I have been told that my cabinet has reached capacity, what does this mean?

When a cabinet is installed BT know how many properties will be connected to it and make an assumption about how many of the available connections will be taken up. If the take-up is higher than anticipated then BT will need to add additional capacity by installing new connections cards into the cabinet.

BT Openreach actively monitor each cabinet and will automatically order the new cards, so that in many cases the upgrade will happen before the cabinet reaches capacity. On occasion, however, take-up is not only higher than expected but also happens very quickly, so that the cabinet reaches capacity and there is a short delay before more orders can be taken.

It would not be feasible for CSW Broadband to specify a higher capacity in every cabinet just in case it reaches capacity quickly. For one thing, this would add considerably to the cost of cabinets and would result in less overall coverage for the project – with fewer communities having the opportunity to benefit from faster broadband.

Upgrades once the cabinet has gone live are carried out by BT Openreach on a “business as usual” basis, and at no cost to CSW Broadband. The best thing to do is to ensure that you order the new service as soon as you know that superfast broadband is available in your area.

BT aim to provide extra capacity as soon as possible for those parts of the network where they are experiencing high levels of demand, however catering for additional demand in an area can take time to plan and BT also need to increase the infrastructure to accommodate the extra equipment needed. In a number of cases, BT may even need to supply an additional fibre cabinet.

Once a cabinet is full, the ISPs are told that this is the case. Currently only one ISP (Plusnet) allows customers to join a waiting list at this point. The other ISPs, including the large ones, do not allow customers to join a list.

Openreach are actively encouraging ISPs to adopt a customer waiting list and it is anticipated that more ISPs will adopt this approach within the coming months, thereby enabling replenishment activity to prioritise cabinets with greater numbers of waiting customers.

However, at this stage, all Openreach has visibility of is that the existing capacity is fully utilised. It does not know how many potential customers are waiting, if any.

Therefore, if you know that your cabinet is at capacity please let us know. BDUK have advised that Openreach are willing to receive this information from local projects, and use it to prioritise replenishment works. Please email us with your property details and landline number, and the cabinet to which you are attached.

We will continue to monitor this situation.

Posted in: Once Your Cabinet has Gone Live