Disabled man’s anger as BT blocks his drive with a broadband box

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DISABLED pensioner James Godman wants BT to move a green box that the firm put front of his house while he was on holiday.

The 67-year-old was away with his wife, shortly before she died in 2012, when the box sprung up.

James Godman outside his house in Portchester.

James Godman outside his house in Portchester.

But now it is now proving problematic for Mr Godman as he was told by the council he could not park at the back of his house.

As he needs to park near his house due to mobility problems, he decided to turn his front garden into a driveway.

But because of the position of the box, he cannot get two cars on his drive, which he needs to do so that his grandaughter and carer can park to tend to his needs.

Mr Godman, of White Hart Lane, Portchester, said: ‘It has made life very awkward.’

It was thoughtless act. They could’ve just moved it a further metre-and-a-half and there would not have been any problem

The retired gas worker said that he was not spoken to by BT about the installation and that he feels the company acted ‘thoughtlessly’.

He said: ‘There was no notice given. It could have been put on the boundary line. If it would’ve been put half-on, half-off then there would not have been a problem. It was thoughtless act. They could’ve just moved it a further metre-and-a-half and there would not have been any problem.

‘I don’t want to be rude but it is a job done without thought.’

It is not the first time that residents of White Hart Lane, in Portchester, have complained about the placement of BT boxes.

James Godman is angry that there is a BT Open Reach box outside his house

James Godman is angry that there is a BT Open Reach box outside his house

Martin Foulds, also of White Hart Lane, had a similar experience with BT in 2012.

He wanted to put in a dropped kerb but BT had put a box up in front of his house and BT wanted thousands of pounds to move it.

Mr Foulds said: ‘White Hart Lane is all double yellow lines.

‘It’s obvious people are going to ask for dropped kerbs. BT acted carelessly and without foresight.’

The boxes are part of a rolling program of network upgrades, which brings faster broadband.

A spokesman from BT said: ‘This cabinet has been serving customers with their broadband for more than two years.

‘Before installing any street cabinets, we make sure robust planning goes into the best possible location to provide maximum service.

Like all our cabinets, this one complies with all the relevant regulation.

‘Although it’s unlikely cabinets will reallocated once installed, homeowners and residents can of course make a complaint to Open Reach who will investigate.’

BT’s green boxes can spring up anywhere

UNLESS you live in a conservation area, then you are at risk of BT placing a green box outside your house.

The law says the firm is not required to let you know that a box will be placed outside your address as they are being put on public land.

As part of a program of rolling network upgrade, the original smaller green BT boxes are being joined with a larger box, which measures 5ft tall and 4ft wide.

Once completed, it will bring high-speed fibre-optic broadband, meaning that people can get on to the internet faster with a more reliable connection.

Earlier this month, BT apologised after it placed a box in front of a war memorial in Wales.