Misc. Telegraph poles & wires

Pete Thomas

Committee
Conservation
There was a question at the 2019 AGM in regard to whether we can get the unsightly telegraph poles/wires removed, ie are they still necessary.
I have been research this and the short answer seems to be yes.

The Triangle is served by underground fibre optic cables by Virgin, which can be routed directly into the house for little or no fee and so bypass the need for the old copper cables. However their system is not compatible with any other provider so they don't share with or sublease to other companies. (No surprise there).

BT Openreach (which BT and most other providers rely on) only provide fibre to cabinet, which then needs the copper wires to distribute into the households.

NB: Virgin refer to the provision of optic cables as Fibre To The House (FTTH), Openreach refer to Fibre To The Premises (FTTP)

So basically, unless everyone in the Triangle switches to Virgin then we are stuck with the overhead wires.

However, there is a scheme whereby a "community" (which we may well be :) ) can apply to Openreach via a voucher system, and if enough applicants (individuals and businesses) apply then Openreach may consider installing FTTP for the Triangle

The form to apply is here:


I presume at that point we could then apply to have the poles and wires removed.
 
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Pete Thomas

Committee
Conservation
Further to the above I have now discovered another company, Hyperoptic, who can lay fibre cables but currently they are only accepting applications from buildings not single residences. A building would include an apartment block of 30 plus dwellings and at least 20% of residents need to apply before they will lay the cables.

So theoretically the flats at the top of Westbourne/Oakmount may qualify (how many apartments in each block?).

If anyone reading this who lives in the flats or knows somebody who does, please contact us and we may be able to start the ball rolling.

Note that Hyperoptic can supply staggeringly fast Broadband (1 GB)

Hyperoptic told me that if such buildings do get served, then at that time the existence of their cable in the street may make individual residence applications more viable.
 

Pete Thomas

Committee
Conservation
It looks like there may be some Fibre Optic cables, or rather they are getting ready to do so. So theortetically FTTH/FTTH will be available not just to Virgin customers. Whether that gets us any closer to losing the telegraph poles and overhead wires is anybody's guess. Opinions welcome from any telecoms experts here!
 
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I had a chat with the guys doing the surveying for this work a few weeks ago - it’s a company called Toob who will be providing the internet (it seems that Southampton is a test area for them, they have already installed closer to the city centre). Their timeline for us is April 2021 I believe.
 

Pete Thomas

Committee
Conservation
As we know (from the noise and smell) Toob have installed some cabling and cabinets. As with Virgin, this is a closed network, however the Government is commiitted to removing all old (PSTN) copper network by 2025. This means (I think) that at some stage Openreach will be installing Fibre. Yet more digging up of payments, but at least by then it would hopefully mean the removal of the wires overhead.

NB: not exactly in keeping with the management plan:

toob.jpg
 
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RichardSharman

Resident
We have an unsightly BT telegraph pole standing outside the front wall of No 18 Blenheim, with about a dozen copper wires connecting nearby houses (including us). Ours supports telephone and broadband, For 40 years we have hoped that one day this post becomes obsolete and is removed. However,...

Today a contractor with NexUS on its vans turned up and worked on the telegraph pole from a cherry picker lift device. Interested, I had a chat with them. Their story is that they are subcontracted by Toob, which is investing £50m bringing fibre broadband to every household (in line with government policy). They have already installed fibre cables in the underground ducts along Blenheim Av (and elsewhere) to the new green cabinets at the pavement sides. They are now extending the fibre cable up the BT telegraph pole to a new box attached to the top of the post. The post now has two boxes, a BT one and a Toob one, and is therefore uglier than before. Presumably BT is happy with this.

I am told that there will soon be a Toob advertising blitz offering fibre to the house, for a price which is competitive with BT, and those who take it up will have an overhead fibre cable installed from the top of the post to the eaves of the house alongside the current BT copper wire cable. I am told that Virgin plan to do the same when they get round to it. Toob are never going to install underground cables to the house because it is costly.

So, far from the post being removed it looks as if it will be there forever, with yet more cables hanging off it. This method is typical of suburban USA where streets are festooned with cables of all sorts. It is no doubt the cheapest way to do it. I don't see any path to removing the ugly posts and improving our neighbourhood, rather the reverse.
 

Carol Thomas

Resident
We have an unsightly BT telegraph pole standing outside the front wall of No 18 Blenheim, with about a dozen copper wires connecting nearby houses (including us). Ours supports telephone and broadband, For 40 years we have hoped that one day this post becomes obsolete and is removed. However,...

Today a contractor with NexUS on its vans turned up and worked on the telegraph pole from a cherry picker lift device. Interested, I had a chat with them. Their story is that they are subcontracted by Toob, which is investing £50m bringing fibre broadband to every household (in line with government policy). They have already installed fibre cables in the underground ducts along Blenheim Av (and elsewhere) to the new green cabinets at the pavement sides. They are now extending the fibre cable up the BT telegraph pole to a new box attached to the top of the post. The post now has two boxes, a BT one and a Toob one, and is therefore uglier than before. Presumably BT is happy with this.

I am told that there will soon be a Toob advertising blitz offering fibre to the house, for a price which is competitive with BT, and those who take it up will have an overhead fibre cable installed from the top of the post to the eaves of the house alongside the current BT copper wire cable. I am told that Virgin plan to do the same when they get round to it. Toob are never going to install underground cables to the house because it is costly.

So, far from the post being removed it looks as if it will be there forever, with yet more cables hanging off it. This method is typical of suburban USA where streets are festooned with cables of all sorts. It is no doubt the cheapest way to do it. I don't see any path to removing the ugly posts and improving our neighbourhood, rather the reverse.
That’s depressing thank you for the information those cables are ugly !
 

Pete Thomas

Committee
Conservation
The post now has two boxes, a BT one and a Toob one, and is therefore uglier than before. Presumably BT is happy with this.
I also spoke to one of the Toob employees who was in Oakmount Avenue and he confirmed they would be hanging fibre cables from the telegraph poles where they existed. :(

I asked about the boxes, and although I am not sure how accurate this is (hearsay), he said that BT do not like Toob because they are becoming too successful and this is the reason they are installing their own cabinets instead of plugging in to the BT ones. This implies they could have done, but elected not to, in order to not rock the boat.
So, far from the post being removed it looks as if it will be there forever, with yet more cables hanging off it.
Possibly.

however the Government is commiitted to removing all old (PSTN) copper network by 2025. This means (I think) that at some stage Openreach will be installing Fibre. Yet more digging up of payments, but at least by then it would hopefully mean the removal of the wires overhead.

My statement above was based on what my broadband provider, Zen Internet, told me.

Zen uses BT lines and therefore are unable to provide broadband yet. Both Toob and Virgin are closed systems so do not lease to other providers.

He said that due to the "government commitment for everyone to have access to fibre by 2025" then the copper overhead system will be removed in favour of underground fibre cables. This latest move by Toob seems to sadly contradict that notion - it is obviously cheaper, whether it is Toob or Openreach, to just run the fibre in the air instead of the copper.
 

RichardSharman

Resident
Interestingly, further along Blenheim, past the three main BT telegraph poles (which have all been treated the same way with Toob boxes added and more secure sheathing put on the up-pole cables) there is a "gap". This is where Toob have dug new underground ducts, and provided ground level access points - one per house. I am assuming that if those households sign up to Toob then a ground level cable will be run in from the access point to the front door ?

Also, I read in the paper today that some in government want to get BT to withdraw all terrestrial copper wire connections by 2025, but this would leave a lot of older people who currently have telephone only connection with no support. But if they did, then what would be the status of the BT telegraph pole ? An amusing situation !
 

Pete Thomas

Committee
Conservation
Also, I read in the paper today that some in government want to get BT to withdraw all terrestrial copper wire connections by 2025
Maybe this is what Zen Internet were referring to as “commitment” to do so.

If it happens then I imagine either they will have to replace with fibre or maybe strike a deal with Toob
 
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