‘Onesie’ cabinets bring faster broadband to Northumberland villages

Superfast broadband being installed for High and Low Hauxley.
Superfast broadband being installed for High and Low Hauxley.

Pioneering technology has been used to bring faster broadband to two villages as part of the iNorthumberland programme.

Around 140 households and businesses in Low and High Hauxley are now able to enjoy some of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK following the switch-on of the innovative all-in-one fibre cabinets.

Usually, two cabinets are needed to bring fibre broadband to an area – the existing roadside cabinet that supplies telephone services and a new one for the fibre technology.

By combining all the technology into the ‘onesie’ cabinet, the amount of street furniture is reduced; ideal in certain areas of natural beauty, where there can be conservation considerations as well as technical issues.

Mike Reynolds, senior project manager at Openreach, BT’s network business, said: “To ensure both High Hauxley and Low Hauxley residents can access the biggest possible boost in broadband speeds, two onesie cabinets have been installed.

“Without this technology, four cabinets would have been required and, in an area prone to flooding, that would have been very difficult logistically.

“Thanks to information from a local resident, one of the onesie cabinets has been stood on a raised plinth to keep it higher off the ground and safe from flood water.

“Unfortunately, moving the cabinet to another location was not an option so we went back to the drawing board and came up with a plan to help to protect the cabinet and maximise broadband speeds for the community.”

The iNorthumberland team will be visiting Hauxley Village Hall on Wednesday, February 8, between 1pm and 2pm, to explain why faster broadband is such good news and to answer any questions people may have about the roll-out.

Coun Dave Ledger, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “This is another great example of our iNorthumberland project bringing some of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK to local communities across the county. These onesie cabinets have the added benefit of reducing the amount of street furniture needed, so a win-win.”