SU5749 : Dig the hole here

taken 1 year ago, near to East Oakley, Hampshire, Great Britain

Dig the hole here
Dig the hole here
Guidance for contractors on Hill Road.
Virgin Media in Oakley :: SU5750
In February 2016 Virgin Media carried out what it termed a ‘Supercharging Local Communities’ initiative, this entailed encouraging local residents and businesses to vote for their community to benefit from ultrafast broadband. The first 10 communities to benefit were announced by the company on 23 May 2016, they ranged from communities in West Lothian to Dorset.

On 11 July 2016 Oakley village (Hampshire) was announced as one of the second wave of communities to have voted to be connected. Out of the next 30 communities to be connected Oakley came 5th in order of votes cast, Windlesham (Surrey) came first. As a result work started in early 2017 to install fibre broadband directly to every premise (FTTP) in the village. The first signs of this work were traffic lights and delays along the B3400 in Newfound, the main cable work then turned down Fox Lane and proceeded to spread throughout the village.

The company blurb stated “future-proof connectivity with download speeds of up to 200Mbps, plus, the latest entertainment with up to 260 television channels, including 66 HD channels, as well as access to Sky Sports, Sky Movies and BT Sport and an extensive television on demand library of exclusive shows, box sets and films”.

Running a new cable to the edge of every property is no mean feat and has involved work in the village 7 days a week for several months. I quote from the company website “This FTTP expansion uses an innovative way of bringing ultrafast broadband to people’s homes with minimal disruption. The approach, called narrow-trenching, reduces the width of the trench used to lay optical fibre cables from around 40cm to just 10cm and enables engineers to cover up to 100m in a day, making it more than twice as fast as current methods.” (May 2016).

The location of their grey, cable junction boxes, shows a complete lack of thought or regard for aesthetics. Few are set back from the road by walls or hedge lines where they would be far less intrusive. To my knowledge work has gone fairly smoothly although I know people in the village have made complaints about the mess made by contractors. However, there have been several occasions where they have cut through existing BT cables outside private house, the discussions that follow as to who is going to dig the hole (to get access to repair the cable) and then fill it afterwards have been farcical.

These photos are a record of this installation work at different points around the village. The only decision I now have is whether it will be economic to switch from my BT (Infinity 2) connection (download 78 Mb/s; upload 19 Mb/s) or not. I think BT may lose a loyal customer.

UPDATE July 2017: A month after the work was completed another contractor had to come back to the village to 'repair' many of the holes dug during installation of the cables - nothing like a rushed job to save money!
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SU5749, 1668 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Thursday, 4 May, 2017   (more nearby)
Thursday, 10 August, 2017
Geographical Context
Construction, Development  Communications 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SU 5778 4981 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:14.6728N 1:10.4165W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SU 5776 4982
View Direction
East-southeast (about 112 degrees)
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