BT Group, the leading telecommunications provider in the UK, has embarked on an innovative project to support the growing electric vehicle (EV) market. The company is piloting a program to repurpose its street cabinets, traditionally used for broadband and telephone cabling, into EV charging stations. The initiative has already seen its first successful conversion in East Lothian, Scotland, with plans to extend this to other parts of Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. BT Group aims to complete up to 600 such transformations by the end of 2024.
These street cabinets, also known as DSLAM boxes (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplier), are becoming increasingly viable for such conversions as more people move away from wired connections, opting for wireless services for both calls and internet. BT Group’s approach involves a unique device that enables the sharing of electricity from the existing DSLAM power lines to a new charge point, without the need for additional power connections.
This strategy offers significant advantages. It allows for the continued operation of existing wired telecom connections while adding EV charging capabilities. Importantly, this dual functionality of the cabinets means there’s no need to disrupt existing services or undertake extensive infrastructural work, like digging up streets to lay new wires for EV chargers.
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