Residents of Chelsea hoping to get fibre optic internet access from BT have had their hopes dashed, as Chelsea Council have vetoed plans for BT to roll out superfast fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband, stating that new larger cabinets needed to deliver the service where too “ugly” to be placed on their posh streets.
32,000 customers and businesses would have received a substantial jump in potential broadband speeds, but council action has forced BT to abandon plans as work could not be completed without updating 96 of the boroughs 108 street cabinet to larger FTTC-equipped units.
As it stands, BT can offer no alternative. BT explained: “We can’t put them underground as the cabinets contain sensitive electronics which would be affected when the chambers flood, as they frequently do. Also, whilst we can make the cabinets smaller they would serve fewer houses and thus more of them would be needed.”
It’s not all doom-and-gloom for the mega-rich residents of Chelsea. Broadband infrastructure in the area is already equipped to offer the majority of residents 16Mbps connections (far higher than the national average of 4.9Mbps), while Virgin’s fibre cables already serve “virtually the whole borough”.
Plus, they can always go for a swim in their pools of money.