When I noticed my first FTTC cabinet I started looking for others, and just started noticing the PCP cabinets when I was out and about, so decided to log their location, I also asked a few friends to keep their eyes open. Also when running my daughters around I'd use different routes to normal.
I then download the complete December 2011 spreadsheet, and imported this into a Lotus Approach database, this gave me much more flexibility to manipulate the data. For instance I could find a particular cabinet and then export all postcodes covered by that cabinet and then copy and paste it into BatchGeo and plot a map of the area covered by the cabinet. This map shows two cabinets
, since I know where the exchange is I can make an educated guess as to where a cabinet would be located, it is most likely to be on the exchange side of the area, and usually on the shortest road route from the exchange. I then use Google street view to scan around the appropriate area looking for the cabinet, such as NDBRO 21 here
, the one on the right.
Now quite often I'd get lucky and you could clearly see the number on Google Street View, such as NDBRO 5
. If there was no number in street view I would check when I was out that way, a lot had the numbers chalked on, but not all.
If you can't see the number then it's possible to use the data to map the area as described above and then make a guess to which cabinet is which.
I also kept an eye on Roadworks.org
and setup an alert email for any BT roadworks, this also gave away cabinet locations. Not all areas are covered by roadworks.org but there should be an alternative on your councils website.
Once I knew their locations it was just a case of using Google to create the map and plot their locations, then watching the Roadworks site for cabinet installs, then driving past and physically checking the cabinet install.
To check whether a cabinet was live I then selected a postcode close to the cabinet making sure it was 100% supplied by the cabinet in question, then used the Infinity checker to reveal a list of addresses supplied by that cabinet (as detailed here
). I could then use the house number and postcode in the wholesale checker using the address option to return whether a cabinet is accepting orders or not. The address and post code is stored in my database, so it's a fairly quick and easy to step through them and input the details in the checker to check.
That about sums it up.
PS Wish I'd not coloured the cabinets green for installed, makes more sense to be green for live, but I'm not going to change them all!
PPS. Also most PCP's show up in the Infinity checker, but not always, and some times under the wrong postcode.