Fibre broadband in Honor Oak - Cabinet 31 Upgrade

Hi everyone,

I’ve been investigating fibre broadband to the houses served by Cabinet 31. That’s some of the houses in Ebsworth Street, Bovill Road, Herschell Road, Garthorne Road Whatman Road and Brockley Rise.

Cabinet 31 needs to be upgraded for us to be able to get fibre broadband. Openreach, the company responsible for this, does not believe it is commercially viable to do so. In such cases, they offer a scheme called a Community Funded Partnership (CFP). This enables communities to club together to pay for their cabinet to be upgraded, so that they can all access fibre broadband. This would be £4,684. The more households who join the partnership, the lower each contribution becomes. There are 450 households connected to Cabinet 31, so if we all contributed, it would cost around £10 each to upgrade it to fibre.

I’m about to post a letter through the door of each affected household, to ask if this is something you’d be interested in supporting. If this is something you would be interested in, or you have questions, please drop me a line at This doesn’t commit you to anything – it just helps me to see if there’s enough interest among our neighbours and that the issue is worth pursuing.



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Thanks Chris - perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised BT Openreach’s left hand doesn’t know what it’s right hand is doing! Do you mind me asking what number Ebsworth Street you are? We’re 25, though it shouldn’t make any difference as the whole street is served by the same cabinet.

Will PM you (note that when you reply to an email notification your reply is posted on the forum)

Does fttp even need a cabinet?

Good point! I have no idea, although it would make sense to have a single “trunk line” to a cabinet, as opposed to lines running from further afield to each individual house.

Remarkably, by following a different series of links, I’ve just been able to place an order for FTTP broadband to be installed on May 8. Many thanks to @anon5422159 for getting back to me so quickly! I’ll believe it when I see it but it does seem like Openreach’s left hand doesn’t know what it’s right hand is doing.

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I was looking into this earlier this year. It seemed that every other house on the south side of Ebsworth Street can get fibre FTTP and the “a” properties in general couldn’t
Something to do with available fibre lines between the telephone pole and the properties.
Went for standard internet with Zen and feeling annoyed by Openreach!

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Hi Simon, I followed this link:

Then clicked on the BT icon. Crucially, this lets you access fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) rather than fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) which apparently are completely different from a setup point of view. I’m still waiting to hear back from Openreach on how they missed this.

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Agreed. I doubt the engineer blows the fibre in all the way from the exchange!

I think that a cabinet, in OpenReach parlance, is where the copper cables meet.

In my experience with OpenReach, you could be waiting a very long time! And always assume that the left hand does not know what the right is doing.

In similar fashion, it is a false assumption that BT are best at dealing with OpenReach. No one is! But at least this means you can shop around.

So cabinet 31 (that’s mine too) has FTTP enabled on it??

This would be amazing but I’m struggling to persuade Zen who provide my broadband that that’s the case.

Any suggestions?


Hi Dan, see the link in my post above. My address is (apparently) able to get Zen FTTP with up to 300mbps so I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to. Give it a go! I can’t wait to find out what the morons at BT Openreach say about it.

Chris - do you mind telling me who your internet service provider is? I’m also served by the same cabinet and receive an appalling connection from TalkTalk. I’ll be able to change providers soon so want so want to switch to a really good one…

I’m with BT (Infinity 2)

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Alas as good as Zen are most of the time they do still have the attitude of ‘sorry, openreach’ and then they give up.

But, I’ve done some digging by trial and error. 89 Bovill Road is good, but 91 is not, neither is 93, but 95 is, 97 is not, 99 is not but 101 is. All from cabinet 31! I had first thought maybe only those delivered by poles are enabled but 89 is underground fed. Leads me to question whether maybe there’s an error in the openreach database and for some addresses its been corrected, for others not?

Anyway, I’m on the phone to the openreach infrastructure team now (the team you’d call if you were building a new housing estate) and we’ll see what we can find out!


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Just a thought: OpenReach may have a policy as regards fibre to houses that have been split into flats. It would be so easy to share a connection after all.

Thanks Dan, please keep us updated on how you get on.

Can i ask a (potentially) dumb question please… I live in Honor Oak and am currently on BT Infinity 2, generally happy with download speeds but paying a hefty £55 ish a month - a lot of which is attributable to line rental for a completely unused phone line but for which I thought I needed to have in order to receive BT Infinity (fibre?) wifi, is this actually the case?

Me too. I’m on Infinity 2 and pay £56.49 a month for fibre to the property and a completely unused landline.

I read that perversely, BT is under a “Universal Service Obligation,” being a quasi-public organisation, which stipulates it must maintain a landline service. Last I heard they were challenging this with OFCOM.