back to article UK minister tells telcos to share telegraph poles if they can't lay cable underground

The UK's Data and Digital Infrastructure Minister wants telcos to stop installing new telegraph poles. Minister Julia Lopez at the Department for Science, Innovation & Technology (DSIT) has written to operators including Virgin Media O2, Openreach, and KCOM, asking them to do "everything possible" to share existing telegraph …

  1. nematoad

    They do.

    UK minister tells telcos to share telegraph poles...

    Where I live they already are.

    Our local telco has wired me up using the existing BT pole as it was not possible to run a cable underground due to the congested sewers, gas mains and electricity cables that run under the small area where the houses are. In other places they have put the cables underground, causing a considerable amount of disruption on the roads. For example, why would anyone in their right mind start digging up the road in one of our most popular holiday towns in the middle of the season?

    Having said that the local telco is about five years ahead of Openreach round here and will be finished long before BT gets round to doing anything other than making promises.

    1. Anonymous Cowpilot

      Re: They do.

      That sounds much better than around here, where CityFibre have recently been along my street adding a new pole 5ft away from each BT pole. Most of the BT poles only appear to have a handful of cables on them.

      So in our street we can choose between BT fibre and CityFibre each using a separate set of poles or virgin fibre from underground.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: They do.

        "That sounds much better than around here, where CityFibre have recently been along my street adding a new pole 5ft away from each BT pole. Most of the BT poles only appear to have a handful of cables on them."

        Odds are that BT would require a rental fee to use the poles, ongoing, forever, which will have paid for itself after a year or two. Profit! So CityFibre looked at what BT wanted and decided to put their own poles in, paid off in "saved" BT pole rental in two years and so "savings!!" In the end, BT lost potential income and CityFibre spent more than they need to.

        The obvious and fair solution, with wins all around, is for BT to charge half the new pole installation cost as a one off fee for using their poles. If a 3rd supplier comes along and wants in on the act, they pay 1/3rd of the new pol installation cost, again as a one off fee, but that payment is split two ways between BT and CityFibre. Cost of maintaining the poles is split between the poles users with the initial pole owner deciding what to do and when unless other pole users can demonstrate issues with the poles affecting their services. Same system can apply to underground ducts too. Someone pays once to put the duct in, any future users can pay their "share", as a one off for access.

        Of course, the pole and duct owners can't then gouge the other suppliers, so of course it won't happen without regulation and/or laws and it goes against the grain of capitalism.

        1. Anonymous Cowpilot

          Re: They do.

          That sounds eminently sensible so I think what is much more likely to happen is that His Majesties Government forces BT to spin out the part that owns the poles into a separate publicly traded company with a monopoly on poles. This company then has to maximize shareholder value by making 300% markup every time they install a pole, and must send 3 managers and a safety supervisor to observe every time someone wants to climb a pole. It would be a coincidence if the largest shareholders in British Poles Ltd turn out to be donors to the sitting government.

          1. samzeman

            Re: They do.

            They also need to send a van round to check the poles regularly - but remedials are a different division and on a 6 month lead time.

        2. PRR Silver badge

          Re: They do.

          > The obvious and fair solution

          Maybe where you are. This problem is OLD in the USA. (Los Angeles had seven phone companies on overlapping turfs.)

          Here the first to plant a pole becomes the Incumbent. Other wire-rackets have to plead for a place. The Incumbent can dictate terms. These can be appealed to court but that can take years, years of lost income and opportunity. The terms may be kinder for non-competitors (power and telephone) and brutal for competitors (ISP#1 and ISP#2).

          Also there is a concept of Natural Monopoly. It does not make sense to have multiple power companies on the street (or didn't, before Smart Meters). I do think the two ISPs jousting for my business are just stealing each others' lunches.

          And another issue, partly solved with improved cabling. In 1888 NYC telephones were wired with individual lines for each customer. So many wires they darkened the streets. Specifically there was a major blizzard which dropped most of the poles, left streets tangled in iron wire (copper was too good). While the blizzard was fatal enough, the wire snarl really complicated rescue and recovery, which is why there are no overhead lines in downtown NYC.

          As it happens, *here* the pole incumbent is the electric company (du jour). 80 years ago they allowed the phone company cheap space (because the telco's temporary poles were failing and snarling power lines). Then the TV Cable operator. And now the phone company is hanging fiber over copper like it is still 1939. While there is a bloody great ugly rat-snarl of fiber-ends across the street, I think it will mostly stay up, and only one RoW to trim.

      2. NeilPost

        Re: They do.

        Or round here where CityFibre have been causing havoc with dangerous/illegal wildcat mobile roadworks, burying their fibre within a millimetre of the minimum allowed depth.

        I look forward to it regularly being dug up by Warwickshire County Council Highways (and sub-contractors) along with Openreach, Cadent Gas, Severn Trent, Vermin Media as the usual miscreants.

        1. CountCadaver Silver badge

          Re: They do.

          The minimum depth is set based on what's safe, so no sane company is going to bury stuff any deeper than they need to.

          It's on anyone doing roadworks to ascertain where cables and pipes etc are buried and not hit them, otherwise they are on the hook for the repair costs.

          Also "wildcat mobile roadworks" - what in blue blazes is that meant to mean?

          It's not a 1970s strike....

    2. OhForF' Silver badge

      Re: They do.

      They should HAVE TO. Why are those MPs kicking the can down the road to the minister instead of working on laws that say infrastructure must be shared between providers using fair and reasonable terms?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: They do.

        Perhaps you should check up on how they might do that:

        TL:DR? It's mostly government that gets legislation before Parliament. Members' best form of action is to tackle the relevant minister.

        1. OhForF' Silver badge

          Re: They do.

          Then the MP should have approaced the minister with a draft of a bill and asked him to introduce it as a public bill - not to get him to publicly ask network providers to do better, pretty please.

          Looks like they got enough comlaints to need to be seen to do something before the election but don't care enough to actually work on fixing the problem.

    3. Sam not the Viking Silver badge

      Re: They do.

      We were upgraded to FTP a few weeks ago. Almost zero fuss: A&A did the organising, router by post, Openreach did the installation. Replaced overhead copper with fibre on the same catenary to the same pole. Even leaving the old supplier (EE) was easy. Helps that we're in a good-sized town but it was organised in advance and completed in under an hour.

      Savings too, so ------>

    4. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: They do.

      Openreach already share poles and ducts. They charge for the privilege but as a concept that seems reasonable and knowing Ofcom (who forced BT to do this) the pricing is probably in line with industry expectations.

      Where it goes a little bit wrong is if the alternate company finds that the Openreach poles/ducts are full or blocked. In those cases whoever is laying the cable just digs their own duct or installs their own pole. There appears to be no mechanism to force Openreach to sort out the issue nor to encourage the other company to rent out their new ducts/poles.

      1. 43300 Silver badge

        Re: They do.

        Or the poles are knackered!

        We had a leased line put into a site where the fibre could have gone in two opposite directions. I wanted it to go one way and Openreach initially wanted to go the other - but then they checked the poles on their preferred route and decided that in order to add extra cabling to them most of the poles would have to be replaced due to their condition (presumably if no changes are being made they just ignore the state of them until they fall over?). So they agreed to route the wiring in the direction I'd asked for in the first place.

  2. abend0c4 Silver badge

    A relative of mine suffered almost a year's delay in the installation of fibre because one of the small number of telegraph poles involved was deemed "unsafe" during the site survey: unsafe to climb, but not sufficiently unsafe to warrant an immediate replacement. Most of the year was occupied in various groups sending memos to each other and instructing contractors who never turned up. Eventually, someone decided the pole wasn't as unsafe as it had at first appeared. I can't help feeling that in the absence of local full-time staff who are familiar with the terrain and the infrastructure, wireless is the way to go for rural connectivity.

    1. Tom Chiverton 1

      Got my "you want FTTP, you really do" email from Zen today, after OpenReach have been all up and down the poles around town for months, and I got to plug my phone into the router a few months ago (oh, the fun !).

      The cheapest package is more expensive and slower than my current ADSL.

      So screw that. What's the point ?

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        "The cheapest package is more expensive and slower than my current ADSL.

        So screw that. What's the point ?"


        How fast is your ADSL?

        Ok - wow BT now do a ridiculously slow "full fibre essential", which is £29 for 36Mbps....

        Why? £30 gets you 150Mbps, £33 is 300Mbps. And they still don't do anything symmetric.

        Whereas alternative providers do £28 for 150Mbps symmetric, £32 for 500Mbps

        Latency is usually far better on fibre, as is connection reliability. No significant affects of rain or wind.

        1. Jonathon Green

          About the ‘A’ in ADSL…

          Also don’t forget about the “Asymmetric” bit, it’s quite possible that a relatively slow fibre connection might give significantly more upstream bandwidth than a nominally faster ADSL option, and for some people (admittedly not your regular common or garden domestic consumer) that’s a selling point in itself.

        2. Tom Chiverton 1

          > How fast is your ADSL?

          Solid 80 (min 60) by 20. Easily fast enough for two people working from home. And I'm on their fixed price for life, which is a few quid cheaper than their basic entry level FTTP which is only 100 (min 50) by 18.

          Not worth it for us, ymmv etc etc

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            I used to get the same (80/20) on DSL.

            Fixed price for life isn't a fair comparison, but I agree - while you've got it, keep it.

            What's your current provider's current rate for an 80/20 connection?

            1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

              I'm on 20/2 (really!) and I can't go to fibre because I'm *too* *close* to the exchange. It's literally the other side of the lane behind my flat.

              1. John Robson Silver badge

                You need an inside man, and then put your wifi router *in* the exchange...

              2. CountCadaver Silver badge

                FTTP or Fibre to the Cabinet?

                As that seems odd for FTTP but in-line with fibre to the cabinet as there is no cabinet as your line is an exchange only line

            2. CountCadaver Silver badge

              Life until they withdraw the package or alter the terms with the alternate option of finding another provider

          2. CountCadaver Silver badge

            That's VDSL aka FTTC and NOT ADSL.....

        3. Antron Argaiv Silver badge


          Boston, MA outer suburbs. Verizon FIOS, installed 15 years ago, and I'm currently paying $45/mo for 300/300. For another $10/mo I could have 500/500, but that's overkill for me. I know of no fiber offeringnhere that is not symmetric rate. The asymmetry in your case makes me think there's CATV coax infrastructure involved somewhere, since asymmetry is baked into that technology (as into ADSL, which should be outlawed and replaced with fiber).

          1. CountCadaver Silver badge

            No it's just openretch protecting their ethernet ultra expensive business products from being undermined

            Yes seriously the govt lets them get away with it

    2. Giles C Silver badge

      I had the opposite problem...

      Finally getting my new City Fibre link on Monday after a months delay. Here Cityfibre is in the paths unfortunately they have stuck the termination boxes at random points in front of the houses.

      So instead of installing it in front of a gravel path which runs up to the front door (nice and easy), they put it in front of the lawn. The lawn is reinforced to allow a car to park on it and not sink, and in front of the house is a 1M wide section of concrete. It has taken a few weeks for them to move the box 6' to the left which they could have done when they did the installation.

      My brother has also gone this route but they put his box next to the fence so had a nice short run to do the work..... Still worth it as Zen are charging £32 for 300Mb whereas EE want £38 for 60Mb

      1. Tom Chiverton 1

        Re: I had the opposite problem...

        > Still worth it as Zen are charging £32 for 300Mb

        It's 40 quid with VAT etc. And in a year and a half will jump up to who knows what when the fixed period ends...

        1. Giles C Silver badge

          Re: I had the opposite problem...

          Nope £32 inc vat well it was when I signed up, and if the price moves a lot when I come to renew I will look at the options available

    3. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

      Wireless for rural areas

      Definitely. We live up a big hill in rural Wales, where we've been for 26 years. Started off on dial-up, moved to ISDN (Home Highway, remember that?), then various generations of very slow ADSL. Although we were doing better than one of our literal neighbours in the next house along, a few hundred yards up the lane. We got about 6Mbps, they got 0.25Mbps at best, and long periods of no service at all. I did a bit of research, turns out the phone line came to us, then did a sharp left up another lane to a pair of houses about a miles away, then looped back to our neighbours another mile down a third lane. That house is still, years later, waiting on decent wires.

      So we went wireless. First a local WISP, who kindly gave us free service in recognition of us hosting a pole in our yard to serve a bunch of other local properties, and then back in 2020 we added Starlink. So we now have two truly diversely routed services, speeds of around 250Mbps or so, and rock solid reliability.

      Which is good, because we won't be seeing fibre out here within my lifetime, I'll wager.


    4. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

      More Wireless

      Oh, I forgot - many years ago, we trialled a bidirectional satellite broadband service. Huge bandwidth for the time - 14Mbps symmetrical, from memory, when 128Kbps ISDN was about the best competitor.

      But the latency. Oh, man, the latency. 1,100ms RTT, which made terminal sessions hilarious, like a 1970s teletype session. Web browsing wasn't too bad, they'd implemented some sort of smart proxy that assembled the whole page then squirted it across the satellite link, so that worked well enough, but anything interactive outside of HTTP? Forget it.

      After about 18 months of diligently filling in monthly beta-tester feedback forms, an engineer came and took the dish down, and that was the last I ever heard of the service. Can't remember the company name, now. Still, 18 months of free broadband was definitely worth having.

      It's interesting how many service providers and customers hear about Starlink, and say "nah, satellite service, latency will be horrible, nothing will work", because people don't understand orbits. To this day, I think Sky maintain that their services simply won't work with Starlink (spoiler: they do).


      1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

        Re: More Wireless

        Downvoted for a mildly amusing anecdote from twentyish years ago? Tough crowd :-)


  3. Licensed_Radio_Nerd

    atlnets running amok

    I have seen the mess in the South Cambridgeshire village of Gamlingay as an alt-net set about installing new poles, much to the chagrin of the residents - especially for those where all other services are underground! It seems as if the planning departments are powerless to control the madness. Fibre at any cost! The contractors managed to damage the Openreach cabling, and that saw Openreach vans tailing the contractors, fixing all of the faults they caused. The upshot for some, was an improvement in their VDSL signals! That aside, no-one could see the reason for the altnet coming to the village. The VDSL coverage was already pretty good, and the village is scheduled for Openreach to roll-out fibre sooner than larger towns over the border in Bedfordshire. Some areas now have a nice new pole ready for fibre that no-one wants to bother with, as many are waiting for Openreach so they are not locked-in to the alt-net.

    My home town of Biggleswade has seen Openreach install new poles near to their existing poles, and I assume they will offer to swap the existing drop-wires; and eventually, remove the old POTS poles. My area has copper underground, but it was buried in the dirt when the estate was built in the 1980s, so someone is going to have to come and dig things up to install new ducting - and I suspect that means cutting across the gardens! We had chaos in the small estate roads in the 90s when CableTel's contractors dug up the roads - and in my street, they managed to damage the 3-phase mains ... which required two more larger holes dug in the pavements to find the blown cable. I am eagerly waiting on fibre to the home, as the VDSL signal on the 40-year-old copper is now terrible; and I've had to have Openreach out 3 times in the past few years to replace the terminator head as it was full of water. However, I am wondering what level of chaos will be created when they start digging up the roads and pavements, and whether we will be left until last in the roll-out as being "too hard"!?

    1. blackcat Silver badge

      Re: atlnets running amok

      I'm not sure what is worse, more poles or shoddy road repairs.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: atlnets running amok

        You can have both and probably will.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: atlnets running amok

      "It seems as if the planning departments are powerless to control the madness"

      They are. I wonder,was that free pass granted when Nadine "Gizza' peerage!" Dorries was the Dept of Digital, Culture Media and Sport?

    3. CountCadaver Silver badge

      Re: atlnets running amok

      Openretch will probably put poles in as digging up the streets will be "not economically viable" i.e. make us spend money where we don't want to, or "you'll have to wait for a govt voucher as it's not commercially possible" when it was their predecessors who made the boneheaded "choice" to direct bury phone cables rather than putting it in a duct, who would have thought that you might have to replace it at some point due to damage, water ingress or obsolescence.....

      Openretch still has the attitude that they are GPO and everyone should answer to them, when they have pulled various tricks over the years - hiding master sockets along a run so they could deny a fault existed as the test would pass due to the additional master socket before the fault (happened locally and brought to light during an employment tribunal - some mangler was idiotic enough to put it in text messages and emails)

      A pox on them, openretch need turned into network rail and a large number of P45s issued to tackle their 1970s "British Leyland" culture - work standards, attitudes to complaints, engineer attitudes, relations between management and frontline staff, a root and branch clear out is long overdue

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "a small number of areas in England,"

    That may, of course, be the same "small number" affected by any mass outage, data breach or whatever.

  5. rgjnk


    Can't think why people have been getting mildly upset when cheap installers skip doing ducts for some segments to save cash, rock up unannounced to slap in poles in front of people's houses (apparently with no idea how the catenaries will actually run), staple a little notice to the pole to contact with objections, then disappear.

    Extra bonus when their shiny new fibre network is the 4th (!) high speed option in the area.

    Apparently objections do work though if the poles vanishing and the fibre being reinstalled into ducts is a clue.

    I assume somewhere are a whole load of payments for just doing network rollout without actual customers needing to appear? Unless we're just back around to that old fun of speculative network rollout from all those years ago?

    1. cornetman Silver badge

      Re: 'NIMBYS'

      > NIMBYs

      Not really sure why this term is being used in this article. From the article *itself* it seems that the problem is not "Not In My Back Yard", and more like "Yes In My Back Yard But Not In A Stupid Way" which I think we can all get behind.

  6. Rikki Tikki

    Now it makes sense ...

    An election coming up - this must be behind the decision to allow expats to register, regardless of how long they've been overseas.

    I registered (for the first time in 40 years), just to see if the online process worked. Now, only have to work out how I'm going to manage to vote. Mind you, my vote wouldn't affect Ms Grant's majority by more than 0.005% either way.

  7. PB90210 Bronze badge

    Wow... Gigabit telegrams!

    Samuel Morse would be so proud

  8. codejunky Silver badge


    "This seems fair enough, but the text of the letter to the operators reveals what the real beef is: complaints to MPs from residents angry about the installation of new broadband infrastructure."

    I thought the complaint was a lack of internet speed or whatever? That connectivity jabbering that goes on demanding more coverage of better speeds etc.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just Move

    Hmm. They want better connectivity? Move to an area with better service. Why should I be paying more for others to get improved internet speeds. Is what I would say if I was a RWNJ.

  10. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C Silver badge

    I am not a NIMBY

    It's not my Back Yard they want to put a pole in - it's in front of my house. It can't be put on the other side of the road because KCOM already have a telegraph pole there. That's right, we already have a telegraph pole with fibre to the premises and yet the only way we'll see competition for broadband is if we get a DUPLICATE infrastructure. Half the country has NO fibre and we'll get DOUBLE fibre, if the supply companies get their way.

    The planning notice for our spare telegraph pole was put up during Christmas week. The flier put through our letter box at the same time refers to a "requirement to bring full fibre connectivity to the local properties". We've had full fibre (including landline telephone) for about six years already but only one choice of supplier - KCOM.

    There are two companies (MS3 and Connexin) doubling up broadband capacity around the KCOM area regardless of actual need and without following the OFCOM code of practice (unless brought to book by protestors). They claim that KCOM won't let them share access - KCOM claim that they haven't been asked and we poor customers have to suffer the tantrums.

    1. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C Silver badge

      Re: I am not a NIMBY

      Forgot to mention

      One of the companies wreaking havoc in our area managed to hit a gas main earlier this week. One of the reasons they give for installing poles rather than digging ducts is reducing the risk of damaging other existing services...

    2. notyetanotherid

      Re: I am not a NIMBY

      Of course, members of would be ecstatic at the thought of a new pole being planted in front of their house...

  11. Dropper

    Interesting Choice

    Have these people heard of dominoes? Also, are they aware that the weather in Britain can, at times, be less than hospitable to tall poles planted precariously in the ground? So the solution to cheap internet is to use the most unstable method of delivery - because it saves so much money and time when you have to repair miles of infrastructure every time a decent storm hits the country.


    Anyone whose power is lost when there's a stiff breeze outside.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Interesting Choice

      To be fair, it's not the poles or pylons that generally have a problem with the wind. It's the trees that blow onto them. At one time, if it looked like a tree was going to be a problem, it would be cut down. Nowadays, all trees seem to be sacrosanct, no matter the risk to infrastructure, and any hint that a tree may need to be cut down to prevent storm damage results in letters to the editor and Swampy's pals building tree houses in them! Heritage steam railways have a similar issue, except in their case it's a fire risk that used to be dealt with and now involves months of planning requests and environmental surveys,

      1. 43300 Silver badge

        Re: Interesting Choice

        Heritage railways don't normally have a problem with being able to control trees - those on embankments tend to be silver birch and other quick-growing species and nobody is going to be bothered about those being cut down. The issue is normally smuts and cinders from steam locos setting fire to heather and peat moorland during prolonged dry spells. The same applies on the mainline and Network Rail sometimes does put a temporary ban on using steam locos on charter trains in specific areas where the risk is high.

  12. DS999 Silver badge

    Carbon savings

    Sure they probably save carbon (and more importantly to them, money) by putting up poles instead of digging, but I wonder about the expected cost over the next few decades. Stuff like cars hitting a pole or a storm taking out a tree/branch that breaks the fiber. The ongoing maintenance has to be more than underground lines.

    I expect over the long term they would save both money and carbon, but the CEOs don't care. They won't be around in 20 years, and they want their bonus now.

    I'd also be curious if their carbon savings includes the carbon emitted by the loggers felling the tree, the truck that drove the tree to a mill where it was turned into a pole plus the milling itself, and the truck that drove it to the telco's warehouse/yard where they store poles until they are erected. I'm gonna guess no.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Carbon savings

      "The ongoing maintenance has to be more than underground lines."

      Different budget. Maintenance isn't capital spend. And anyway, that's next years budget and someone else's problem 'cos management will have moved on by then and took their bonuses with them! :-)

    2. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C Silver badge

      Re: Carbon savings

      In our case (see my musings above) Connexin have issued press releases trumpeting their green credentials about using posts rather than digging. What they don't mention is that they are putting posts in where ducts already exist or where poles already exist. So they are basically claiming that killing a tree, marinating it in creosote and then digging a hole and planting it again is greener than using the infrastructure that ALREADY EXISTS. Total and utter green wash.

  13. IvyKing

    The experience in the US

    The public utilities commissions in the US have generally required the original owners of the pole line share space on the poles, so it's common to see poles with power, telephone, cable and occasionally fiber optics. There are long standing regulations about how the tenant users of the pole line compensate the original owner along with rules on where the tenant lines need to be placed. One reason the PC's have an authority to do so, is that pole lines are usually on easements on property owned by others (e.g. homeowners). Most fiber optic installations in the US are going to areas where the utilities are underground, so many companies are using micro-trenching to cut a trench about 10cm wide and 30cm deep in the road, which is usually asphalt, to place the conduits to the fiber. This does involve another small box in the utility box clusters associated with underground utilities.

    Historically, underground power lines were 3 to 5 times more expensive than overhead power lines, but experience fewer service disruptions than overhead. Fixing an underground line is quite a bit more involved than an overhead line.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: The experience in the US

      Yes that sharing is the case in my town. I have poles running down the alley behind my house, and they carry electric power from the local utility, phone from the local phone company, and cable from the local cable company. In the places where a new fiber company is running fiber that have poles, they are stringing that on the pole as well. Not sure if it is state or local law that is forcing that sharing.

      1. VicMortimer Silver badge

        Re: The experience in the US

        Federal, state, and local laws all apply. The FCC essentially forces it to happen, states tend to set rates, cities regulate where they can be placed and when poles can't be used and everything has to go underground. In general if the electricity is underground nobody is getting permission to put up a pole for anything.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bloody NIMBYs are the death of this countries lifeblood in the service sector.

    Where do you think the 350+GW of new wind and nuke is going to be going? Fucking nowhere if we can't sort a little wooden telegraph pole for some Comms fibre.

    Underground means roadworks to install and a whole lot more disruption in perpetuity. Just about the only viable alternative is increasingly to tunnel everything - at vast expense.

    Utility corridor tunnels make some sense in the Capital and major cities. To do them everywhere? I won't say not possible, but certainly not economically sensible to go national.

    So where do we go from here? Sick man of Europe once again. Rawrgh.

  15. The_H

    How many poles?

    Used to be able to see one KCom pole from my living room window. Incompetent tw**s MS3 have planted five more and they've turned up this morning to plant a sixth. They ran a pole-to-pole link cable so badly that it's now entangled in the branches of the beech tree in my garden.

    1. CountCadaver Silver badge

      Re: How many poles?

      Areas with this many nimby's should either be denied utility services or charged triple....

  16. John 61

    New comms technology required!

    TCAS* via the UMSL** protocol are the way forward!

    *Tin Cans And String

    **(YO)U Must Shout Louder

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