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BT reveals locations leading super-fast broadband race


Cambridgeshire exchange leads competition for broadband prize

More than 200,000 votes received across the UK

BT today announced the UK’s current front-runners in its “race” for super-fast broadband.

Caxton in Cambridgeshire and Malvern in Worcestershire are the first communities to have registered more than 1000 votes and at this stage are leading the race.

Households and businesses across the UK have been demonstrating local demand for super-fast broadband by taking part in a nationwide BT survey, run as a competition called the Race to Infinity. The five winning areas¹ will be upgraded by early 2012 at the latest. The company is also pledging to engage with any community not winning the competition where at least 75 per cent of homes and businesses have voted for super-fast broadband.

People have been voting in their thousands to register their interest and help their local exchange win the top prize since the competition was launched on October 1st this year.

More than 200,000 votes have already been cast right across the UK from the most northerly parts of Scotland to the south of England.

The race, which runs until December 31st at will enable BT to identify demand for fibre broadband across the UK and so influence the company’s future deployment plans.

Peter McCarthy-Ward, BT’s East of England regional director, said: “This is fantastic news for Caxton and Cambridgeshire as a whole. Communities across the East of England have really been demonstrating demand for fibre broadband.

“However there is still quite a way to go until we reach the finishing line and everything to play for.

“I hope news that these communities who have already registered 1000 votes will spur people into action as this data will help BT determine where fibre broadband will be deployed in the coming years.”

Many local people have signed up to become campaigners in their communities and are really getting behind the race and encouraging their neighbours to vote and try to get their area on the super-fast broadband map as soon as possible.

Clayton Hudson, Cambourne parish council chair, said: “We’re over the moon that we are currently leading the race. There has been a phenomenal response both here in Cambourne and the smaller villages that feed the Caxton exchange and we are determined to be in the top five at the end of the year.”

Super-fast broadband active campaigners have been downloading information packs, flyers and posters on the Race to Infinity website as they drum up support for fibre to come early for their community.

BT will have made super-fast broadband available to 4 million premises by the end 2010, but it will still have more than 12 million further premises to reach as part of its plan to deliver fibre broadband to two thirds of the UK by 2015.

The BT roll-out of superfast broadband is one of the most ambitious fibre programmes in the world not reliant on public sector support. But support will be needed for the exchanges in the “final third” of the UK where deploying fibre is commercially non-viable.


¹On a percentage of premises served basis after passing a threshold of 1,000 votes (one per premises). The winning exchanges will be based on the number of votes as a percentage of the exchange and will be subject to survey. When an exchange is enabled there will be some premises not able to receive fibre.


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