Some digging/civils in the road could also mean anyone wishing to take a service would need their garden/driveway/footpath dug up to lay new cable or duct. In comparison, when it comes to setting up full fibre for a given area, telegraph poles have many advantages:
The process of setting a pole is much quicker and more efficient than digging. It usually only takes a few hours to complete. Although a contentious subject, poles have Permitted Development (PD) rights, which means a planning process isn’t required.
This can bypass any potential delays and provide full fibre broadband to local residents very quickly. Poles are a common sight across the UK and so the benefits of a full fibre network usually outweighs the aesthetic.
A dig/civils build, however, is often a much slower process due to the technical work involved. Usually this will require roadworks/diversions/traffic management (lights/stop-go boards), excavations, heavy machinery, reinstatement works etc which can go on for some time.
People looking to subsequently take a service may then need additional civils works and potential wayleaves to connect them to the network which can delay the process further.
Ducting is often available to newer build properties as this can be installed at the same time as other utilities when construction commences. Older areas and properties that are not served in this way are more suited to telegraph pole delivery methods.
Telegraph pole installation is usually much more straightforward and creates very little disruption to residents compared with the digging process, which creates noise pollution as well as congestion and restricted road access.
Digging up roads can also result in accidental cable cuts leaving premises without a phoneline, internet or power. There’s also the risk of that cables are not dug deep enough due to the materials in the ground or inaccurate network documentation, all leading to possible cuts in the future.
Finally, the heavy machinery used during digging can cause damage to older houses, create residual dust, and cause cracks. Cracks attract water and freeze in colder weather causing them to spread and potential create trip hazards.
Poles are a more cost-effective solution to upgrading networks, especially in the areas where digging underground isn’t a viable option. Digging requires more resources and labour increasing the cost exponentially.
Studies show that ultrafast full fibre connection, whether via a pole or underground increases the value of your home. So, although a new pole may be a disadvantage to some, it won’t impact the market negatively.
Installing a telegraph pole is a much more conscious approach compared to digging. A pole, usually made out of renewable material, can bridge a gap of about 85 metres. Digging to the same distance requires a lot more resources, producing about 250 kg worth of carbon emissions.
Despite the sometimes-negative reputation of telegraph poles, they can often be the best way to bring a full fibre network to residents and businesses. With every build, we fully assess what is required and opt for the process that brings the biggest benefit to the town.
To find out if your town is eligible for ultrafast broadband click here.