BT Reaches Kensington And Chelsea Broadband Peace Agreement

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Royal borough of Kensington and Chelsea withdraws street cabinet objections

BT and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have ended their stand off and agreed to the siting of new fibre cabinets in the area, paving the way for residents to enjoy superfast broadband.

The two parties had been at loggerheads since last year after the London Borough objected to the installation of cabinets in its “historic streetscapes”, causing BT to abandon its Kensington and Chelsea broadband upgrade.

However, following joint visits to all proposed locations, agreeable sites have been found for 140 cabinets, with work underway at 72 locations, while 18 cabinets are now live.

Kensington and Chelsea broadband peace

btfibrecabinet - Azzin on AVForumsBT has confirmed that South Kensington, Chelsea, Belgravia and Kensington Garden exchanges will be included as part of BT Openreach’s commercial rollout of Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) technology, which will provide download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps.

“Fibre broadband will provide a major boost both for residents and businesses in the borough, so we’re glad to have been able to reach an agreement with Openreach which allows for the deployment of this technology whilst safeguarding the historic integrity of the borough,” said Councillor Tim Ahern, the Royal Borough’s Cabinet Member for Planning Policy.

“We look forward to working with Openreach in a spirit of cooperation to maximise the benefits of fibre broadband across Kensington and Chelsea as soon as possible.”

BT Openreach, which has plans to bring fibre to two thirds of UK properties by the end of spring 2014, said residents would now have access to a range of benefits.

“The borough takes great care over its streetscape so deploying a new network in such an area can be a challenge for everyone involved, but the leadership of the borough have demonstrated a real desire over recent months to engage with us and ensure that their residents gain access to the exciting new products and services that fibre can provide,” said Liv Garfield, CEO, Openreach.

“As a result we’re delighted to be able to make progress on our plans for the area, and be working with RBKC in a collaborative way going forward.”

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