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Friday, 1 June 2012

BT Superfast Cabinets "Too Vulgar" for the Royal Borough!

It seems as if residents won't be getting superfast broadband anytime soon. The Dame hears that
BT has decided to pull out it's engineers.
RBK&C has complained that the equipment cabinets are too ugly and are not design consonant with the historic borough landscape.
As BT said, The historic borough can now have historic broadband'!

Now The Dame has never seen one of these cabinets, but it might be a good idea for residents to be able to inspect an artist impression of the cabinets in a 'street setting.'
Now the Dame is getting quite a few comments that someone is going out of their way to favour Virgin: so why would they do that? Surely, there cannot be venal reasons.....or can there?

Prettier than the old one on the right!
In this way we residents can form a judgment. Missing out on superfast broadband holds back business in the Borough.

So put up an image  on the Council website so we can make a judgment.....after all 34,000 homes and businesses are at risk of being left behind in the superfast broadband revolution.

The Dame has found a pic and frankly thinks the Council is being petty.

You can read all about it in the Guardian and below an extract from a internal BT memo with a vital comment from Baroness Jo Valentine, chief executive at London First, said: “London business needs world-class communications infrastructure and delaying broadband rollout in Kensington and Chelsea is bad news for local businesses and residents.
“BT is able to work with other boroughs with conservation areas - Kensington & Chelsea need to up their game."

BT pulls plug on fibre broadband for top London borough

Published on Thu 31 May 2012 10:40 GMT

BT has withdrawn its rollout of fibre broadband in a top London borough after rejection of almost all its applications for the siting of street cabinets.

Page Content
​This unusual move has resulted in Openreach engineers being withdrawn from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and being redeployed elsewhere.

Fibre broadband currently delivers speeds of up to 76Mbps, compared with the UK average of 7.6Mbps, so it means that 34,000 homes and businesses in the borough are set to miss out on the high-speed revolution.

Openreach, which supplies providers including Talk Talk and Sky as well as BT Retail, has already installed more than 4,000 fibre street cabinets across 31 London boroughs - including ones with many conservation areas.

But in Kensington and Chelsea, it has had 96 of its 108 applications rejected or put on ice.

A BT spokesman said that, after dozens of meetings and calls over many months in which BT has tried to find middle ground with the council, the company had been left with no option but to go elsewhere.

More than ten million homes and businesses can now order fibre and that will rise to two-thirds of the UK by the end of 2014.

The spokesman said: “We're passing more than 100,000 premises with the technology every week, which is one of the fastest deployments in the world, and so we can't afford to let local red tape get in the way.

“It's a major political priority for the current government who have said they want the UK to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015.

“The borough seem to find the cabinets ugly and so their priority is to leave the streets as uncluttered as possible.”

He said it wasn’t practical to site the cabinets underground, and added: “Other councils, including those of neighbouring boroughs, have shown a greater eagerness to enjoy the benefits of fibre broadband.

“We will, therefore, re-focus our engineers' efforts in other areas where planning authorities have taken a positive approach and are keen to ensure their residents and businesses can benefit from this technology."


  1. This immediately brings to mind Cllr Moylan's "streetscapes" (vulgar stainless steel lamp posts) and choclate box "roadscapes" (pink granite from China). Neither of these things produce any practical benefit.

    But new BT cabinets that can deliver huge practical benefit (fast braodband) are ruled out by petty minded souls in Hornton Street.

    Of course! "Not invented here"


  2. Campden Ward Resident1 June 2012 at 07:21

    I have been longing for fast braodband for some time. It is annoying to hear that the Council is holding up technological progress

  3. The silly people in Hornton Street fail to realise that fast broadband is on a limited roll out. The supplier has no time to screw around with short sighted Councils.

    If K&C puts obstacles in the way of BT then they move on and serve other Boroughs. K&C residents lose out.

    As usual, the self serving and naval gazing Cockell regime shafts residents

  4. Lord Kensington1 June 2012 at 07:25

    This cannot be true

  5. Fast broadband is a fundamental part of our 21st Century toolbox. Helping us to keep up in the world.

    K&C is inhabited by the sort of people who most need to keep up with the world.

    Unfortunately we are Governed by idiots in Hornton Street who never heard of the world outside their narrow self interest

  6. The tri Borough project has produced a huge wave of demotivation and negative thinking in Hornton Srteet

    Any new proposal that comes along is knocked over - just for the hell of it.

    Another failure of Leadership by Cllr Cockell. He does not have the first clue about how to motivate and lead.

  7. This has been brewing for some time.

    From memory, the first applications for new cabinets in South Kensington were rejected some time back. It was claimed that the cabinets had been objected to by residents. Whether this was actually true or a mere excuse on the part of the Council is a matter for conjecture as no-one appears to have ever seen a planning notice for any of them.

    Our Council is not "utility friendly". The Council has been running a war of attrition against Virgin Media on its Council estate for years, exemplified by the complete lack of communication during the recent "digital TV upgrade" fiasco on its Council estates which has arguably cost the Council hundreds of thousands of pounds.

    The Council is displaying it's ignorance. There are very good reasons for the cabinets to be what they are - strong, secure and above ground. If no-one at the Council has the technical wherewithal to realise this then perhaps it is time they did a bit of on-the-job learning for a change?

  8. Brave New World1 June 2012 at 09:10

    I guess it was just a matter of time, after Moylan reinstated the olde worlde Routemaster along Ken High Street (at vast expense, YOUR money).

    I imagine they will offer a service of town criers in phoney medieval costume to relay your messages, and relay runners will deliver letters and parcels, 'in keeping with the dignity of the Royal Borough' blablabla.

    Arrant Luddite nonsense.

  9. 8.06 tells a typical story. Self serving and ignorant tyrants in Hornton Street.

    There was a huge outcry from residents against the folly of Exhibition Rd. Did anyone in Hornton Street take notice? Like hell they did

  10. Apparently Virgin Media already have coverage over most of the Borough - so effectively RBKC is handing virgin a monopoly. conspiracy anyone?

  11. Re: 9:07

    That suggests a level of forethought and planning usually lacking at RBK&C towers.

    In any case, given the shenanigans that went on during the Council's "digital TV upgrade" on its housing estates - which included blaming Virgin for shoddy work and physical damage to buildings caused by the Council's contractor - I doubt Virgin will be all that keen to work with RBK&C either.

  12. Is someone getting free hols from Virgin?

  13. The House That Cockell Built...

    A culture and Leadership that is out of step with the 21st Century. Badly out of step. And a bunch of Conservative Councillors who are too greedy and short sighted to do anything about the Mubarak Dictatorship

  14. Of course there are backhanders, 10.42

    If a big and rich contractor like BT turns up you hold them back until they play the game. The broadband lot are just too stupid for words. The smaller operators know what is good for them

  15. What a contrast with the ghastly and unwanted bicycle docking stations. Here all objections were brushed aside by Dear Leader who wanted to suck up to Boris Johnson because he had poured tax payer money into the hopeless Exhibition Road fiasco.

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