BT refuses to reconsider site of green box

Martin Foulds next to the BT box outside his house.''Picture: Sarah Standing (1347-857)
Martin Foulds next to the BT box outside his house.''Picture: Sarah Standing (1347-857)
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A HOMEOWNER has labelled BT ‘arrogant’ for refusing to move a 5ft high green box that it installed outside his house.

The BT Openreach box was placed outside Martin Foulds’ house on White Hart Lane in Portchester while he was at work.

The 46-year-old wanted to turn his front garden into a parking space, like many of the houses along White Hart Lane, but is now unable to do so because of the cabinet’s position.

He applied for a dropped kerb and BT sent him a bill of £25,000 to move the box three feet to make access possible.

His story was featured in The News last week.

BT has now responded to Mr Foulds’ complaint – but the firm says it will not back down and move the box.

A spokesman said: ‘We do appreciate Mr Foulds’ strength of feeling about the Openreach cabinet.

‘This new type of cabinet has strict technical limitations on where it can be positioned.

‘It needs to be located close to the existing cabinet as they are linked by underground cables.

‘It is vital that our cabinets do not represent a traffic hazard and it doesn’t restrict the view of road users and pedestrians or restrict pavement access.

‘After taking into account all these limitations, we do try to place the cabinets in a location that minimises the visual impact.

‘As this particular cabinet has been installed on public land, prior notification was not required.

‘From our perspective, the position is one which meets all the requirements. Therefore we will be keeping the cabinet where it is.

‘We do appreciate this will be disappointing to Mr Foulds and we are sorry for the upset, but we do hope that he and the community will benefit from the faster broadband speeds this cabinet will bring.’

BT is investing £2.5bn to deliver its Openreach’ superfast fibre broadband to two-thirds of the UK by the end of spring 2014.

Mr Foulds said: ‘Yes, it will benefit the community, but at my expense. It shows outrageous arrogance from BT.’

Have you been affected by one of these boxes? Email kimberley.barber@thenews.co.uk.