Fibre cabinets in Torbothie, Stane and Springhill: FOI review

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/01852
Date received: 7 September 2017
Date responded: 26 September 2017

Information requested

All documents, emails etc regarding to the design survey report [for the deployment of fibre cabinets in the Torbothie, Stane and Springhill areas of ML7]. The field survey report and the build documents from DSSB and BT, since the start of the superfast fibre roll-out up until the fibre cabinets went live on late 2015.


We hold one document, which is an email chain between Alex Neil MSP and Mark Dames of BT on behalf of Brendan Dick at BT. I have found that the exemptions do not apply to the information in this email chain and am therefore enclosing it with this reply. Under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) an exemption applies to a small amount of information which has been redacted from the enclosed e-mail because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. the name and address of yourself and another individual, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. This exemption is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

With regard to the remainder of the information we hold, I have concluded that the exemptions have been correctly applied. I have reached this conclusion because BT / Openreach consider the information you have requested to be confidential and commercially sensitive, and also, releasing the information you have requested without the permission of BT/Openreach would breach clause 3.2 of the contract between the Company and Scottish Government.

Release would give BT's competitors an advantage when competing for further deployment opportunities that may arise in the future as they would be aware of BT's commercial strategies and could alter their bids accordingly. This would undermine the ability of BT to compete on an equal and fair basis with its competitors. Additionally, release of specific cabinet or structure data would open up the potential for communication providers to use that data to distort the open market and cause commercial detriment to BT as well as other competitors in the marketplace.

BT is also subject to strict undertakings which prevent it from releasing commercial information about network coverage and capabilities unless provided on an equivalent basis to all communication providers.

For all of these reasons, I am of the view that our original decision to withhold was correct.

In your review request, you specifically ask why Torbothie does not have its own fibre cabinet. The attached response from Mark Dames on behalf of Brendan Dick to Alex Neil MSP, who contacted BT on your behalf confirms that the cabinet for your premise has been upgraded and that the speed of the connection is due to the distance from the Cabinet.

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Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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