BT survey to guide fibre rollout


BT has announced a nationwide survey to garner how the level of fibre broadband support differs between parts of the UK.

Communities have until the end of 2010 to express how much they want next-generation broadband and potentially influence which parts of the UK will receive such services.

The survey, in which participants head online to vote, has also been launched as a competition named the Race to Infinity.

The top five areas with the greatest expressions of interest will receive funding from BT, if needed, to help roll out high-speed connections by 2012 at the latest.

Scores will be calculated as percentages, based on how many premises in a given area are served by BT and the number of votes cast there.

"The Race to Infinity is an opportunity for the country to make its voice heard," said Gavin Patterson, BT Retail chief executive.

"We want to hear from towns and villages across the UK and so I would encourage people to take part and register their interest."

By the end of the year, BT will have rolled out fibre connections to four million premises a quarter of the 16 million planned to be covered by 2015, the firm noted.

The communications giant had pledged 2.5 billion to help see the project through.

Earlier this year, BT also said it would provide fibre broadband to 87 per cent of homes and small businesses in London by spring 2011.

"Whenever I travel around the UK I hear the same message: people want access to superfast broadband in their communities," added communications minister Ed Vaizey.

"I warmly welcome any initiative that will lead to private sector investment in fibre networks, and applaud the way BT are engaging consumers to ensure that investment reaches the people who want it the most."

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.