BT Openreach have drawn up plans for the installation of new, dark green coloured road-side cabinets which will hold some of the equipment needed for the “Super Fast Fibre Access” (faster broadband) that the town won in January.
The first cabinet is in front of 56 London Street (the old cinema), the second is in front of Saint Cross House (across from All Hallows church) on Church Street. There is no information provided about cabinets for places outside the conservation area, or in the rural areas surrounding the town.
The plans are revealed in notifications submitted to our local Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council. The officers at the Council plan to raise no objection to them when they are considered at the Development Control Committee which meets on Wednesday, 14th September 2011. Alternatively, the committee might decide that prior approval by them is required, which might delay their installation.
If approved, the faster broadband technology would be available to residents and businesses in December 2011. The colour of the cabinets can be other than dark green if requested, according to BT Openreach. Each cabinet measures 1.2 metres in width, 0.45 metres in depth with an overall height of 1.6 metres and contains a small cooling fan.
The B&DBC Conservation Officer notes that “there is existing street furniture clutter at [56 London St], and that the addition of another cabinet to this site would further impact on the visual appearance of the existing street scene and wider Conservation Area” and that “the presence of existing street clutter [near All Hallows], including an existing BT Cabinet and street signs has diluted the surrounding visual historic character.”
Cllr Keith Watts states in the officer’s report: “I confirm that I support this application.”
The brochure for the Super Fast Fibre Access (pdf document HERE) states that the download speed is up to 40MB per second (ie from website to your computer) and the upload speed is up to 10MB per second (ie from your computer to website).
Currently, people in Whitchurch can get “up to” 8MB per second download speed and approximate 0.1MB per second upload speed. Only “Fibre to the Premises” technology would give the full 100MB per second download speed. The notifications to B&DBC are in regards to the cabinets, or “Fibre to the Cabinet” technology.
(The brochure also states that the technology was first tried in one of our namesakes: Whitchurch near Cardiff)
The plans are on the Council website:
- BDB/75003 – Cabinet adjacent to 56 London St (add your comments to B&DBC on it HERE)
- BDB/75004 – Cabinet adjacent to Saint Cross House on Church Street (add your comments to B&DBC on it HERE)
Simulations of what the speed difference will make to movies, TV, games, and conferencing is HERE.
Information about the town’s Faster Broadband campaign is HERE. The town also won £5000 of IT equipment from BT during the campaign – some to be used for the primary school, the rest for a community IT equipment library.
A video from BT Openreach explains, with a few mixed metaphors, the technology being used and its benefits (HERE).