BT fibre-up-your-exchange poll in 6-way Mugabe style pileup
'Race to Infinity' to end at midnight? Dictionary FAIL
Today is the last day of BT's "Race to Infinity" broadband upgrade competition, and the result already looks improbable.
BT launched the competition in early October, offering small towns and villages nationwide the chance to win a fibre upgrade for their local exchange.
Any community overlooked by the firm's commercial improvement programme was eligible to compete. BT customers have been asked to register their interest in faster broadband on a specially-created website. BT is committed to upgrade the five exchanges connected to the highest proportion of interested households (each must also have registered at least 1,000 households).
Simple enough. Except, as of today, according to the Race to Infinity website, there are six communities where 100 per cent of customers want faster broadband and have registered their interest online.
Whitchurch in Hampshire
Baschurch in Shropshire
Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders
Caxton in Cambridgeshire
Madingley in Cambridgeshire
Blewbury in Oxfordshire
Interestingly, the seventh-placed community, Marton in Warwickshire, is way off the pace with 78 per cent interested in a fibre upgrade.
Now, if one accepts the unlikely event that every single customer in six communities was compelled to register on the Race to Infinity site, the questionable result may not present BT with a problem. As well as the top five, it is pledged to consider works on any exchange where more than 75 per cent of households register their interest, so it could just upgrade all six at 100 per cent, and Marton at 78 per cent.
The poll closes at midnight tonight, so we'll have to wait until 2011 to find out how BT, and its PR agency Porter Novelli, which is running the Race to Infinity, explains the amazing response to the competition. ®
BT === tossers
What is it about BT that they want other people to do their bloody marketing. Years ago I had to go around the village to drum up support for Broadband. Now the scumbags are doing it again.
It's OK for the townies who always get the latest and best speeds. Try living outside of a major town and see what 100k BPS is like and with no chance of upgrade.
BT don't like the fact that they're required to lay the infrastructure but can't make a fortune from their monopoly: "why do we have to lay the infrastructure and then give it away to other providers".
There's sod all difference to providing Broadband than providing any other utility; water, sewage, electricity, (can't get gas out of town). Quite frankly it should be provided for, or at least driven by, the government.
Race to infinity?
I suppose the small print says that this will be "*up to* infinity" ?
Caxton is not just Caxton...
If you're local (and by the sound of it you are) you may have noticed the building work going on near Caxton. If you look closely, you'll notice a small developement has sprung up... only 4,000 or so homes, business, etc. so easy to miss. Approx. half of these homes are attached to the Caxton exchange.
My understanding is that Cambourne was meant to be a fibre town from the begining via NTL. However thanks to NTL being purchased by Virgin (as NTL was in a death sipral) this killed the deal and as no one thought of a plan B, Cambourne was hooked up to the two nearest exchanges one of which was Caxton. With most of Cambourne at the limit of the DSL tech's line length in short you have alot of people with sucky broadband (<1Mb and paying the same price as people getting 20Mb).
There have been extensive and very high profile campaigns in Cambourne to make people aware of "The Race". Including people stationed at the Village shop (That's the dirty great big Morrisons in case you missed it).
In short there is no funny business going on, both Madinglay and Caxton's campaigns have been run with great verve and determination to make things better for a community and I have nothing but praise for the organisers.
The real crime is why South Cambs Council have failed to press the developers to front up for an exchange in Cambourne in approval of subsequent development phases.