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Big Brother has dared to set a date for when its online voting system will be up and running.

It is hoped the facility will be launched next Tuesday (22 August) according to Big Brother bosses - more than six weeks after the fly-on-the wall extravaganza first went online.

The date will coincide with the next round of eviction nominations from the house, and viewers and cyber voyeurs will be able to vote for who they want kicked out the following Friday via the Big Brother Website.

But the voting software Channel 4 aims to use on the site - ChargIT from Global Internet Billing - has still not been fully approved and is currently being beta-tested. Channel 4 chiefs are worried about the possibility of hacker attacks messing up the voting results due to the amount of traffic the site is attracting.

At the last count, the site was raking in around eight million page impressions per day - with an estimated 500,000 individual users, according to Morgan Holt, editor of Big Brother Online. (We're a bit sceptical about these stats - we don't know how they count their hits, or how often they reload pages, but they're doing better than BBC Online with this level of traffic.)

The cyber voting is scheduled to start next Tuesday, but the software is still being tested to ensure there will be no more technical hiccups, said Holt.

The online voting was due to start when Big Brother kicked off in July - but there were technical hitches, partly due to the number of people logging onto the site.

The site itself crashed on the first weekend of Big Brother due to 6.5 million hits in one day. Holt said Channel 4 wanted to ensure there was no repetition of this with the voting.

Last week there were more than 1.4 million telephone votes which resulted in Brummie Caroline being ousted. This was up on the previous week's 1.1 million, and 500,000 at the end of July. ®

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