back to article Brighton NIMBYs complain over BT broadband upgrades

BT's broadband boxes have run into planning opposition again, this time from a group of conservation societies on the south coast. Five societies have launched a campaign against the new "monster" street side cabinets the firm's Openreach division is installing in Brighton and Hove. Their concerns echo a chorus of complaints …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Move then?

    Move along the coast, say Hastings? These cabinets would give the homeless winos who seem to inhabit the prom, somewhere warm and cosy for the night!

    1. Phil Standen

      The Argus and The Register joining forces?

      1. ElNumbre
        Paris Hilton

        Well chosen URL?

        I wondered what I was clicking when I saw that URL - "Waste of Huge Box for Tiny Part". Thought it might be a story about a wizards sleeve or the like.

        Paris, because she knows about putting tools in her box.

        1. danielhall2922
          Thumb Up

          Dirty minded individual, love it!

          You sir, have a very dirty mind!

          You made my day, Well done! hahaha

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Let them fight it out

    I'm sure BT have lots and lots of places they could install these upgrades in, rather than sticking them in Brighton. A pragmatic approach would be to say to the NIMBOIs "OK, we'll upgrade someone else instead. Have a chat amongst yourselves, if anyone complains to us we'll refer them to you. Let us know what sort of solution you want and are prepared to pay for - we'll see what we can do".

    Then just carry on with the rollout in other places that are easier to work with and come back to Brighton in a few years time.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    ..they can team up with those conservation societies in Pakistan and ban the Wicked Intertubes alltogether ?

    Ya know, the asthetics of circuit boxes and certain religious figures must be taken care of !!

  4. AC-This-Isn't-Facebook

    Title Required

    As always, a few select up their own arse idiots trying to hold the country back.

  5. N2


    Thats something that houses so little, could be made so large

    Congratulations BT, to miniaturisation.

    1. John Sturdy

      They are larger than the current generation mainly because they require power.

      "mainly because they require power" is no excuse. Could someone please point out to BT that the age of ENIAC is over and everyone else (apart from the North Sentinelese, who still communicate with the outside world by shooting arrows at anyone who comes near -- the ultimate NIMBYs?) has gone over to compact solid-state systems?

  6. RISC OS

    What does the Regency Society know about broadband internet...

    ...and its technical requirements? Probably about as much as I do, which is nothing. I guess that's why they weren't asked for their opinion then.

    1. Marvin the Martian

      It's actually the other way around.

      Because of conservation area concerns, BT have built exchanges that are period-appropriate.

      We're actually talking giant steam-driven switches here, which logically need rather large housing and vents, a water supply and an 24/7 attendance by some urchin.

      1. CD001


        ... that would be AWESOME!

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Steam Cabinets

        "... [and] 24/7 attendance by some urchin."

        Resolving truancy, homelessness and unemployment in one stroke?!

        Brilliant, sir!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        As well as being a very awesome idea... does point out that all these conservation societies only ever want to preserve the 'nice' bits of any period. (Manu)factories and slums aren't considered worth saving so we end up with horrors like the National Trust and Prince Charles who think the only bits of the past we should have are those that look good on the back of a tea towel and can have a tea shop attached.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          I live in a conservation area, and I wouldn't like one of the new BT green boxes in my street, unless they were Giant Green Steam Powered Difference Engine Based ADSL (GGSPDEBA - I'm sure they'll work out a better acronym.) Steam powered would be ace, an actual (proper oldschool) windmill would be better, but I suspect we'd only have enough room for the steam and said attendant urchin. They'd need an urchin.

    2. Luther Blissett

      There's a green mp there, so

      why has no-one suggested putting a windmill on top? (Windmills have a very good historical pedigree - they go at least as far back as Don Quixote, who was well pre-Regency).

  7. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Seems fair to me

    Anyone should have the right to give input on changes to street furniture in their area. It's called taking pride in where you live. If you happen to live in a conservation area then it's even more important.

    Now personally I'd rather have the service(*) but I respect these people for standing up for themselves.

    (*)Actually what I'd rather see is BT reserving FTTC for rural area and went FTTP in urban areas. The RoI is more long term but then long term thinking is what's lacking here.

  8. Steve Loughran
    Thumb Up

    I hate them too

    I've been nimby-ish in bristol and opposed one in our road. It's not just they are big and ugly, they wanted to put them on a build-out to help schoolkids cross a busy road, up against a wall that is listed. BT and all the mobile phone telcos think that pavements are unused bits of space for them and their vans, rather than the only safeish bit of the street for people walking. If they want to put them up, put them in the middle of roundabouts and make them look pretty.

    1. BorkedAgain
      Thumb Up

      Ooh. Clever...

      You know, that strikes me as an extremely clever lateral-thinking solution! Roundabouts aren't generally used as anything but a place for traffic not to be. I don't know what the accidental destruction rate might be, but it isn't unknown for roadside boxes to get hit either, so...

      Mr Loughran, I take my hat off to you. :)

  9. Thomas 4

    Spoken like a true NIMBY

    “Having said that, I'm not convinced the solution put forward by BT is the right and proper one. We are not saying no – we just want to be consulted.”

    And then after we've been consulted, we're still going to say no.

  10. Gaz 2


    Unless it's physically harmful or you live off grid you should have no right to block developments that benefit the wider community. If we happily make use of services that are blighting someone else's life the official response should be FOAD...

    1. JohnG


      So, if your local council decided to allow some company to install huge advertising hoardings on the pavement outside your house because the revenue would benefit the wider community, you would have no problem with this? It is not as if looking at the back of an advertising hoarding would be physically harmful to you, it it?

      The street does not belong to BT so why should they be able to dump their stuff there with minimal constraints when everyone else has to jump through hoops to get planning permission to build anything on their own properties?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Typical NIMBY sillyness...

        "So, if your local council decided to allow some company to install huge advertising hoardings on the pavement outside your house because the revenue would benefit the wider community..." Completely different issue. Will *you* pay the extra it costs for me to get a serviceable broadband service, because you want your street to look like something from Poundbury? Didn't think so.

        "The street does not belong to BT so why should they be able to dump their stuff there with minimal constraints when everyone else has to jump through hoops to get planning permission to build anything on their own properties?" The street no more doesn't 'belongs' to the residents either. BT, like many other large and not-so-large businesses have a team that are dedicated to this task. They are 'expert' at gaining planning permission; they understand the planning legislation and the application process, just like other civil/structural engineers and architects do! Contrary to popular belief, they don't just stick a pin in an A to Z and place the cab there, neither are they merely doing this for shits and giggles or to directly piss off the suburban NIMBY, meticulous planning does actually go into it.

        An aside; if you have to 'jump through hoops' to get planning you are doing it wrong, employ an architect or an engineer to do it for you.

        1. JohnG

          NIMBY sillyness?

          "Typical NIMBY sillyness"

          The sillyness was someone suggesting that anything is justified if done for the common good.

          The NIMBY jibe suggests that I would be happy if the problem is dumped on someone else: that is not the case - I don't mind having such things in my street but would prefer them to be installed with some attempt to be less intrusive and not to take half of the available pavement. I fail to understand the ranting of some that BT should be able to install what they like, as if Internet access speed is the only thing that matters in life.

          "Will *you* pay the extra it costs for me to get a serviceable broadband service, because you want your street to look like something from Poundbury? Didn't think so"

          Well, you thought wrong. I wouldn't mind paying extra to avoid the the road looking like an industrial estate if I felt I needed the speed. As it happens, I value my home environment more than the speed of my Internet connection. Each to their own.

          "The street no more doesn't 'belongs' to the residents either."

          True but residents can't build in the street despite the fact that residents pay for the council to maintain it. Other utilities have to acquire their own land to site (and disguise) their equipment - why should BT be any different?

          "An aside; if you have to 'jump through hoops' to get planning you are doing it wrong, employ an architect or an engineer to do it for you."

          Regardless of which people you employ, planning consent is difficult to obtain in many parts of the country unless you are well connected. It depends where you live.

          I'm sure BT's planners have sleepless nights worrying about the visual impact of their installations and of the disruption caused to everyone during works.

  11. Number6


    Yes please, BT, come and install one in our village. Your current box blends in well with the bushes and trees behind it and I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd welcome a decent broadband speed. Why waste your time and money on the whingers when rural communities would benefit far more?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Ha ha

      ...and I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd welcome a decent broadband speed...

      From BT???? Good luck with that.

  12. Anon the mouse


    Give us rural broadband

    Don't install broadband equipment.

    Make your minds up

    1. Nuke
      Thumb Down

      Ever Been to Brighton?

      It isn't rural.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Brighton != rural

        Perhaps just the thinking is parochial?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Everybody knows the simple solution for problems like this.

    Publicly announce that you can't install any of these until the complaints go away, and drop a leaflet through every door explaining that the conservation society torpedoed their new super fast broadband along with a telephone number and address for them.

    Stand back, watch the fireworks and then when the conservation society decides that it's not such a big deal because of all of the complaints then the kit goes in.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Leaflet campaign

      On the plus side, it would ensure that everyone knew what was going on... and not be so susceptible to backroom dealings...

      "Oi, I see you want to put in a nice, new fiber cabinet there... too bad the residents mind it, see. Now, I happen to have a nice place for it, convenient yet out of the way... All I ask is a bit of lease that'll cost less then fighting the local council..."

      Can't tell me that doesn't go on... a lot...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    They can put one in my backyard

    Then it would mean I might actually get somewhere close to the promised internet speeds. But then again, I'm in the North West and we won't be seeing any of BT's investment for another 20 years (probably).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Same here

      but in cornwall it will be 50 years.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        ....that's only because BT won't send any more engineers while you guys keep burning them as witches...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          Any better suggestions

          ????? Open to offers

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          They're not being burned as witches, they're being burned as Devonians for the heresy of putting the cream on the scone* first.

          * the more militant members burn people for using a scone when it should always be a split.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    How noisy are they?

    There is a box about 5 foot high relating to a mobile phone mast near me and it has the noisiest fans you ever heard. They are incredibly loud, and can be heard above the traffic going past the box. I can hear them for nearly a quarter of a mile away when there is no traffic. I hope BT have a better design or I'd be objecting to having a screaming fan anyway near me. (I know - not pop start material eh?)

    1. Jacqui

      loud exhaust fans

      This probably means the bearings have gone/are going.

      One way to get them to repair this is to find a friend with a crossbow and get them to put a bolt through the fan. It has been suggested this is the only way the MNO's will actually come out and replace the fan. They seem to be firm believers in "if it works( i.e. not on fire) dont fix it".


      p.s. This was suggested at a party by a telco engineer - when someone mentioned CPU fans - and yes he was drunk :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I think it is more likely to be a sensor than the bearings as they are running at what seems to be flat out all the time, rather than screeching.

        I do like the crossbow suggestion although a decent stick would probably do the job too, and without the arrest for carrying a weapon (although not necessarily!)

      2. Skrrp

        Crossbow not needed

        A can of spray varnish unloaded into the incoming air filters should do it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Have you tried...'re local environment team? Contact your council and have them measure the noise output of the thing, especially if it is going 24/7 and runs overnight.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Good idea, thanks

        Title says it. :-)

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Who knew..

        All these years, and I had no idea that I was local environment team.

  16. Da Weezil


    BT would be better off concentrating on areas where there is no LLU or cable.. and leaving the NIMBYs to sub 8 meg of Virgin...but I guess having 100% of the market is not as exciting as competing in an already crowded market place

    Fail... as BT fail to reduce the broadband divide

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Complaining about FTTC. I want them to be fitting it in my area and will probably have to wait years. Dont you just hate these moaning whinging spoilt brats?

  18. Khoos


    Any pictures of those scary monster cabinets taking over the streets? How bad is it?

    Will we see stories of monster cabinets roaming around, scaring little children, messing up gardens and doing generally inappropriate stuff?

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Just leave them alone already…

    Why do they persist with these nimby ingrates?

    I for one welcome our new extra large street side cabinets packed full of communications wizardry. I have a spot for one next to my house on the corner of our street.

    By all means install it there and give me super fast broadband, and just leave the Brightonians with their existing ADSL lines.

  20. MJI Silver badge

    I'll have one instead

    It is a town so is not going to be pretty anyway. So if they don't want one I'll have one.

  21. Lottie

    But surely

    ... I though the planning process WAS public consultation? You know, the little bit of laminated paper at the site that says what's being planned asn tells you who to contact if you have an issue with it?

    There's also the whole thing of planning applications being on most councils websites. If these societies were so damned concerned about their town, they'd keep an eye on them.

    I want, I want, but someone else can deal with the practicalities of it!

  22. Stone Fox

    lord save us

    so they want the service they just don't want the infrastructure?


  23. AlexPresland

    Don't put them in Brighton...

    ...put one at the end of my road. In fact, I'll even let you put it in my front garden. If people complain, the addresses should be identified and their broadband profiles should be downgraded to a fixed 0.5Mb - that'll teach the ungrateful *******s!

  24. Robert Ramsay


    They were quite willing to put up with that great big broken down office block that was practically on the sea-front! For all I know, it may still be there, with broken windows and erm, a bunch of satellite dishes...

    1. I didn't do IT.

      Re: Derelict buildings and Planning commissions

      It is always far easier (and politically expedient) to be vocal about "taking care of our town".. until it comes down to time and / or money to clean it up.

      Of course, if the vocal person can get a benefit together to raise some cash, I'm sure the (excess) money will eventually go to doing *something* about it... especially if the gala is more work / expensive than demolishing the abandoned eyesore. "We raised £50,000 (from £800,000) in donations! Enough to paint it an even pea-soup green (as it was the cheapest color at the store yesterday)."

  25. spegru

    have to say

    We have them in Brentwood also. No protests here though!

    However they 'kin huge compared to the normal BT Boxes -- which they leave in place!

    Also some of them are very clumsily placed. We have one at a diagonal to the path in the middle of a park bench area - WTF?

    On the other hand others are done quite nicely

    S'what you get paying lowest price to contractors....

  26. Andy 97
    Thumb Down


    It's amazing the human species managed to get out of the swamps with people like that around.

  27. Chimpofdoom!

    If they don't want 'em...

    Send them to Fife.. need faster than 4 freaking meg...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Aren't you the lucky one

      one of the 35 connections I manage does 96K on a good day but usually around 72K. One day it hit 108K so they can upgrade all of mine as soon as they like!

      Business broadband they call it?????

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Suspicious Git

        A genuine suggestion: Check your bell wire, if it's connected you may want to chop it, or get one of BT's "Broadband accelerators" (not 100% sure of the name) which effectively does that for you, with just a plugin thingum. A friend of mine lives in the sticks, in some valley in Scotland, his broadband was clocked at about 100Kb/s when he moved in, he chopped off his bell wire and now gets something like a meg.

        I think the bell wire works like an aerial for noise, or something.

        nb: check you know what you are doing before you do it!

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Thanks for the suggestion

          but we have been through hoops.

          We are just too far away, or not as the case may be.

          Our site is in a village without its own exchange so it is fed from the city exchange 7K or so away. It then goes all round the village adding another 1.5K although we are only 500m from the cab.

          Leased line £30K toput in the trunking??

          I await with bated breath but guess the reality is that they will wait until we pay and then do fibre to the cab about 3 weeks later!!

          At the mo we are looking at an improved service using pigeons!

  28. Rob Crawford


    I would just not bother upgrading their kit.

    Then when the customers complained about the lack of upgrades I would simply hand over the addresses of these societys and how well the real locals can bring them up to speed on the 21st century requirements

  29. Dan P


    Being from Brighton, I wish people would quit complaining and let them get on with it so that the network here can be upgraded, but then I guess these people don't make their livings in telecommunications, unlike myself.

  30. Dave Murray

    Let them have dial-up

    Simple solution, just don't install any more broadband in Brighton.

  31. Tim #3


    Some stories really could do with a photo. Or perhaps even a doodle or a description. As it is I['m wondering what monster they look like, perhaps Godzilla, maybe the Honey Monster, or even, heaven forbid, the thing that a mate's wife once set me up on a date with.

    1. Tom Harvey

      Devil in the details.

      Page two before anyone asks for any details of this monster box?! Gotta love internet discussions.

  32. Jamie Kitson


    Can we have a picture of one of these cabinets please? Perhaps with a person for scale. On a beach say, with a lady in a white bikini.

  33. Kevin Johnston


    Perhaps since there are so many comments any time one of these stories comes up you could include the details for the team in BT we could contact to offer space to host one of these systems, and perhaps a rental template which offers us free 100M down/up to cover the inconvenience of having it in our back garden or wherever

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    depends where

    Perhaps they have a point as Brighton has a lack of space but some of the areas they wanted planning permission for aren't exactly tidy and keeping with a conservation area

  35. Dazed and Confused

    if they don't want them

    Fine, let them go to the back of the queue, let some other part of the country who would welcome faster network connections have them.

  36. mark l 2 Silver badge


    "Da Weezil

    BT would be better off concentrating on areas where there is no LLU or cable.. and leaving the NIMBYs to sub 8 meg of Virgin...but I guess having 100% of the market is not as exciting as competing in an already crowded market place"

    I assume you mean sub 8meg OR Virgin? as VM entry level service is now 10meg

    Speaking of VM it wouldnt suprise me if BT are choosing areas already covered by FTTC with VM so they can compete with them on prices rather than looking at areas that VM didn't lay cables as there is no competition there so why rush to upgrade their services

  37. Richard Scratcher

    A simple change in design perhaps?

    I've not been able to find pictures of these new boxes but perhaps if BT made them the same shape as ye olde phone kiosks and painted them red, people would welcome them.

  38. Witty username
    Thumb Up

    Ah, the perks of living in a concrete jungle

    20 mbit Cable :D

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NTL / Virgin

    How come NTL managed to lay fibre to the house without the need for huge street side cabinets?

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Different design

      NTL/Virgin has a single cable serving an entire street or group of streets.

      BT's system continues to feed a single cable to /each property/.

      It's very much swings and roundabouts. It means that NTL/Virgin have far fewer termination points (which is why they don't need as many cabinets and/or they can be smaller) but also means that entire streets are sharing the same bandwidth. It means that VM's service has additional contention because it's contended the moment the data leaves your property. If enough of your neighbours are hammering the link they can slow the neighbourhood down.

      With BT's system the contention doesn't start until your data reaches the exchange (there is more than enough capacity from cab to exchange). You'd need the entire town to be hammering away (ooh er missus) to create a problem - and even then it would depend on the mix of ISP. And VM would also suffer in that scenario.

  40. Michael 28

    Won't someone think of the... prices. Honestly, some people do run on autopilot sometimes.

    1. Phil Standen

      @Won't someone think of prices

      In which direction? Brighton is expensive because of all the Londoners wanting to live here, so getting good 'net is probably more important to them than green boxes, they are just happy they can breath outside.

  41. Andy 70

    they don't want it? give it to those that do...

    having said that, i've got one of these boxes at the end of my road, not really an eye sore any more than the old green boxes. if people really don't like it, paint it red with the royal crest on it. that should shut them up.

    but i'm still getting sub 2mbit connection speeds. guess it's not hooked up yet. when i was walking to the station i saw them putting it in about a month or so ago - was temped to ask how much of a back hander did the installers want to get to connect to a self installed fibre line to my house?

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      You need to ask your ISP

      People are not being moved onto Infinity automatically. Some ISPs might choose to run a mailshot but basically it's up to you to ask to be moved.

      Paris:Because you'll get nowhere waiting to be asked.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think massive is a bit of an overstatement

    OK, here are some pics:-

    I think Massive is a big excessive, considering they have all the fibre/copper swap-over and a bloody DSLAM in it, its not a bad use of space if you ask me.

    1. Tim #3

      Oh that

      Well that ain't too bad at all. WTF are the people of Brighton wingeing about?

      The additions to it do remind me of Prince Charles though.

      1. zaax
        Paris Hilton

        VM boxes are bigger

        The VM boxes we have around my area are a lot bigger than that. Though I don't like the way they put them in the path when there is a verge to put them on.

        Paris: because she likes big ones

    2. Richard Mason

      Hope they don't upgrade mine

      I had a look at the BT website from that link of yours.

      My router currently says : Downstream link speed 6014kbps, Upstream link speed 448kbps.

      According to the BT website:-

      "Your exchange is ADSL enabled, and our initial test on your line indicates that your line should be able to have an ADSL broadband service that provides a fixed line speed up to 2Mbps.

      Our test also indicates that your line currently supports an estimated ADSL Max broadband line speed of 5.5Mbps.

      Our test also indicates that your line currently supports an estimated ADSL2+ broadband line speed of 7.5Mbps. When ADSL2+ Annex M is launched our test also indicates that your line could support an estimated ADSL 2+ Annex-M broadband upstream line speed of 750Kbps and downstream line speed of 5Mbps."

      So when they upgrade my area, my downstream speed looks likely to drop but my upstream will go up.

  43. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    A roller coaster ride

    How's this for a BT record ....... which they assure me their engineering team is looking into.

    Date Download Speed Upload Speed

    Today 13:47 335 kbps (41.9kB/s) 748 kbps (93.5kB/s)

    Today 09:15 1432 kbps (179kB/s) 746 kbps (93.3kB/s)

    Today 03:00 6875 kbps (859kB/s) 670 kbps (83.8kB/s)

    Yesterday 16:46 77 kbps (9.63kB/s) 611 kbps (76.4kB/s)

    Yesterday 14:15 118 kbps (14.8kB/s) 707 kbps (88.4kB/s)

    Yesterday 04:24 17005 kbps (2.13MB/s) 675 kbps (84.4kB/s)

    Sunday 21:02 125 kbps (15.6kB/s) 603 kbps (75.4kB/s)

    Sunday 18:03 85 kbps (10.6kB/s) 689 kbps (86.1kB/s)

    Sunday 09:21 2234 kbps (279kB/s) 616 kbps (77kB/s)

    Sunday 02:50 4324 kbps (541kB/s) 656 kbps (82kB/s)

    Saturday 16:24 266 kbps (33.3kB/s) 666 kbps (83.3kB/s)

    Saturday 16:22 326 kbps (40.8kB/s) 723 kbps (90.4kB/s)

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop betraying your tabloid arrogance.

    Not all of Britain looks like a toilet. Some parts are quite nice and folk are trying to keep them that way. Anyone with any self-respect and a desire to live in a decent place takes the time and trouble to try and protect it. Your backyard is the bit of the planet you should fight for first. All they are asking is that BT (big, rich, generally useless) make a bit of an effort rather than dumping their street furniture insensitively. Like not sticking mobile phone masts next to schools, that sort of thing.

    Good for them. If you all cared more about your own backyards, maybe Britain wouldn't be such an ugly mess. When did you last pick up some of the rubbish from the street outside where you live? Do you even bother to pick it out of your front garden? Do you even notice it as you step from your door into your car and then commute your way through life?

    A pity more of Britain's population are not 'nimbys'. Perhaps fewer would use gravity as their primary means of disposing of sweet wrappers and junk food containers.

    1. BorkedAgain

      Phone masts next to schools...

      Deary me... Didn't we deal with this already?

    2. The Original Steve

      Get over it

      Lovely rant, and I'm sure the Daily Fail will be happy to publish - however you are overlooking the fact that connectivity is a small but important business driver. Consumers want it and businesses need it. Generally the economy doesn't rely so much on pristine concrete slabs.

      A tidy Britain doesn't mean a wealthy, healthy or decent country. Fuck the looks - i'd rather it work first then worry about how it looks thanks.

      I personally would suggest that fibre to the cabinet is better use of unused grey squares than doing sod all other than keeping your house price at it's over inflated amount.

      FYI - anyone that wants to see one (as I doubt you have based on the bullshit above) there's a comparision here:

      And a single one here:

      Bar a few cm taller I honestly can't see what the problem is.

      P.S. Can you tell me what phone you have? Got a tenner on with a mate that it's fruit based.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Was with you until the phone jibe.

        Excellent point all rendered silly, irrelevant and childish because of that. In actual fact, if they had said fruity device, I'd argue that they'd *want* high speed broadband. What is it with you 'bois - you're obsessed...

        1. Anthony 13

          Phone jibe bad ...

          ... but generally I agree as well.

          People need to make some sacrifices, but let's face it - most companies will not make any effort at all if they don't have to, and it saves them a fiver. A good analogy would be sky dishes - in many cases they could be more discreetly installed with a bit of effort, but do you think the sky installer is interested in that ...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Good point

      If you look at remember these things are 1.8m high.

      In the photos here they are up against a fence and don't appear too obvious. If something that big had to be installed I'd say that it had been done quite well in THAT location. Contrast that with areas like town or village streets where such a device could be much more obvious and cause problems on narrow pavements etc. If I look in my local, rather pleasent residential area with it's semi-detached houses set back from the road with low-walled gardens, something like this would look like a spaceship had landed IF BT stuck it just where they wanted. Tell me, would you like to be the owner of the house that has one of those in front of it?

      The Brighton Conservationists don't seem to be NIMBY's as the spokesman was quite clear that they understand the need and welcome the opportunity, but they simply wish to be able to challenge BT if BT aren't sympathetic about proposed sites. Simply moving the unit to a side-street or alley-way could make all the difference, but I'm still not convinced that BT has done it's utmost to come up with a few alternative designs that would suit more areas. After all, why DOES it have to be a 1.8m tall green box in every instance. Electricity pylons are modified to suit the terrain, so does every component in these boxes HAVE to be in the same position each and every time?

  45. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    I too paraphrase Oscar Wilde

    If that's how this community treats its broadband Internet service provider then it doesn't deserve to have one.

    Qu'ils mangent de l'O2.

  46. Campbeltonian

    Phone box?

    Here's a suggestion: disguise it as an old red phone box. Maybe even put a phone in it, and a BT Openzone too. It'll be several times as large (I'm guessing; a Google image search has come up with nothing) and nobody will bat an eyelid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re Phone box?

      Have you seen the modern BT phone "boxes"? They're basically great illuminated advertising hoardings, placed inconveniently across most of the width of the pavement, with a payphone perched on the back as a fig-leaf.

      So please don't give them ideas!

  47. Frank Bitterlich

    Cut their DSL lines...

    ... let's see if they reconsider their stance. Pretty hard to run a campaign if you have to access your Wiki using a 28.8k modem for internet access...

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pics plz

    These people act as if the cabinets are going to be blocking their front and back doors, forcing them to climb out through their windows. Maybe they envisage rushing home one day, desperate for a pee, only to find their prized porcelain potty purloined and replaced with a tall steel tomb bearing the BT logo and directions to the nearest public privy.

    "if they are simply installed wherever Openreach finds most convenient"

    NO, they're going to install them in the most INCONVENIENT places, clearly. It's not as if a company would want it's equipment to be in convenient places or anything, oh no. Just put the box under the pier or something, I'm sure the BT engineers can swim.

    "we just want to be consulted.”

    About what? They don't need advice on embroidery or basket weaving. Hearing the ocean in a sea shell doesn't quite qualify you as a telecoms engineer.

  49. kain preacher

    Hun ??

    Bigger cause they need power.

    We have ADSL+ with cabinets that requires power. They are wider by %20, but thats it.

  50. Mr Young

    Monster Boxes - I knew that already

    Last time I took a crowbar to one of these boxes it had a T.Rex in it! Again! Anybody got a Kraken they'd like to swap? Anyway, Nimby pansies sound like they need a reminder of dialup with a 56k modem. Aaah, them were the days...

  51. Martin Howe

    I for one ...

    ... welcome our new green, capacious overlords. Well I would, but unfortunately they don't see our district as worth conquering :(

    Many things that used to be luxuries have in the fullness of time become ubiquitous and have in practical terms evolved, more or less, into a right. Running water? Electricity? Sewerage? Telephone? 56K? Well it's arguably time for decent broadband speeds to be considered as such.

    Realistically, it will require government intervention and take years for unprofitable areas to be served, but that's no excuse for telling people they should move from their loved homes to get it. Sure the cabinets shouldn't be sited insensitively, but that should apply to any street furniture.

    Even with LLU we will get no more that 6Mbps, so if BT want to put a cabinet on our street, let them. Oh and it will give the cats somewhere else to sit :)

  52. Anonymous Coward


    Bigger cause they need power.

    We have ADSL+ with cabinets that requires power. They are wider by %20, but thats it.


    ADSL + (or ADSL 2+ as you probably mean) is defined by the type of card you have in either your DSLAM or MSAN in the exchange, absolutely nothing to do with the street cabinet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Different ball game

      The difference is that there are very few cabinet DSLAMS dotted around the placed for ADSL compared to FTTC (normally used to defeat TPON or for rural branch nodes), whereas each and every fibre cab will need a DSLAM in it, making them all much biggerand all need power, even in Urban areas where traditionally the multiplexer equipment is stored in the exchange.

  53. Rattus Rattus

    I would be more than happy

    to have one of these boxes outside my house if it meant I was getting more bandwidth and lower latency than I do at the moment, I think my country uses RFC 1149 as standard.

  54. RW

    @ Mike Richards

    Prince Charles may have his heart in the right place, but sad to say he doesn't seem to have the brains to actually do the job. There's a horrible fire hall he was involved in the design of, and it's a fucking travesty:

  55. Graham Lockley

    Quick nurse, the screens

    "Stop betraying your tabloid arrogance" etc.

    Please could I have a share of his/her medication ? The ability to equate street cabs with litter has to be chemically induced and I want a share of it !

  56. James Melody

    Planning application here

    The above link is to a planning application for one

  57. Anonymous Coward

    NTL / Virgin #

    Anonymous Posted.

    "How come NTL managed to lay fibre to the house without the need for huge street side cabinets?"

    Thats because they don't..........Just a leaky bit of co-ax for the TV+BB and a couple pairs of copper wires stuck on for the Voice. "Fibre Optic Broadband" my a-*-e....

  58. Tim Jenkins

    I feel their pain

    There's a picture at

    "John Crompton, treasurer of the Muswell Hill and Fortis Green Association, said that the green cabinets have blocked pavements for pedestrians as well as preventing car drivers from opening their nearside doors."


    I was trying to figure that last bit out, until it struck me that if the au-pair has rushed parking the X5 on the pavement outside the organic latte shop, it probably could be tricky squeezing little Oscar into his Bugaboo kiddy seat without damaging the optional metallic finish on that nasty green box thing...

  59. Juan Inamillion

    Missing the point

    For all those here shouting down the NIMBY's - (and I'm not about to defend them) it's all about BT seemingly riding roughshod over aesthetic concerns in the environment. If you live in Peckham High St then 'aesthetics' probably don't come into it. But the fact is that BT feel that they have the right to install boxes , cables and poles just about anywhere, without any real thought about how it fits in with the local environment. If you don't care about this then you, sir, are a philistine or a schoolboy.

    This Brighton lot are not against broadband being brought into the area, what they're asking is for a little more sensitivity in the style and placement of the equipment. For those of you saying you wouldn't mind the box being in your garden all I can say is 'yeah, right'. See what that does to the value of your property. See how long it lasts before it's covered in posters/graffiti or door's broken. Or the road and pavement dug up and left in poor shape. See, it's not just the box, it's the whole thing.

    I get out more, maybe some of you should too.

  60. Stephen Gray

    @ Juan Inamillion

    Are BT responsible for social problems? I am a telco engineer NOT employed by BT so I have no vested interest. Please explain your poster/gaffiiti argument. Will twats who vandalise things stop because "its been installed with sensitivity"? Will roadworks be made a thing of the past by this sensitive install? As for the value of housing, I would pay more for a home with broadband so what are you saying exactly?

    Perhaps it is you who should get out more.

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