They're not THAT ugly but we need to plan for the future.
I don't really know what the fuss is about. We've always lived with street furniture and I don't think this is any worse than anything else!
We have similar looking Huawei and even larger Alcatel-Lucent cabinets in Ireland. In fact, some small telephone exchanges over here were housed entirely in on-street cabinets before VDSL ever appeared.
The main cable television operator over here, UPC, has even larger green cabinets which contain their fibre-to-kerb and distribution amplifier equipment. However, they deliver sweet 100mbit/s - 120mbit/s broadband and video on demand, and my HDTV so I am not complaining and they are usually quite well camouflaged.
We have always had street cabinets since the dawn of utility companies and modern technology going right back to the late 1800s!
Telephone companies have always had large cabinets housing junctions and distribution equipment to connect up local lines. Those big green cabinets have been around for decades.
Power companies have cabinets with fuses, metering gear, earthing points, junctions, telemetry, network control etc etc.
Gas companies have similar boxes for similar reasons.
Water companies and local councils have cabinets housing meters and telemetry for keeping the water networks leak-free.
Other boxes house traffic light control systems.
Modern life requires these services and in general, they are reasonably well integrated into the built environment.
I don't think those green VDSL boxes are particularly ugly. In many cases, they're less ugly than the buildings they're standing next to :)
I think though there's a bit of a risk that if it become a total free-for-all the whole place will be dug up to lay ducts and cables.
It would make more sense if local authorities did some joined-up thinking and actually laid neutral ducts that could be used by any utility company that needed them. Or, as is common elsewhere in Europe, provide easily removable areas of brick pavement or grass-margin that can be dug up and restored without all the need for cracking up paving and road surfaces.
ALL new build housing and all new road surfacing projects should include laying neutral ducts. Space should then be provided for street cabinets for whatever technology's needed now or in the future.
The reality is that we have no idea what technology might arrive and the most sensible approach is to provide the physical infrastructure (ducts, vaults and cabinet spaces and easily accessible 230V/400V power) to easily rollout whatever technology comes along as it evolves.