BT public vote chooses broadband locations


BT's "Race for Infinity" competition, which allowed people to vote to get super-fast broadband in their area, has concluded with six winners set to benefit from the new connections.

The voting process began back in October and gave the country up until New Year's Eve to register their interest in getting the up to 40Mbps Infinity fibre optic service.

The telecoms giant had initially planned on finding five new sites to upgrade but after over 360,000 votes were cast, six locations stood out as winners.

Baschurch in Shropshire, Blewbury in Oxfordshire, Innerleithen on the Scottish Borders, Whitchurch in Hampshire and Caxton and Madingley in Cambridgeshire will all get access to the broadband connections, also claiming upload capabilities of 10Mbps, by early 2012 "at the latest," BT confirmed.

"The Race to Infinity really captured people's imagination," said Gavin Patterson, chief executive (CEO) of BT Retail. "We've been so impressed by the passion and commitment of the people who signed-up to campaign for their areas up and down the country."

"Congratulations to the winners and commiserations to those who haven't been successful, but all their efforts haven't been in vain because their votes will help influence our plans in the future."

BT revealed other areas that were said to have narrowly missed out on getting the upgrades, including Marton in Warwickshire, Capel in Surrey, Burley in Wharfedale and Lindfield in West Sussex.

Although they will not become part of the first phase rollout, the telecoms company confirmed it would hold discussions with the areas where over 75 per cent of homes and business voted to get the new connections and see if it would be "commercially viable" to roll it out.

This latest edition to BT's rollout fibre broadband is part of the 2.5 billion it has pledged to get 16 million homes connected by 2015. It claimed four million of these would be enabled with fibre connections by the end of 2010 and pledged 87 per cent of homes and small businesses in London would also have the connections by Spring 2011.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.