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BT has invited villages nationwide to compete to convince it to reverse the decision not to upgrade their broadband infrastrucure.

The firm today promised to bring its faster broadband services - a mix of fibre-to-the-cabinet and fibre-to-the-premises - to five areas where local people show the most interest.

BT Retail will pay to upgrade the five exchanges connected to the highest proportion* of premises that register an interest. The necessary works will be scheduled as part of the ongoing £2.5bn fibre rollout, to be completed late next year or early 2012.

The firm also promised to "engage" with all overlooked communities where 75 per cent or more premises want faster broadband, "so that all avenues can be explored to see if fibre broadband can be brought to their area".

BT says it cannot commercially justify upgrading the more sparsely-populated "final third" of its network. ®

*At least 1,000 premises must register.

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