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January 3, 2011

BT Race to Infinity winners announced

by Darren Allan

BT has announced the winners of its Race to Infinity, the voting competition which ran over the last three months of 2010 to determine which five UK towns would receive fibre broadband.

And in fact, BT has decided to up the number of exchanges to be guaranteed fibre by early 2012 to six, such was the high level of votes cast by the residents of these towns.

So, who were the all important winners? In alphabetical order: Baschurch in Shropshire, Blewbury in Oxfordshire, Caxton in Cambridgeshire, Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders, Madingley in Cambridgeshire and Whitchurch in Hampshire.

That’s pretty much the same as the last time we looked in mid-December, except for poor old Castleton in Newport who were knocked out of the top six by Baschurch, who seemed to come out of nowhere in the last couple of weeks.

BT didn’t say who actually won in the end, or how many votes were cast for the winner, but did say that 360,000 votes were cast in total.

Openreach will now go ahead and begin surveying the winning areas to assess how best to deploy the fibre.

Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT Retail, commented: “The Race to Infinity really captured people’s imagination. 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.”

So there’s hope for Castleton yet…

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  1. What games are BT playing? most of the ‘winners’ aren’t even towns. They are villages, so how do they expect the technology to be proved by a kicking if there aren’t enough users to prove it effectiveness?

    Comment by TonyM — January 3, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

  2. I live in Northwich, Cheshire which is supposed to be one of the towns who are to get Infinity before the above “winners” in December. We’re still waiting.

    Comment by SYLVIA F — January 3, 2011 @ 10:25 pm

  3. BT fibre is rubbish. I’m the IT administrator for a call center, we have two BT business fibre lines and have just been hit with their traffic management policy with speeds currently at around 2mbps (down from 39!).

    My Sky broadband at home is faster and more reliable!

    Comment by John — January 3, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

  4. Agreed @ TonyM.

    The Race to infinity thing was retarded in the extreme. It made no sense from a business perspective, and it isn’t going to effect a large population of the country.

    The voting system severely leant towards small villages (with close to the minimum population).

    I expect small towns and larger villages won’t see the likes of infinity for a very long time, if they get anything past copper at all.

    The country should have been fiberd up a long time ago, this marketing crap is a rather pathetic blanket over the eyes of broadband users. If it wasn’t for Brown not accepting Virgin’s offer for fibering the country then we’d have been twice as far ahead as Europe already.

    Comment by pdh — January 3, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

  5. Still not enough BT. ADSL was just a patch on an old system and Infinity looks like it will be out of date by the time it gets installed. I’ve since moved to western Canada and in 2012 we’ll start getting 1Gbps internet.


    Comment by nicemandan — January 3, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

  6. “Winning exchanges will be enabled in early 2012 subject to availability, survey, terms and conditions.” WOW yesterdays technology, marketed as the future and delivered in a years time to five small villages. Subject to survey, which will probably find some way for BT to wriggle out of its long forgotten obligations.

    I think i might send an ecard to bt, to congratulate them on this marketing coup, as i live more than 3Km from an non LLU exchange it should make it to them around january 2012.

    Comment by james — January 3, 2011 @ 10:51 pm

  7. The Race to Infinity was the most ridiculous exercise ever undertaken by BT. All the winners had less than 2500 subscribers - my own area had some 23000. In order to get in to the top 5 we would have needed to record around 21000 votes! BT now faces the prospect of laying fibre optic to communities with just a few hundred potential customers. Commercial suicide!

    Comment by PeterC — January 3, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

  8. This was a BT sham. Votes made no difference when the 41 Market Towns to get Fibre Optic Roll Out were announced. Without going into great detail - one Town (Billinge) managed to get 15 Votes in 3 Months. They were selected. The other Towns were not much different. Sham

    Comment by Tavistock Superfast Broadband — January 16, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

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