'It would look like a chicken run': residents left without WiFi after complaining about 'ugly' pole

19 September 2023, 14:10

Residents were angry at the prospect of having an 'ugly' pole installed to bring them superfast internet
Residents were angry at the prospect of having an 'ugly' pole installed to bring them superfast internet. Picture: Alamy/LBC

By Anna Rees

Residents of a Wiltshire market town missed out on super fast fibre broadband after complaining that the installation of a telegraph pole needed to run it would ruin their views.

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Residents in Rogers Meadow, near Marlborough, shot themselves in the foot by complaining about the pole, which the broadband provider said was the "only option" to deliver the service in that area.

One local said: "In this day and age, those things should be underground. It's an ugly thing to put up."

"It was a very big pole. It would be like going back in time and wires would be everywhere. It would look like a chicken run."

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Tensions between residents and Openreach came to a head when engineers turned up to install the pole on Thursday, September 7. After finding themselves on the receiving end of a backlash, engineers left the scene.

Openreach says it will not return.

However, despite the pole's objectionable appearance, some residents are disappointed that they will lose out on faster broadband whilst other homes across Marlborough enjoy upgraded Full Fibre.

Openreach said: "There are times when we simply cannot avoid erecting poles to provide services.

"We're aware of the visual impact our equipment can have and the balance between cost effectiveness, aesthetics and safety can be difficult to achieve.

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"Our engineers and build partners are working hard to bring ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband to Marlborough. This will not only create huge benefits to families and businesses in the area but also a welcome boost to the local economy.

"In this case, a new pole was the only feasible way of delivering ultrafast Full Fibre but following objections from residents we have removed this street from our build plan."