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back to article Broadband minister's fibre cabinet gripe snub sparks revolt

City of Westminster councillors are outraged by the new broadband minister's decision to cut red tape and hasten the arrival of on-street fibre-optic cable cabinets. The bureaucracy-slashing move means telcos can install faster broadband connections without approval from local councils, which can prevent the placing of large …

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6 feet

Where does that figure come from? The ones we have here (Scarborough) are only a little higher - and narrower - than the analogue boxes.

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Stop

Re: 6 feet

They're all at least six feet high, have been shown to cause cancer in children who play nearby, provide internet access to paedophiles and thousands of illegal immigrants install them every year.

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Coat

@dotdavid - Re: 6 feet

>. . .

thousands of illegal immigrants

. . .<

You're apparently right, it mentions them here:

> . . .

poles and wires festooning their streets

. . .<

Question is: where do wires come from? Wirland?

Disclaimer: I haven't installed a single broadband box since I immigrated. Does that make me OK, or do I need my coat . . .

;-)

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Big Brother

Re: 6 feet

These boxes might seem nice and smart but given the chance they'd kill you and everyone you care about.

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Re: 6 feet

nice post dotdavid

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Re: 6 feet

And are covered in hair and smell like a wookie's armpit?

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Anonymous Coward

Seriously

Who gives a fuck if a new green box starts appearing on our streets as part of a new infrastructure drive?

Seriously, who?

I'm not talking about councillors or local authority planning department employees, who have a vested interest in protecting their little empires.

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Re: Seriously

Exactly.

If I were BT, I would start with placing one outside Philippa Roe's house. Even if the street did not need one :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seriously

This is what I don't understand....

Anyone can park their car in the same street no matter what style or colour... ugly people are welcome to walk along it... but a stationary dark green box is a no-no... it's objecting just for the sake of objecting, these people need to get a hobby!

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Coat

Re: Seriously

Remember, these are the same people who complain about "eyesore" cellular antennas, in the same breath as complaining about their lack of signal... no one said they were all that bright.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seriously

"it's objecting just for the sake of objecting, these people need to get a hobby!"

They should be named and shamed amost the neighbourhood.

They would not complain half as much if they knew we knew who they were!

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Re: Seriously

I would site two of them outside her house.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seriously

Um, I think you'd be singing a different tune if there was one outside your house, particularly if it was restricting access to your land or obstructing a lovely view, and reducing the value of your property.

Like the Local Government Association said, planning regulation is there for a reason.

Then again fish don't buy homes or use broadband, so what business have you weighing into this matter anyway?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seriously

"Um, I think you'd be singing a different tune if there was one outside your house, particularly if it was restricting access to your land or obstructing a lovely view, and reducing the value of your property."

Is that what you want? Cos that's what'll 'appen!?!?!?!

Please....

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Re: Seriously

The new boxes ARE audible on a quiet street on a warm afternoon. When it is warm the fans make as much noise as the birds do in trees. It is a definite high pitched fan hum too. There is one outside my place of work you see and I walk along a parallel path between buildings and can hear it when I pass the wall. Wouldnt be too happy if that was parked outside my garden.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seriously

I have f**king big telephone pole outside of my house, ruining the view and restricting access to my land (seriously, have to come in to park at an angle and reverse out carefully otherwise I'm in danger of losing a wing mirror). So what?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seriously

Same here only it's a lamp-post. These people really need to get some perspective. It's not like these boxes are going to be sited on green belt land or in nature reserves they are only being placed in residential areas i.e. places that have already been developed by ripping up fields and replacing them with bricks and mortar.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seriously

"Then again fish don't buy homes or use broadband, so what business have you weighing into this matter anyway?"

WTF are you on? what have fish got to do with any of your nonsense?

actually, it doesn’t bother me that there is one outside my house. so long as it doesn’t block my driveway. I planted some large bushy plants (cant remember the name of it, the missus knows) my side of the wall to obscure it. and offering some birds a place to nest with some added shelter !!! I think it would be a worse view if it was outside the house across the road, but he is such a miserable twat, I would take pleasure at it pissing him off.....

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Devil

Re: Seriously

They have a hobby it's called objecting(to everything and anything).

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Re: Seriously

Have to say I agree with this point. I couldn't give a monkey's about most of the objections to the cabinets, but the one round the corner from me (providing it's the one's we're talking about) does give out quite a noise. I'm a major Peace'n'Quiet fascist, so if there were one the other side of my garden wall spoiling my quiet I wouldn't be too impressed. Apart from that I agree with all the other vermently held pro-cabinet views, whose existence from a readership of techies is no surprise at all.

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Real: Seriously

Not me.

I know the work around:

By old scrap car. > Leave keys in ignition. > Have car stolen in middle of night. > Have crash.... oops ...I mean > someone else have crash.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Work-around

You might think have a cunning plan but unfortunately you fail to spell the word 'buy', which somewhat damages your credibility.

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Anonymous Coward

@ AC 1623

The last post in the thread at the time, that I was writing in response to - the fella's name is "iamafish".

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Vic
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Re: Seriously

> i.e. places that have already been developed by ripping up fields

In that case, there should be no difficulty getting through the standard Planning process.

I dislike NIMBYism as much as the next guy, but this widespread removal of residents' rights is extremely worrisome...

Vic.

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Complaining is their greatest pleasure

Presumably the same (sorts of) people got used to streetlights, TV aerials and motor vehicles when they started to appear. They'll get used to broadband cabinets too.

To paraphrase Robert Kennedy: Twenty percent of the people will be against anything

Let 'em moan.

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Anonymous Coward

Idiots

Well done to all the above posters in demonstrating that they are incapable of any sort of rational reasoning or of considering others.

I'm sure you wouldn't mind if someone were to come round and build a 12ft brick wall around the perimeter of your home, then again you probably didn't pay for it and don't give a crap anyway.

Planning regulations are there for a reason. The Local Government Association is just asking that the prevailing rules continue to be followed rather than recklessly abandoning them in favour of reducing costs for the telcos who already have thickly-lined pockets.

They are not saying "thou shalt not have broadband" - only asking that there is some thought and consideration put into their location, as per the existing, perfectly-adequate provisions for such things.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Idiots

"They are not saying "thou shalt not have broadband" - only asking that there is some thought and consideration put into their location, as per the existing, perfectly-adequate provisions for such things."

Don't be so naive, It's more likely that they are just concerned about the validity of their authority being weakened by such a "let's just get it done" approach by the Government. Their motives are political not moral.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Idiots

"Well done to all the above posters in demonstrating that they are incapable of any sort of rational reasoning or of considering others."

so the people complaining about the placing of a box outside their home are thinking rational or in consideration of others when fast broadband is abandoned in the area because its just too much trouble for the telco's

"I'm sure you wouldn't mind if someone were to come round and build a 12ft brick wall around the perimeter of your home, then again you probably didn't pay for it and don't give a crap anyway."

what a nasty little mind you have.. I seriously would be bothered if someone built a12ft brick wall around my home but are you implying that the only people interested in fast broadband or who are that bothered about how a cabinet looks are low income families in social housing claiming benifits and selling drugs? Well how elitist of you. you think you are better than everyone else just because you live in tree-lined suburbia that most people can only afford to live in because they inherited it from daddy, where the big issues of the days is that him at number 30 has a new satellite dish and hasn’t had it painted to blend in with the brickwork, or her that lives at number 18 needs to get the gate painted and some oil on it because it squeaks when her visitor leaves at 2am, or heaven forbid a mixed race family move in!!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scumbag

I work hard to pay for my home and I would be upset if it were devalued. Interesting how you jump to conclusions but I have never had any inheritance nor any other kind of handout. I would also speculate that other things you might think would be equally erroneous.

I would feel the same way whether I lived in the modest suburb I do, in the centre of town where I used to live or anywhere else.

The only way I can imagine people not caring about their neighbourhood is if they don't contribute. There are a lot of people who get given everything and most of them do not contribute in any way to society. I see them every day (even in "tree-lined suburbia") and I declare it wrong that they are entitled to the same or better quality of life than me, and I'm paying for it.

I didn't mention drugs but it's telling that you brought the topic up. From your comment it sounds like you live in a less pleasant environment and evidently you are bitter about this. So why don't you get off your arse and pay your own way? Maybe then you would understand why people with brains want to protect their most significant and tangible investment.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scumbag

"I work hard to pay for my home and I would be upset if it were devalued"

same here. I work very hard for my home and its contents and I would be upset if it were devalued. But I can honestly say that the majority of homes would not be devalued by anything near significant by the placing of a FTC cabinet adjacent to it. Facts are properties have have lost value of late by way of a whole host of things least of them will be roll out of new infrastructure to improve comms in the local area. When I moved to my current home, Availability of fast broadband and distance from the exchange was taken into account. Fact is, I would be prepared to pay more for a home if fast broadband was available than an identical property with crappy internet. So in some ways not having these cabs could increase property prices.

"Interesting how you jump to conclusions"

All I did was jumped to a different set of conclusions and generalisations than you did....

The only way I can imagine people not caring about their neighbourhood is if they don't contribute. There are a lot of people who get given everything and most of them do not contribute in any way to society. I see them every day (even in "tree-lined suburbia") and I declare it wrong that they are entitled to the same or better quality of life than me, and I'm paying for it.

its what you call social responsibility. Many people through no fault of their own are entitled to have things paid for them by the state. Most of them through no fault of their own. It does not bother me that part of the 40% I pay in income tax goes to help the guy down the road who cant walk properly, get around in a car paid for with the money he gets handed to by way of a DLA payment. It does not bother me that part of my 40% of my earnings goes to help the family down the next street who by no fault of their own have a child that is so disabled that neither of the parents can work full time. It really doesn’t bother me that they are getting the same quality of life as me.

"I didn't mention drugs but it's telling that you brought the topic up. From your comment it sounds like you live in a less pleasant environment and evidently you are bitter about this. So why don't you get off your arse and pay your own way? Maybe then you would understand why people with brains want to protect their most significant and tangible investment."

No matter where you live there will be drugs. don’t kid yourself that just because you live in a "nice area" there are no drugs. And I am happy where all my homes are. I pay my way in life, I pay more than most do in ways of social responsibility. And for the record, my primary residence is not my "most significant and tangible investment", I have cars that cost more than the average cost of a house in the uk... and every penny has come from getting off my arse....

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Facepalm

Yawn. First World Problems...

So Jeremy and Jemima Nimby don't like street cabinets? Fsck them, they should be be thankful they're in the tiny number of people on this planet with access to broadband.

I'm sure the cabinets can be disguised as other things, as telcos did with mobile phone masts.

Like an ethical coffee stall perhaps? A refuge for transgender midgets?

Or maybe I'll come round in the night and crudely spray a hairy erect phallus on every cabinet I find.

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Re: Yawn. First World Problems...

You mean my local refuge for transgender midgets is just a scam? Just another mobile phone mast?

I don't know who to trust any more.

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Bronze badge

Re: Yawn. First World Problems...

You mean my local refuge for transgender midgets is just a scam? Just another mobile phone mast?

'Fraid so. Probably a front for the Albanian mafia or something...

If I was you I'd move house.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yawn. First World Problems...

Given that it's Westminster, better not disguise them as an anti-war protester's tent. Instead, if they're made to look like a broken BT phone-box plastered with prostitutes' calling cards, they should get past the planning committee

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"crudely spray a hairy erect phallus"

B3tan, by any chance?

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Re: "crudely spray a hairy erect phallus"

B3tan, by any chance?

No. Just a childish passive agressive.

Oh wait, is that the same thing?

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Will they think about the hinges

The GPO boxes were made of cast iron built to withstand a nuclear blast

The BT boxes were made of sheet metal to withstand the rain

The Virgin boxes were made of disposal panels ... except I can't recall what used the hang on the hinges ...

It would be nice if all street furniture could be mandated to designed to look good and not fall to bits the first time a kids football hits it. A choice in shape and colour would be nice too. The council could choose that. Apart from ensuring they don't obstruct then that's it for the council. Bunging £50 to the owner of any adjoining property would silence 99% of objections. Except from folks who would like it outside their property instead ...

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Re: Will they think about the hinges

Gone are the days of Victorian over-engineered cast iron masterpieces (tis a shame). I'd be very happy to have a miniature beam engine pumping the water at the end of the street.

You would wonder if these same nimbys would moan if the iconic red phone boxes or pillar boxes were being removed from their leafy suburbs? (although I would moan if they painted the nearby ones that ghastly gold regardless of whether someone peddled faster in an oval or threw a metal plate further than some others).

Maybe if they got Johnny Ive to design them we'd all be happier?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Will they think about the hinges

"Maybe if they got Johnny Ive to design them we'd all be happier?"

No! The majority of us would Tisk.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Howard

* PEDALLED

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Silver badge

Re: Will they think about the hinges

I remember when the open season was declared on cable TV - the amount of duplicated road digging and empty green boxes was a tad over the top.

Personally I wouldn't mind one outside my place though - I'm FTTC with an OH feed.

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Vic
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Joke

Re: @ Howard

> * PEDALLED

Hactually, the OP might have been closer to the truth with "peddled"...

Vic.

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I agree with the residents of Westminster

They shouldn't have their streets filled with unsightly High Speed Internet cabinets, they should be filling the streets of MY local area instead!

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Unhappy

Re: I agree with the residents of Westminster

I agree entirely.

I'd love to have one of these cabinets outside my house if it meant that I could get better than the 300 KB/sec I'm currently being offered.

I think that there is a clue in Roe's remark:

"She added that the City of Westminster is able to offer businesses, residents and tourists a decent broadband connection via various means including O2's "free" Wi-Fi zones in parts of the West End,"

Sort of "Cabinets we don't need no steenkin cabinets! And sod the rest of you who do."

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Anonymous Coward

I understand why Kensington & Chelsea Council rejected 96 (out of 108) of the BT proposals for new cabinets - wouldn't want anything spoling the view of endless parked 4x4s, bins outside every house, parking meters...

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How difficult is it...

To design a series of slip-on covers for standard cabinets in a variety of tasteful designs, to fit every locality - tudorbethan, bauhaus, victorian gothic etc. Perhaps something that local councils or residents associations could buy if they don't like the standard green ones. Could be a nice little earner for someone. (who do I patent the idea with?)

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Re: How difficult is it...

Other (sensible) countries put a vinyl wrap on the cabinets to blend with their surroundings.

Obviously this could never happen in the UK as someone would bang into the box, lose a tooth and sue somebody. Then all cabinets would have to be painted fluorescent green to ensure all future idiots could see said cabinet and give it a wide berth.

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Re: How difficult is it...

Didn't people do that when Sky dishes first arrived? I remember seeing brick covers on a Sky dish and totally not noticing it, no-sireee!

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Anonymous Coward

Seriously?

We have a fully fibred-up BT exchange a mile up the road, but because the powers-that-be cabled up our (mid-2000s-built) street with what I can only assume was wet string, we're lucky to squeak 2Mbps on our broadband on a good day with a following wind, whilst paying the same for the privilege as someone with ten times the bandwidth a few streets away.

If it were purely down to me*, I'd agree to hosting one of these cable-boxes in our (tiny) front garden, painted day-glo yellow with a Banksy original on the front, if it only meant we and our neighbours (I'm community-minded, me) could finally get the BT Infinity service the local exchange is apparently fully capable of.

In the meantime, I'll just have to wait until either BT get their fingers out (or Virgin Media beats them to it), or the local NIMBYs emigrate, and gamely put up with my brother bragging about how incredible his 20-times-faster Virgin broadband is, and I really should get it, oh no, you can't, ho ho :-(

* But sadly it's not - my wife is a bit more aesthetically-minded than my more utilitarian self...

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Re: Seriously?

I'm a Parish Councillor, and I can assure you that in my rural parish we use common sense. We would look at path obstruction, noise and any roadway line-of-sight issues it might bring. If any one of those was a problem we would suggest a slight move (probably only a few feet). Job done!

Bring it on I say as we have (wet) paper insulated lines in my village.

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