Cabling up Rye

Openreach, the national telecommunications company responsible for introducing fast broadband is currently working in various locations installing broadband and cable TV facilities. Whilst not wishing to hinder progress there are a number of problems when installing such facilities in a conservation area like Rye. I know that some readers seem concerned that the Rye Conservation Society is over zealous in preventing change but we would hope that Openreach and other companies follow laid down national guidelines. If asked, the engineers can and do install boxes inside buildings rather than outside and try and hide the cables, but they may need to be reminded as the extra work slows down installation!

For your readers information, the guidelines provided by Bloomsbury Conservation Area on behalf of Camden Council set a uesful benchmark and are as follows:

“When new cables are installed by cable companies every effort should be taken to ensure that they are hidden from view. This can sometimes be difficult as cable companies can often be obstructive and focus simply on the quickest and easiest route for their cabling, but quoting the fact that you are in a conservation area should be enough. Cables should enter the building at ground floor and then distribute throughout the building on the interior, rather than scaling the exterior and entering at different points. This is to ensure that the appearance of the conservation areas is preserved. Cables which dangle in front of a fa├žade detract from the appearance of any area, and so should especially be avoided in a conservation area whose appearance it is desirable to preserve.”

I have been approached by residents concerned at the cabling being too obtrusive on our ancient buildings and in worst cases damaging the external timber, so hopefully these guidelines if adopted could be helpful while at the same time enabling people in the citadel to watch Arsenal in ultra high definition!

Image Credits: Davud Bookless .

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  1. One question I would like to ask David Bookless, as he is so concerned about these small plastic insulations,why was there not concern by the conservation society of the huge plastic frontage on the library.

  2. A singular perspective focussing entirely on Conservation Area considerations, yet with no mention of the individual obligations relating to the Listed status of the vast majority of buildings in the Citadel.

    Although well intentioned, with no “laid down national guidelines” as stated, it is simplistic to suggest accommodating junction boxes and cables internally is a generally better approach for the huge array of historic buildings in the Citadel. Internal works to locate boxes and cables may be more damaging and detrimental to the historic fabric of individual buildings [and therefore the town] than placing them externally with thought, care and sensitivity – a subtle yet important point missing from this article.


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