BT to open up ‘crucial’ cabinet data


BT has agreed to further open up data linking premises to the communications giant's fibre cabinets following pressure from Rutland Telecom.

The data will enable wider next-generation broadband access in rural areas that do not get adequate speeds, Rutland said.

"Rutland Telecom, the UK's smallest unbundler' has now benefitted industry in getting this vital data published," the company claimed in a blog post.

Earlier this year, Rutland helped set up super-fast broadband in the village of Lyddington, claiming BT had decided it would be too costly to install such services in the area.

"BT has neither the intention nor the ability of providing such solutions in tiny communities like Lyddington," Rutland added.

BT has responded by saying it has not backtracked on the data issue, noting it had previously provided Rutland and other providers access to the information if they bought into Openreach's sub loop unbundling (SLU) product.

What BT has agreed to is to change the way in which this information can be accessed.

Previously, to gain details of end customers connected to an Openreach FTTC cabinet, companies would need to do so on a case-by-case basis. BT has now agreed to publish the location of the cabinets on a per region basis.

"Following further discussions with industry on their exact requirements, we will now be providing SLU customers with this data on a regional basis to help smaller players better plan for their broadband roll outs," a statement from BT sent to IT PRO read.

"The extent of our fibre roll out across the UK means that this is a major undertaking, so it will be few months before this data is available."

Ofcom was entirely satisfied BT was meeting regulatory obligations by using the case-by-case method, but the company made the move anyway, the statement said.

As for Rutland's claim BT is not capable of taking fibre to smaller communities in the UK, BT last month called on public sector bodies to provide support for services in such areas.

It followed the formation of a partnership between BT and the local parish council of Iwade, Kent to bring super-fast connections to the village.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.