A growing number of consumers in the UK could face lengthy delays in accessing high-speed broadband services as the number of fibre cabinets reaching capacity grows.
This is according to a new study highlighted by ISPReview.co.uk which revealed nearly one in 20 premises (4.6 per cent) could be prevented from ordering a new service because there is no more space in their local cabinet.
It noted this is a slight increase from 4.1 per cent in April this year, which may suggest that efforts to upgrade cabinets are struggling to keep up with demand for faster broadband speeds.
This can cause great frustration for consumers attempting to upgrade their connection to a fibre-to-the-cabinet package, ISPReview.co.uk noted, especially if a broadband provider accepts the order and begins the switching process, only to then discover it is unable to complete the move due to a lack of space.
If this happens, consumers could be stuck waiting for weeks or even months for their cabinet to get upgraded, depending on how much engineering work is required to increase the number of connections it can handle.
Responding to the figures, a spokesperson for Openreach said addressing this issue is a "top priority" for the company, and it has made significant improvements over the last year in reducing these waiting times.
"We've also introduced a raft of new measures to help speed up the building of extra capacity into our copper cabinets, such as cabinet top boxes which extend the size of our cabinets creating space for the extra connections required to provide additional fibre capacity," they continued.
However, ISPReview.co.uk added there are several factors that could complicate this. For instance, in some cases, rising demand may be so high that Openreach has no choice but to build an entirely new cabinet, which means more delays as the firm has to seek planning permission, gain permits for road access, and address any local objections, among other steps.