Kensington and Chelsea determined to protect streetscapes in broadband row

Kensington and Chelsea Council have hit back after BT pulled out of installing a new broadband network in the borough because of a planning row. The firm wanted to install cabinets in the borough's streets but the council wanted them underground or in sites where BT already had equipment.

A council spokesman said: "We regret that BT are not proceeding with superfast broadband in the Royal Borough but we expect other providers will want to offer superfast broadband to our residents, in a very valuable market, without ruining our historic streetscape."

“We can confirm we have ceased deployment of fibre broadband in Kensington and Chelsea. This is unfortunate but we were left with no option after having the vast majority of our applications rejected by the council. Other councils, including those of neighboring boroughs, have shown a greater eagerness to enjoy the benefits of fibre broadband. We will therefore re-focus our engineers' efforts in other areas where planning authorities have taken a positive approach and are keen to ensure their residents and businesses can benefit from this technology."

– Jon Carter, Senior Media Relations Manager BT

"Whilst I'm sure the residents of Kensington and Chelsea appreciate the historic streetscape, we don't believe this should have to mean that homes and businesses in the borough have to put up with historic broadband speeds."

"We have installed more than 4,000 fibre cabinets across London, including borough's like Greenwich - a world heritage site. We have successfully worked with 31 London Boroughs to provide fibre broadband speeds to their residents whilst minimising the visual impact of the necessary infrastructure. However, this does require co-operation on both sides."

– Jon Carter, Senior Media Relations Manager BT

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