Disabled Man Furious Over BT's FTTC Broadband Street Cabinet Placement - ISPreview UK
Over the years the placement of BTís (Openreach) superfast broadband (FTTC) capable street cabinets have occasionally caused anger among NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard), a lot of it unwarranted, but sometimes there may be a stronger case for adjustment.

One such example came at the start of this year when BT built a 5ft high street cabinet directly in front of a village war memorial in Fochriw, Wales. In fairness, there was already a huge phone box right next to it and their planning work for the cabinet was conducted before the memorial itself had been erected. Still, on this occasion, BTís Openreach engineers agreed to move the box.

But how strong does a case for movement need to be before itís taken seriously and a change made? At present that remains unclear. Meanwhile a ďnewĒ example of tricky placement has emerged after a disabled pensioner, James Godman, who lives on White Hart Lane in Portchester (Portsmouth, England), complained that a cabinet which BT installed over two years ago is causing him problems.

The story goes that Mr Godman wanted to convert his front garden into a driveway because heís not allowed to park at the back of his house (double yellow lines etc.). Apparently he needs the space in order to exit his own vehicle and so that family members / home carers can assist him.

The trouble is that Openreach have installed the cabinet, which incidentally occurred all the way back in 2012 while Godman was on holiday, right in front of his drive and in so doing have made it difficult for two cars to park. Others further up on the same road have in the past reported similar experiences with cabinet placement.

James Godman said:

ďThere was no notice given. It could have been put on the boundary line. If it wouldíve been put half-on, half-off then there would not have been a problem. It was thoughtless act. They couldíve just moved it a further metre-and-a-half and there would not have been any problem. It has made life very awkward
The current planning rules, outside of strict conservation areas, have over the past few years been relaxed in order to help the roll-out of superfast broadband and the vast majority of people benefit from that. The land that BT uses is also public property and the operator does not need to personally inform home owners ahead of such work.

In this instance Godman says that heís never spoken to BT about the problem, which is surprising, and itís unclear why the situation has only come to light after several years. In response a spokesman for BT said that they conduct ďrobust planningĒ in order to determine ďthe best possible location to provide maximum serviceĒ and that the related cabinet complies with all the relevant regulation.

ďAlthough itís unlikely cabinets will reallocated once installed, homeowners and residents can of course make a complaint to Open Reach who will investigate,Ē said the telecoms giant. We can certainly see some of Godmanís point of view on this one, although the fact that several years have past makes it unlikely that BT would move it (generally they only need to leave room for one car entry point).

Note: The picture in our article isnít the cabinet itself, just a similar example.