?

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If there's anything in the world

lower and longer than me, I want it caught and shot. I have a reputation to uphold you know.

In all seriousness, though, can you imagine a repair engineer crawling along on his hands and knees alongside one trying to find the bit he has to fix? It would be a bugger to work on.

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WTF?

Priorities

Perhaps staff at Haringey Council should spend their time looking after the child services division instead of worrying about the size of BT's street boxes.

If I was the BT person liaising with the Council I would have told them to fuck off and make sure they didn't let anymore baby killers slip through the net.

This is a disgraceful waste of council time and money when they have higher priorities.

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Badgers

Council probably couldn't have cared less

Sounds to me like that Haringey Council woman is basically making a bit of noise for the benefit of the granola munchers. Wouldn't surprise me if the council and BT already had it all tied up behind the scenes before the NIMBYs* started jumping up and down about it. Fits with the BT statement anyway, which itself reads like a roll of the eyes.

We've been able to hear the loud transformer buzz coming from some frankly enormous ADSL2 cabinets at the end of our street for the last year or so, but sadly we don't live in a conservation area (nor is our street populated by self righteous tits) so nothing gets done about it, despite the fact they block more than half the pavement. I really feel sorry for the folk whose house they back on to; must be like sleeping next to a diesel generator.

* How do you pluralise NIMBY? Is it NIMBYs? NIMBies? NIMBYies? Oh no hang on I've got it... Twats.

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Alert

FFS

Do these muppets want faster internet or not. I am sure 99.99% of the country would kill to be on a trial like they are. If they would like to swap cabinets with me I would be more than happy to oblige.

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WTF?

want faster internet 0r not?

> I am sure that 99.99% of the country would kill to be on a trial

I rather suspect that a majority of the actual population of the country doesn't give a damn about faster broadband. Latest stat I can immediately spot suggests that only about 65% of the country has broadband at all, so all the occupants of the remaining 35% of households obviously won't care. Then what percentage of the remaining really want faster broadband? All those under 5 won't care, all those who just use the net for email and some web browsing probably don't care - I certainly don't... I reckon that's going to be easily half the population of the remaining households...

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Paris Hilton

erm...so...

If "Up to 20Megs!" is quite often found to be 1 Meg does "Up to 40 Megs" mean we can expect speeds of around 2Mb and we may be able to watch iPlayer with buffering happening every few minutes instead of every few seconds?

Paris because she could deliver anything she wanted to me.

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There are some pictures across the web:

ThinkBroadband covered this a while ago:

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/4011-aaisp-connects-first-business-on-bt-fibre-to-the-cabinet-pilot.html

Some people that work on it:

http://modular-solution.com/2009/03/27/next-generation-broadband-fttc/

And here's something similar by Rutland Telecom - who's name sadly for them made me immediately think of an ISP subsidiary of "Rutland Weekend Television". They appear to be providing "Fibre to the Countryside". There box actually seems neater than BT's own solution.

http://www.rutlandtelecom.co.uk/lyddington/

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Bloody title

And how exactly from those pictures are you able to tell the cab is 1.6m high

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Solution: Fewer, bigger boxes

Replace them with replicas of those big blue police call boxes with locks that can only be opened with a sonic screwdriver.

And put a sound system inside just so you can play a certain well known sound effect every once in a while.

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Points

A couple of points here relating to my experience working 10 years for Telewest / Virgin Media.

Black paint: Yeah that will keep things cool. Come midsummer everyones broadband will die on a hot day.

Underground boxes: Susceptible to all kinds of issues water being the least of them. Flooded boxes keep working its just servicing thats an issue. All the kit including power supplies used in subpavement kit is water resistant its just a bitch to service a bx thats flooded. To all those saying make it water tight - its not as easy as all that. Even if you make it water tight on day 1 it won't be after 10 years of subsidence, traffic vibrations, roadworks, etc. Also you want it to be relatively cheap to install or the service you're offering becomes uncompetitive.

The biggest issue with underground boxes in my experience is vermin. Try getting a problem fixed when theres 50 rats cuddled up to the nice warm power unit . . . with all your nice neat cabling chewed up and used as nesting material . . . .

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Paris Hilton

Whut...

Make em out of tofu and organic tibetan mountain goat pubes. (I think it's a Hugh Fairly Witless recipe)

Paris, she could have my organics.

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