If you’ve ever wondered what the insides of one of those new BT fibre cabinets looks like, scroll down to the video below and wonder no more. During our time with Superfast Cornwall we were invited to take a look inside the new fibre cabinets that BT is setting up in Cornwall and elsewhere in the UK.
Dr. Ranulf Scarbrough, Director of Superfast Cornwall talks us through the installation process and the challenges BT’s engineers have faced.
The first challenge is finding a good location. To help minimise the distance issue that causes FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) broadband speeds to slow down, the aim is to place new fibre cabinets as close to the PCP (primary connection point) as possible. The PCP here refers to the original ADSL cabinet (which you can see on the left, just out of shot), after which the old copper lines then connect to the homes as normal, providing download speeds of up to 80Mbps.
Picking a prime location for a fibre cabinet isn’t always easy, as BT engineers have also had to factor in supplying the cabinets with mains electricity, which is dependent on a number of safety factors. In the event of the main supply of juice going down, there’s a battery inside each cabinet which will keep things ticking over for four hours.
This particular cabinet is located in the village of Trispen and supplies 288 homes with up to 80Mbps broadband.
Previously broadband speeds in Trispen were so poor, due to the exchange in Truro being located five miles away. Prior to the cabinets, of which there are four, arriving in the village, download speeds averaged at around 0.25Mbps and peaked at 0.5Mbps on a good day. Now speeds range from 30Mbps to 65Mbps in homes a few hundred metres from cabinets.