Residents on the Isle of Man have been shocked to see telegraph poles being erected in place of underground fibre

Fibre broadband is coming to the Isle of Man, just not in the way that many of the residents had hoped.

Residents of an estate in Colby are complaining to the Department for Enterprise and operator Manx Telecom after telegraph poles began being erected on a local estate in order to provide fibre broadband to the area’s residents. The residents claim that the deployment is against the area’s aesthetic and that the method is archaic. 

“This is how work was done when I was a lad,” said Roy Pacey, a local resident. “If it was essential, we’d have to accept it, but it isn’t so they should go underground.”

The residents also claim that the operator gave them little notice before the work began.

Local Member of the House of Keys, Jason Moorhouse, said that this development was “really worrying” and that the concerns of his constituents had been “completely ignored”. Representatives from Manx Telecom and the Department for Enterprise have agreed to a public meeting to discuss the matter later this week.

Of course, while telegraph poles may seem unnecessary in the modern world, there are certain instances where they remain the best solution for connectivity – at least from an operator’s perspective.

Responding to complaints, the Department for Enterprise noted that around one third of the Isle of Man was currently connected by telegraph poles and more could be required in certain circumstances to ensure all premises were covered effectively. 

Manx Telecom has government-set targets of reaching 99% coverage of the island in the next four years, meaning they are full steam ahead when it comes to their fibre roll out.

The issue ultimately appears to be one primarily miscommunication, something which all operators should be wary of as they rapidly expand their fibre networks. 

On the bright side, the poles could represent an excellent base for 5G small cells in the future…


Also in the news: