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back to article New broadband minister snubs 'ugly' fibre cabinet gripes

Brits will no longer be able to object to the arrival of "ghastly" fibre optic cabling cabinets outside their homes: Blighty's new broadband minister has stamped her authority on moves to upgrade the nation's internet infrastructure that sidestep local councils. Maria Miller, who replaced Jeremy Hunt earlier this week during …

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We used to be capable of designing things of beauty, or at least relatively attractive objects, such as post boxes.

Would it be beyond the wit of today's designers to make them attractive, or otherwise blend into the scenery in some way? Zero imagination seems to have been applied to this problem. A matter of cost, I guess. But perhaps residents could vote on a number of available designs and even pay a small amount, rather than have the annoyance of walking past an eyesore several times a day.

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"We used to be capable of designing things of beauty, or at least relatively attractive objects, such as post boxes."

Those days are sadly long gone, for example several years ago there was a comission for a very important piece of artwork that would be plastered all over the country on merchandise and shown all over the world on television yet the final choice looked terrible and everyone ridiculed it.

What am I talking about? The 2012 Olympics logo...

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Anonymous Coward

Huawei != We

Sorry dude, Huawei != We at least as far as as subset of We equal to Me is concerned.

No thanks.

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COMCAST

If in 1999 Comcast was to be believed, then every time my whole development experienced a blackout, it was because a motorist along highway 5 or 209 crashed into a cable box alongside the highway on a rainy or foggy/tuley fog night -- what an UNLUCKY box, poor thing. Sick of that lame excuse, I looked at a map, and hollered or curtly replied that that CO ("Central Office") box was 4 miles away. It was insane that a box would be alongside a busy freway, strikeable, and be one that was responsible for a development of 3,000 homes built and 2,000 more on the way. It was preposterous, especially given that these outtages seemed to be every few months -- for a car crash reason. When the outtage was not a box-strike or overheating failure,I think they were just pissed that I used Linux and flat-out refused to install their fracking spyware CD on my machines or even route my machines through a windoze box. Yeh, they made keyloggers (which I only suspect, cannot prove) for Win and Mac, but not for Linux. I even commented that AT&T and Comcast started out with a Unix history and as a matter of PRIDE they should have on stafff at least 3 or 4 UNIX/Linux-savvey people on staff. I even had to argue with them that ALL THEY NEEDED TO DO WAS TO PING my router, not be privileged to a persistent conversational link with my machine, sniffing my network, forcing me to block their probes.

So, maybe one reason for all those boxes is to make sure there is redundancy to sniff a home no matter how much bandwidth a greedy neighbor is sucking down, such as those playing Half-Life and other tournament games of the day, hahaha

Sometimes, phone and cablecos can be deeply invasive and evasive and intensive and endtensive pains in the rear.

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Black Helicopters

Re: COMCAST

Oooo-kay. I think you need a dried frog pill.

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I agree, the olympic logo looks like Liza Simpson giving head.

As for the relatively attractive objects, the red telephone box, pillar box and the police box have all become iconic parts of British culture, and not only due to the police box featuring in Doctor Who, and the other two appearing in DW spoofs. I'd rather see something along those lines.

Who ever down voted your post must be an absolute cock.

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If people complain to the council's about the cabinets being eyesores and block installation permission then they have a few more issues they need to deal with first - like getting a life.

I would have thought these would be the very LEAST of the things that are classified as an eyesore.

DISCLAIMER - I have one about 3 metres outside my window.

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Anonymous Coward

@Peter

An absolute cock for having a different taste with regard to a totally subjective thing like design of a logo?

Forgive me for not towing the commentard line and agreeing with everyone else.

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Re: @Peter

I was fully expecting you to be one of these folks that inexplicably down vote a fairly innocuous post for no apparent reason. Kudos to you for replying, I retract my 'absolute cock' statement, although you obviously don't have enough conviction in your beliefs not to post as ac, otherwise I would have upvoted your post.

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Anonymous Coward

We all know what needs to be done...

I say make Jonathan Ive work to keep his bloody knighthood.

True, he might make them all look like iPhones, but at least lots of people seem to like that sort of thing.

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Happy

Re: COMCAST rant

Mr dssf,

My mouse hovered uncertainly over 'upvote' and 'downvote' for a while, but sadly 'downvote' won the day. I wanted to upvote your insane diatribe, but couldn't be sure it was ironic. Ah well...

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Your post box idea seems a start. :)

A round Fiber cabinet? Could rotate as well for easy access to cabling. :P

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Anonymous Coward

> We used to be capable of designing things of beauty, or at least relatively attractive objects, such as post boxes.

Excuse me Madam/Sir we would like to stick this large red phallus shaped pillar box right outside your home. It wont blend in or match the surroundings in any way and is, in fact, designed to stand out. What's that? You object? Tough, this is the 19th century and we can stick these wherever we want to. You might think these are bright garish monstrosities but in a hundred years or more peoples will think the designs are beautiful and will fight not to have them removed.

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Anonymous Coward

But some people dislike those, especially the nice bright red colour, and try to repaint them, beauty is in the eye of the beholder ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Huawei != We

Maybe you would have liked Ferranti to make the boxes? Too bad, Iran-Contra and all that ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: We all know what needs to be done...

They'd be a pile of glass granules in no time :P

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Huawei != We

Gee, did you get a bad Kung Po Chicken sometime? ;)

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Anonymous Coward

The logo is OK

The logo is OK - it is a thing of beauty. If you compare it to the mascots of course.

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Facepalm

And when the cable breaks?

Private landowners will also be told that fibre can be laid under or above their land, with the government doing away with "the bureaucratic burden of long-running negotiations"

Lawnmowers, spades etc. and the whole neighbourhood goes dark? Who would be responsible for repair? Who will keep chopping cables because they resent being told it is going on their land whether they like it or not?

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Re: And when the cable breaks?

Exactly - this is only going to end in tears. Although I suspect wealthy Tory land owners will be spared...

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Re: And when the cable breaks?

I don't have anything to say regarding the resentment and cable chopping but the home owner should not be totally defenseless with regard to the land usage. Art 11 of the EC telecommunications directive holds that the rights of way may not be used to discriminate in either direction i.e. against land owner and telecommunications provider. So while the directive allows to use rights of way to lay cable it does not seem to allow for carte blanche for the telecoms or Ms. Miller either.

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Re: Chris007

...and nothing to do with the wealthy socialist landowners? Blair? Mandelson et al...

and don't forget the prime example of wealthy socialists - everyone's best buddy Robert Maxwell...

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Re: And when the cable breaks?

End in tears in the cable. Boom boom.

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Re: And when the cable breaks? @Chris007

"Although I suspect wealthy land owners of any political persuasion will be spared..."

There, fixed it for you!!

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Happy

Re: And when the cable breaks? @kiwimuso

Thanks to all those who corrected me - I was obviously just picking on the current govt (sorry libdems but you don't count...).

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Meh

Must admit, the new cabinet that covers my house is stuck in the middle of a piece of grass, across the road from the old box, which is also in teh middle of a piece of grass. I don't understand why they couldn't put the new ones next to it's analogue cousin, maybe somebody can enlighten?

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Maybe they don't want to dig up around the old box and risk breaking analog cables that are not placed exactly where they expect them?

Maybe they are being nice to the local dog population?

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe the solitude helps them think more clearly and plan world domination and extermination of the simians better.

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most of the time is due to getting Power to the Cab its far cheaper to dig up the road them self and stick it on the other side of the rd then it is to get the power company to do it

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Pictures?

Not living in one of leafy suburbs mentioned, I've not had the pleasure of seeing one of these ginourmous cabinets, clicking back through the links to previous Register articles does not bring up a photo, can someone point me in the direction of one installed and looking horrible? I just want to see what the fuss is about.

Thanks

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Re: Pictures?

http://www.broadbandwatchdog.co.uk/story/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/bt-fibre-cabinets.jpg

The fibre one is the one on the left.

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Re: Pictures?

There are a few varieties of both old and new cabinets, the new full size ones look like this:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/193/050ea.jpg/

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-N9Q337gZSjs/TlnuRF76zEI/AAAAAAAAAX0/RlmdLkfq3kQ/s1600/IMG_0276.JPG

Random people next to one for scale:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EEQZk0-cS54/Tj7OvBOhVRI/AAAAAAAAD78/oanpnV6ADio/s1600/IMG_1246.JPG

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Re: Pictures?

BT cabinet in leafy suburb coming up:

http://davidmunro.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/bt-cabinet-at-bourne-cross-roads.html

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Re: Pictures?

Thats it? I've seen those! I was expecting some great hulking wardrobe type of thing. I admit the cabinet photo with the two random people is perhaps a little obtrusive if you live in that property, but they are not as bad as I believed them to be.

If those suburbs don't want them, move on, use them somewhere else and they can wait till the end of the upgrade list.

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Re: Pictures?

Hah! I live in surrey and the complained abour "impeded" sightlines are still gloriously open compared with what passes for "safe" at various intersections.

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Radio Active, perhaps.

Be of good heart and brave; if your manufacturers are as good at skirting regulations as some I've seen here, the boxes will be so far above EN 55022 they'll be noticed as soon as a police car drives by.

Not that Ofcom has a good reputation for protecting radio users. Remember PLT?

http://www.compliance-club.com/PLT/The%20Ofcom%20Saga.PDF

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Paris Hilton

Re: Pictures?

Ah! The picture explains it. They had to stop using the analogue design because of the rounded corner patent.

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Re: Radio Active, perhaps.

You beat me to it! I bet the people who are whining about these beautiful cabinets being lovingly situated outside their homes are quite happy to fling electromagnetic shit at their neighbours by using PLT.

It seems strange that there wasn't this hullabaloo when Virgin deployed their service, maybe because their cabs are a lot smaller and are sited with more respect for the surroundings than Bastard Telecom?

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Re: Pictures?

The random's appear positively chuffed with their shiny new green box :)

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Re: Pictures?

I'd be chuffed if I had one right outside my place. The speed boost would be fantastic.

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Unhappy

Re: Pictures?

Please can i have one in my street, I wont complain promise !!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pictures?

But what's that godawful ugly brick box in the background, have they no style? ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pictures?

It looks no worse than a traffic-light controlling box, and considerably cleaner, for now ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pictures?

Are they going to "conserve"'the fugly concrete wall topped with steel railings,, reinforced concrete pillars at the side of the road (with reflective moderno red stripe in them, classy!) 3 to 4 metre-high reflective metal roadsigns and speed limits on tubular metal posts, yet another brick box monstrosity "traditional house", and scuzzy badly maintained fading painted road markings for "School" - think of the children! Oh and the threadbare grass and rather dismal amateur looking tarmac "footpath". Is it a "park" ? :P Go to the Nordics or Switzerland and see how it's done, especially the road markings.

Other than that, yeah, it's totally a rural idyll :P

OK I am being a bit ironic, I have seen much worse I suppose. No doubt the area is worth a fortune too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pictures?

You are missing the point.

The biggest idiocy about these boxes is that they are not designed to serve full capacity. It is (like _ALL_ BT broadband products before it) designed to be killed by its own popularity.

1. The box can handle only a fraction of the households in the wiring coverage area. You will have to raise a whole "high rise district" of these if everyone takes the "Infinity"

2. The box must coexist with the old wiring box because the vested interests in UK telecoms sector require that the old copper infrastructure is _RETAINED_ in parallel with the fiber to the curb.

So as a result you have an "unsightly erection" rising right in the middle of your neighborhood. So do you like it or not the NIMBYs have a point here. In any case, driving them down their throat is also wrong. What the "dear minister" should do is drive them (and NTL boxes) down the utllities throat. There is a place in every neighborhood which has power, is out of sight and has enough space to house the whole high rise - the local power distribution substation. These are fenced off so even something as butt ugly as the current cabients can happily live there.

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Trollface

How ugly can it be?

It's just a rectangular box with rounded corners. I believe such things are regarded as paragons of aethetics in some quarters.

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Re: How ugly can it be?

Someone I know, has pictures of the different cabs..

See them here: http://www.robertos.me.uk/html/street_cabinets_etc.html

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Re: How ugly can it be?

I should've added its the Huawei and ECI cabs that are currently being deployed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How ugly can it be?

It's just a rectangular box with rounded corners. I believe such things are regarded as paragons of aethetics in some quarters.

and copyrighted! BT, b-ware!!! :D

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