Media Release: Race for super-fast broadband hots up

SCOTS are being urged to vote for fibre optic broadband in BT’s ‘Race to Infinity’ before time runs out on New Year’s Eve.

The unique race was launched on October 1 this year to encourage people to register their demand for the super-fast service, and voting ends on December 31, 2010.

BT has pledged to upgrade the five exchanges with the highest percentage of votes, subject to a minimum 1,000 votes. The company will also engage with any community where at least 75 per cent of homes and businesses have voted for super-fast broadband.

As the competition enters its final stages, BT Scotland director Brendan Dick is calling on local people to visit www.bt.com/racetoinfinity to register a vote – and have their say in where BT’s planned £2.5 billion deployment of super-fast broadband goes next.

He said: “Every vote does count because, whether communities win the race or not, each vote is an indication of demand for the next generation of broadband in Scotland.

“The data collected by BT will be used in planning where the roll-out goes next. While we have always been clear that it will take public sector support to reach the parts of the country where the economics just don’t add up, any evidence we collect that shows levels of demand will help make the case for investment.

“There are already large areas of the UK where partnerships have been put in place to deliver super-fast services to largely rural communities. BT is making multi-million pound investments in such initiatives in Cornwall and Northern Ireland, and Scotland should not miss out.”

As the race hots up, the five current front-runners have been named as: 1. Blewbury, Oxfordshire; 2. Caxton, Cambridgeshire; 3. Castleton, Newport; 4. Madingley, Cambridgeshire; 5. Whitchurch, Hampshire.

More than 270,000 votes have already been cast right across the UK, from the most northerly parts of Scotland to the south of England.  The five winning areas¹ will be upgraded by early 2012 at the latest.

Across the country, super-fast broadband active campaigners have been downloading information packs, flyers and posters from the Race to Infinity web site as they drum up support for fibre to come early to their community.

BT’s superfast broadband rollout 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.


For further information about this news release, please contact the BT Scotland Press Office on 0800 085 0660. All BT news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.btplc.com/News

Notes to editors

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.

Winning exchanges will be enabled by early 2012 subject to availability, survey, terms and conditions.

  • Race ends midnight 31st December 2010.
  • Top speeds are affected by various factors including distance from the cabinet and internal wiring
  • Once the winning exchanges are announced submissions from the local community will be called for and judged by BT.

About BT

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

In the year ended March 31, 2010, BT Group’s revenue was £20,911 million.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.bt.com/aboutbt.

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Contact: Mitch Reid
Phone: 0800 085 0660
Email: mitchell.reid@bt.com
Website: http://www.btplc.com/News