back to article Wealthy London NIMBYs grit teeth, welcome 'ugly' fibre cabinets

BT has convinced residents of Kensington and Chelsea that they can live with "ugly" fibre optic cabling cabinets on their streets. The move comes after the Royal Borough rejected 96 of the installation proposals submitted by the national telco in May last year. Opposition to the cabinets has now collapsed, however, with the …

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  1. Amorous Cowherder
    Happy

    Ah well, you can't make an omlette without affecting house prices...or something like that!

  2. Dave 62

    Now there will be big green thin steel sheet boxes just plonked wherever. The cheap paint will be easily scratched and they'll be full of dents.

    So was there any attempt to make them more in keeping with surroundings? Maybe give them a thick coat of red paint and a little crown logo? Maybe even a curved top (not only aesthetically pleasing but will stop the oiks from sitting on it)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Actually, the BT ones are very sturdy. They seem to have servers or some form of electric machine inside them as they require 230V and have a fan whirring away inside.

      But it's not so much the appearance I object to but the fact that they are installed on the pavement reducing the width of the path. Which is a real problem if some pillock has parked their car on the kerb as well.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Actually, the BT ones are very sturdy. They seem to have servers or some form of electric machine inside them as they require 230V and have a fan whirring away inside.

        Um - that would be the whole point of the article. It's because the equipment is needed at street level that BT are having to install new cabinets.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "installed on the pavement reducing the width of the path"

        As opposed to putting them in someone's front garden or floating magically 100m in the air?

      3. NogginTheNog
        Mushroom

        Which is a real problem if some pillock has parked their car on the kerb as well.

        Cars parked on kerbs are illegal: in cases where they're blocking the route for pedestrians free to give the side mirror a good hard smack with something solid on the way past. I do.

        1. EddieD

          Re: Which is a real problem if some pillock has parked their car on the kerb as well.

          https://www.gov.uk/waiting-and-parking/parking-239-to-247

          Rule 244 - it's only illegal in London - the rest of the country has "should not park..." i.e. there is no law to prevent it.

          1. Ragarath

            Re: Which is a real problem if some pillock has parked their car on the kerb as well.

            Rule 244 actually states this:

            You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it.

            Now taking the whole sentence into context. Should not means in addition to the original must not. The critical point being the UNLESS clause. It has to be marked that you can park on the pavement for it to be legal.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Which is a real problem if some pillock has parked their car on the kerb as well.

            Actually rule 244 of the internet = "WWE sucks, TNA rocks".

          3. James R Grinter

            Re: Which is a real problem if some pillock has parked their car on the kerb as well.

            Illegal to drive on it. Not illegal to park there, or something like that. (compare and contrast with how upset people get at cycling on pavements.)

            1. Ragarath

              Re: Which is a real problem if some pillock has parked their car on the kerb as well.

              Illegal to drive on it. Not illegal to park there, or something like that.

              How do you think a car parks on the pavement? Magical teleportation?

        2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: Which is a real problem if some pillock has parked their car on the kerb as well.

          "... give the side mirror a good hard smack with something solid on the way past. I do."

          Criminal damage for minor disadvantage? Such a nice person ...

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "They seem to have servers or some form of electric machine inside them as they require 230V and have a fan whirring away inside." Thats the nature of the FTTC service, copper connections backhaul'd via a fibre connection to the POP.

        "But it's not so much the appearance I object to but the fact that they are installed on the pavement reducing the width of the path. Which is a real problem if some pillock has parked their car on the kerb as well."

        Give it 5 years when fibre connections are as pervasive as copper and the residents would be complaining that they don't have access to such speeds!

        The great unwashed! The great bloody retarded more like.

    2. DAN*tastik
      Megaphone

      IN KEEPING WITH THE SURROUNDINGS?

      MAKE THEM THE SIZE OF THEIR STUPID CARS!!!

      I POSTED A SIMILAR COMMENT ON THE TELEGRAPH AGES AGO. I JUST NOTICED THAT SOMEBODY ALREADY POSTED A "CAR FOR STUPIDS' SIZE" POST DOWN BELOW, BUT HE OR SHE WASN'T SHOUTING SO IT DOESN'T REALLY COUNT TODAY!!!

    3. Richard_L
      Facepalm

      "Maybe give them a thick coat of red paint and a little crown logo?"

      ... and then stand back and watch as fools try and find the slot so they can post their letters in them?

      1. foxyshadis

        Nah, much too large for red paint to look right. Paint 'em blue with police box markings, on the other hand....

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Maybe give them a thick coat of red paint and a little crown logo?"

      Or blue and white, with a blinking light on top?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cheapzoid

    "Councillor Tim Ahern claimed that the tech would be deployed "whilst safeguarding the historic integrity of the borough." He added that BT would work with the borough "in a spirit of cooperation".

    Interestingly, the council had this to say in May 2012:

    BT has not worked in a spirit of cooperation and needs to consider our historic streetscape. Perhaps one of its competitors will step into the role."

    Europeans do modernisation, investment and progress far far better than the UK.

    One think I dread when returning home, is the ugliness, tackiness, shoddy workmanship, mishmash of old and new and the general culture against change leaving cheap compromises.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: cheapzoid

      You are, of course, generalising outrageously over what happens in 30+ different countries.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: cheapzoid

      "One think I dread when returning home, is the ugliness, tackiness, shoddy workmanship, mishmash of old and new and the general culture against change leaving cheap compromises."

      Maybe you shouldn't do the DIY at home then :-)

    3. Richard 12 Silver badge

      I see one flaw in the council's reasoning

      What competitors?

  4. Simon Round
    Coat

    Well...

    ...if they don't want it then they don't needs it and will not use it.

    So why don't BT spend the money deploying FTTC in places that want it..... like outside of london and indeed outside of any city.

    Just a thought.

    Mines the one with the drum of fibre in the pocket.

    1. Piro

      Re: Well...

      Exactly. Please, install a cabinet outside my house. Any time you like, BT.

      My phone line is now working, but I get about 0.2Mbps down. This is beyond unacceptable in 2013.

  5. Steven Jones

    Maintenance is the key.

    The BT FTTC boxes look quite good to me, and provided that they are properly maintained the should continue to do so as they seem to be made of better materials than the standard green cabinets - possibly because they need to be as they will be stuffed full of active electronics powered off the mains. One of these has just been installed at the bottom of my road and, within a few days some oik sprayed some graffitti on it in silver paint. A few days later it had been cleaned off. Let's hope that they are kept maintained. Given what's in them, it will be in the company's interests to do so.

    I've also not see any that are 6 foot tall - more like shoulder height to an average person. The FTTC cabinets in the adjacent borough of Hammersmith & Fulham look OK to me.

  6. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    The last I heard are here there were plans to colour (paint) them more appropriately so they don't stick out like ugly sore thumbs. I believe that alternative shapes and designs were considered as well, as this is just a cover really as the interior will largely be the same.

    But then telephone boxes are big red, largely useless (now) boxes, often scratched and damaged but they're a part of the sights of Britain now and quite a few are "protected" structures.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And no doubt when these big, bright red boxes came out, everyone thought they were ugly then as well.

  7. Tanuki
    Thumb Down

    Bewqre the 'heritage' industry.

    Part of me suspects that in 50 years or so the mad "urban heritage" inustry will be lovably embracing BT FTTC-boxes in the same way it currently goes all-squiffy-at-the-knees at the sight of obsolete phone-booths and redundant post-boxes.

    1. Don Jefe
      Meh

      Re: Bewqre the 'heritage' industry.

      Doubtful they will go away. When you've got a home in a historic or heritage area you don't want to see it all bunked up by horridly designed infrastructure. That's why where I live they put it all underground or out of town near the water pumps and electric substations.

  8. spegru

    6 foot?!

    Nope I've just measured one: it's 4ft 7"

    Yes they're powered - it tends to be a requirement when using non conductive optical fibre to connect to the exchange.

    I do agree that sometimes their positioning across the pavement could have been better though.

    1. John Sturdy

      Re: 6 foot?!

      Perhaps they're bigger on the inside.

  9. Irongut

    At least they're getting fibre

    WHEN WILL BT STOP PUTTING BACK THE DATE OF INSTALLING FIBRE IN MOST PARTS OF GLASGOW!!!!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: At least they're getting fibre

      I DON'T KNOW!!!!! WHY DO YOU ASK?????!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: At least they're getting fibre

        I'M GOING FOR COFFEE! ANYONE WANT ONE?

        1. CatoTheCat
          Megaphone

          Re: At least they're getting fibre

          THEY'VE DONE IT HERE TOO - 31/3/13 became 31/3/14 this week.

          And my house is in the BT Infinity adverts.

        2. Will Godfrey Silver badge

          Re: At least they're getting fibre

          YES PLEASE. ONE SUGAR AND A DASH OF MILK.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: At least they're getting fibre

      WHEN WILL BT STOP PUTTING BACK THE DATE OF INSTALLING FIBRE IN MOST PARTS OF GLASGOW!!!!!!

      Well you buggers want to be independent, fit your bloody own....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: At least they're getting fibre

        I reckon most of the people in Scotland don't want independence. Devo-max maybe.

        Otoh, the amount of people in England who want Scottish independence would appear to be significant.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Devo-max"?

          "I reckon most of the people in Scotland don't want independence. Devo-max maybe."

          Soooo, a bunch of guys in kilts and Energy Dome hats, playing the Corporate Anthem on the pipes?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Devo-max"?

            Have an upvote for the Devo reference. Doo, doo, doo, doo ... pling, pling. "Crack that whip!"

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: At least they're getting fibre

      HI, I'M BARRY SCOTT!!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward 15
        Megaphone

        Re: At least they're getting fibre

        AND I'M BRIAN BLESSED!!!!!!!

        1. kyza

          Re: At least they're getting fibre

          GORDON'S ALIVE!!

          1. John Gamble

            Re: At least they're getting fibre

            SO IS INDY!!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: At least they're getting fibre

          WELL SAID DARLING, BAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

        3. M Gale

          Re: caps are awesome

          HI.

          I'M FRED WINCHESTER.

          1. Katie Saucey
            WTF?

            Re: caps are awesome :: Re: caps are awesome

            the fuck! my caps won't lock!

  10. 2Fat2Bald

    Call me cynical

    But I wonder how many of the people wingeing about "ugly" BT boxes actually also whine about how poor their broadband is?

    I do agree, though, that BT could paint them in a selection of colours to make them stand out less. Stone grey for a street corner. Green for a park - that kind of thing. How hard could it be?

  11. Last Bandit
    Megaphone

    SHOUTING!!!!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "SHOUTING!!!!!!"

      Usually done to indicate frustration! It's quite normal ladies don't worry.

    2. Anonymous Bastard
      Megaphone

      LOUD NOISES!!!!

      1. Fink-Nottle
        IT Angle

        BROADBAND VOCALIZING!!!!

        1. Sorry, "Sorry that handle is already taken" is already taken.
          Go

          I LOVE LAMP!!

  12. volsano

    Onroad parking would be better

    Putting them on the already overcrowded pavement is a mistake.

    Instead, why not treat them as if they were a permanently parked motorcycle? Put them just roadside of the kerb and paint a yellow line around them.

    Far less obstructive than a single parked car or a gentrificator's skip.

    1. kyza

      Re: Onroad parking would be better

      People will drive into them. People drive into traffic islands all the time, a big green box with a yellow line around it is just asking for it.

      1. volsano

        Re: Onroad parking would be better

        If people can avoid driving into parked cars (as they do most of the time), I think we can trust them enough to experiment with them not driving into kerbed cable cabinets.

        1. Law

          Re: Onroad parking would be better

          "If people can avoid driving into parked cars"

          That's a big if.

    2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Onroad parking would be better

      "Gentrificator"? Nice neologism for builder, have an up vote.

      But, unlit obstructions where cyclists will run into them, have a down vote.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Onroad parking would be better

      You don't think that might be a bit of a hazard? What else could we put in the road? Public toilets? A supermarket? Lamp posts? Phone boxes? A creche?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hold on...

    ...the 1970's are calling, they want their measurements back.

    1. kyza

      Re: Hold on...

      This is RBK&C - they're still reeling from the decision to go decimal, let alone having a grasp of these internetwebs.

      Besides, metric is probably still seen as some ghastly invention by the French aimed at undermining our way of life.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Headmaster

        Re: Hold on...

        This is RBK&C - they're still reeling from the decision to go decimal

        And they've never quite recovered from the revelation that one of their former MP's openly admitted to a gay encounter in his formative years. A certain Major Buff-Tweedy even had a coronary on hearing the news, because as all public school boys know, what happens in the Prefects room stays in the Prefects room.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hold on...

          Oh come on, they're all up to that sort of thing. A bit like masturbation- we all do it but we don't talk about it in public.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The answer is simple...

    ...make them 10 times larger (but with the same size interior), paint them white and stick a Range Rover badge on and they will be happy

    1. Locky Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: The answer is simple...

      Or paint them white, put a picture of some fruit on there and change people the privilege to live near one

  15. Marcelo Rodrigues
    Boffin

    Cal me thick, but...

    Why don't bury the whole thing?

    Just like the electrical grid, with transformers, cables and whatnot.

    Sure, it would cost more. But would make much difference? I mean, this things are full of (expensive) electronics.

    1. ukgnome Silver badge

      Re: Cal me thick, but...

      erm....mainly because when they go wrong you would have to lower an engineer into the subterranean box. This means they would need a certificate to work in confined spaces, the boxes would be prone to flooding and may also overheat.

      Essentially, cost

      1. Marcelo Rodrigues
        Angel

        Re: Cal me thick, but...

        Wouldn't overheating be an issue even for the above ground boxes? Yes, they would have a little better dissipation, due to the surface expose to air. But they would also get warmer, due to surface exposed to the sun.

        Just use forced circulation - it is the same problem with the electrical grid.

        Yes, flooding would be a problem. I am not sure what would be the best way to seal the cables entrances.

        I did no think about a box this big. Maybe I misunderstood the size of the thing, but I thought it would be possible to just open the top, and work from the street level. Certainly i was not thinking about a subterranean box 2 meters high.

    2. Steven Jones

      Re: Cal me thick, but...

      Yes, it could be done, but it would be a great deal more expensive as any underground chamber would have to be completely waterproof, require active cooling and good access for engineers. You might also expect It would be more like a small basement. It would also take a great deal longer to install.

      The reason that cost matters is that adding perhaps £100-200K per box (given the cost of underground construction in London - where the pavements and roads are full of services) would make the roll-out financially non-viable unless a very considerable premium could be charged in the borough. As FTTC/FTTP is in competition with cable & exchange-based ADSL services, take-up is likely to be much lower, which would increase that premium much more.

      1. Marcelo Rodrigues
        Angel

        Re: Cal me thick, but...

        No, no. I didn't think about something this big. I may have underestimated the dimensions My idea was a subterranean box, yes. But it would be a little more than a box on the pavement, and you would open the top and work from the street level.

        I know the boxes are said to be 1,5 meters high. Here in Brazil we have some of them, to telephone/DSL. The size is about 1,5 meter high, 80 - 100 centimeters from side to side and a depth of about... 50 centimeters.

        Put it on its side, and we are talking about a mere digging of just 60 cm of depth.

        More expensive than a simple box, but surely much cheaper than a mini-basement. :D

    3. OffBeatMammal

      Re: Cal me thick, but...

      Isn't London riddled with underground sewers and access tunnels anyway (after all, you don't want common people cluttering up the streets) ... surely a bit of planning (okay, a lot of planning) would let a lot of this stuff move underground.

      Where I am in the US at the moment they moved all the cables (power and telecoms) underground thanks to weather related outages (and luckily it coincided with some much needed roadworks), and in some cases even the (admittedly smaller) junction boxes ended up flush with street level but when they need to work on them the guts get raised up to street level

      1. Steven Jones

        Re: Cal me thick, but...

        In that part of London all the services are already underground. That makes the problem of finding underground space below the pavement in narrow London with sufficient access for an engineer and the relevant VDSL DSLAMs and power supplies even more difficult. (In principle, if PON was used, now power supply would be required, although that would require running optical fibre to each property requiring the new service.

        nb. last time I looked, overhead supply of power in the US was far more common than in the UK. Indeed much of the skyline seems to be festooned with cables.

    4. Colin Miller

      Re: Cal me thick, but...

      Have you ever looked at a road that's being fully dug up?

      Normally there are cables and pipes running everywhere about 3" down.

      It would be tricky to fit such a large box underground, even if you set aside the access to it, as others have pointed out.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cal me thick, but...

        Sticking underground boxes everywhere big enough for this kind of kit would tend to mess with the foundations of houses too. And to access it, you'd need to close the pavement.

  16. MahFL22

    What needs to happen is......

    A new world war, with cities razed to the ground, er proberbly below ground too, and rebuild them with cabling in mind........

    1. Rattus Rattus

      Re: What needs to happen is......

      "A new world war, with cities razed to the ground, er proberbly below ground too..."

      I like where this is going.

      "...and rebuild them"

      Oh. Damn.

  17. Pondboy
    Meh

    Abusing the legislation

    According to Maria Miller and the previous Reg article, "We are putting in the essential infrastructure that will make UK businesses competitive". That's fine, but BT/OpenReach appear to have a different agenda and are conveniently using this government initiative to roll out the big green boxes to the places they make the most money, which is not "UK businesses". I have a business right in the town centre, about 500m from the exchange. FTTC will not be available for another year. I live about 1Km down the same road in a completely residential part of the town and guess what - I could get FTTC 6 months ago!. BT want this in people houses because it makes their stats look better and they make more wonga, not that I'm complaining - I get 70MB/sec download at home ;-)

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Abusing the legislation

      In a word- Cantenna!

    2. batfastad
      Headmaster

      Re: Abusing the legislation

      70MB/sec? Wowzers!

      I have nothing better to do, sorry.

      1. Gonebirdin
        Happy

        Re: Abusing the legislation

        Gadzooks!! even

    3. Steven Jones

      Re: Abusing the legislation

      There is no legislation as yet. It's still at the consultation stage...

    4. david 12 Bronze badge

      Re: Abusing the legislation

      "We are putting in the essential infrastructure that will make UK businesses competitive".

      The same line was used to justify the National Broadband Network in AUS.

      And to justify TV, radio, and talking pictures.

      And it's not like it should have been a total surprise: back in the 90's, when the internet was becoming popular, there was a widespread expectation that the primary use would be for entertainment, as for all previous technologies (including the telephone, prior to the introduction of radio). But we've just gone through a period where rightous indignation, and censorship, greated any attempt to say that high-speed-broadband is a replacement for broadcast televison.

      But who cares now? .

      The capital funding arrangements are in place. It's a big new TV system, and the proles are happy.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    "BT has convinced residents of Kensington and Chelsea that they can live with "ugly" fibre optic cabling cabinets on their streets. The move comes after the Royal Borough rejected 96 of the installation proposals submitted by the national telco in May last year.

    Opposition to the cabinets has now collapsed"

    Bit of a no-brainer, for those not living the in the posh London suburb. Hum, Ugly box in street or copper ADSL, let’s see, let me think. (Speak volumes!)

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "Opposition to the cabinets has now collapsed"

      This has as much to do with councillers that blocking the boxes could result in losing their seats as it does with anything else (including the issue that planning committee members can be found personally responsible for legal costs associated with politically motivated planning decisions)

      NIMBYs are a very small group in K&C, even if they're exceedingly vocal. They're even louder when they get overruled.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Put it in reverse when forward fails

    OK, the complaint is they take up too much room. So, rather than trying to make them smaller, make 'em bigger: Add a roof and some walls, a couple of vending machines, a bench or two, and call it a bus stop!

    Or add a bathroom (which is also convenient for the service guy when he gets there).

    You could even use the waste heat from the equipment to take the chill off.

    Heck, go Texas-sized: make it straddle the walkway, with a passage through the middle for the pedestrians. Sell advertising - maybe put some LED screens behind Lexan (you have power, you have data....)

  20. Brian Griffiths

    disguise them as wheelie bins? no-one will notice a few extra...

    1. ecofeco Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Brilliant!

      Seriously, that really is brilliant.

  21. Alan Brown Silver badge

    The real issue

    Isn't the FTTC boxes.

    K&C NIMBYs have been on a jihad for years to keep "eeeevil" mobile phone masts from radiating their childrens' brains. Once objections to the poles (usually modfied lamposts for urban in-fill work) started being struck down they started objecting to the cabinets on visual grounds.

    (Twits don't understand inverse square laws, or how having a nearby base station reduces the mobile's transmit power, so they'll happily let kids play with wifi kit or carry mobile phones)

    If they started objecting to one type of cabinet and not another, all objections would collapse. Hopefully the idiocy is now over and the vast majority of K&C residents can get decent broadband AND mobile signals.

  22. DougS Silver badge

    I assume there's a reason they aren't putting them underground?

    Seems like digging a hole in the sidewalk and putting them underneath with an access hatch above would be a decent way to fix this. Surely there can't be cost objections, not in such an upscale neighborhood. Spread out over the decade or two service life of the cabinet, the cost of putting them underground would probably only amount to a handful of pounds per year per house. Add to the bill for those getting fiber or have the council tack it onto everyone's property bill.

    1. Corinne

      Re: I assume there's a reason they aren't putting them underground?

      Please try reading the other comments before rushing to add your own brilliant ideas. Further up others have made the same suggestion, only for replies pointing out that the remaining services already underground would mean there just wouldn't be room for something this large that could also be accessed by engineers.

  23. JaitcH
    FAIL

    BT over engineers it's facilities and presumes everyone else is ignorant

    BT has always been big on engineering, or rather OVER engineering. there is nothing secret or mysterious in running cables, as there were in past times.

    Ever seen them check out underground conduits by dragging a large diameter dowl through them? How can other companies, with more kilometres underground than BT, can plough their cable in? Too modern, I guess.

    Street boxes, aka 'pedestals', come in all shapes and sizes. I hate seeing cables and in building my home and hotels I have spent big money hiding the utilities to maintain the appearance.

    There is one pedestal design which is simply installed into a hole drilled, with a fence post drill, in to the dirt. A sleeve is fitted and filled out with concrete. The cables enter through the bottom of the sleeve and terminate on a sliding member. This has a keyed access that pushes in to the sleeve so it is flush with the sidewalk or grass verge as the case might be.

    Canadian Telco's use air operated 'slugs' that force their way under lawns dragging a fibre optic cable with them so there is no damage to the lawns.

    If BT had competition undoubtedly they would pay more attention to appearances. That's the problem with monopolies.

    1. Anonymous Coward 15
      Paris Hilton

      Sliding member? Ooo-er

      They used plenty of lube then.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BT over engineers it's facilities and presumes everyone else is ignorant

      " I have spent big money hiding the utilities to maintain the appearance."

      And there, is your answer.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BT over engineers it's facilities and presumes everyone else is ignorant

      I think you misunderstand the issue. It's not about the cabling, it's about the big box full of electronic kit.

      "Canadian Telco's use air operated 'slugs' that force their way under lawns dragging a fibre optic cable with them so there is no damage to the lawns."

      How many lawns do you think there are in Central London? And can these slugs bury big boxes full of electronic kit under the lawn too?

      I believe BT does have competition. How attractive, relatively, are Virgin's boxes and all the mobile phone towers? Maybe I'm unlucky but round here the Virgin ones look much the same, maybe a bit bigger, though the one that's had a tarpaulin over it for six months doesn't look too great. The electricity substation in a paddock thing doesn't look all that attractive either.

  24. Blane Bramble
    Thumb Up

    The solution is simple

    BT just need to dig a really big hole (or maybe lots of medium sized ones) and bury the residents.

  25. wayne 8

    Paint is out of fashion

    Over here in suburban New Jersey, US. Comm boxes are being covered in graphic (vinyl I am guessing, meh to stopping and walking up to one) landscape designs. Garden flowers for example. This is done in more uppity neighborhoods than the one I live in, hence why I am always driving by them. But space is not an issue as it would be in a denser urban setting.

    1. YorksinOaks
      Holmes

      Re: Paint is out of fashion

      "Comm boxes are being covered in graphic vinyl...."

      The competition (Virgin media) did that recently, the problem being that they (illegally) put bright red adverts on their boxes, and these looked manky when people started ripping them off.

      I wonder just how many 16' CCTV poles are in the borough, how many parking meters, bollards (to stop eejits parking on the pavements) lamp-posts (mostly emblazoned with a big blue ugly recycling schedule sign) and parking restriction signs the council has put on the middle of pavements?

      Take a tour of the borough on Streetview and these are all easy to see, but telco cabinets I could only find 4 on around 2 miles of road, all green painted and pushed right back against brick walls and railings.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only there were a bunch of cabinets scattered around the country which were already connected to phone and power cables. The older among us might remember something broadly fitting this description called a "payphone"...

  27. pctechxp
    Happy

    Simple answer

    Paint the cabinets black and fit them with a stereo system playing a repeat recording of a Bentley/Mercedes or Rolls Royce gently idling over the fan noise.

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