An interesting discovery about BT Fibre Cabinets.

Since around 2010, BT have been rolling out Fibre Cabinets in neighbourhoods to improve broadband service. But. 

I recently discovered that these fibre cabinets are NOT replacing the existing wired (non-powered) cabinets.  

I thought fibre cabinets were a mini-exchange in a box. That they took in a fibre link from the exchange, and did all services - voice as well as ADSL. But no. The reason given to me was that since the fibre cabinets don't have enough space for serious battery backup, then voice circuits cannot be terminated there. When there's a large scale power-cut, the exchange can run for weeks on battery and generators - and the cabinets can not. 

So what happens is that a fibre cabinet is plonked on the street beside an existing cabinet, and the ADSL is added to the voice circuit in the fibre cabinet. The voice circuit still wends its weary way back on copper to the main exchange. 

What this means is that we WONT see fibre cabinets acting as a true satellite of an upgraded exchange - which means we still will get awful voice over the 5.5km of drowned copper here in Marykirk. But we might still get a fibre cabinet (presumably wired back to Montrose).  But since our exchange is so old - literally 'held together with electricians tape' - thats very unlikely.

Absolutely crazy. During this last BT Openzone fault, the poor engineer STILL had to head back to the exchange to swap over circuits, as well as playing around with the fibre cabinet in the street. 

This smells of 1990's solution to a 21st century issue. It sucks.