The Broadband Britain Challenge regional finals have started in Manchester, trying to find broadband champions all around the U.K. who have "bettered their lives or the lives of others" through the use broadband offered by ADSL. Entries were submitted in seven categories: Education (schools, colleges, universities, etc.), voluntary/charity sector, youth (under 26 yrs old), small/medium sized businesses, large corporations, public sector and home users.
The remaining regional finals are being held at:
|Thu 31 July||Northern Ireland (Belfast)|
|Tue 05 Aug||West Midlands (Birmingham)|
|Wed 06 Aug||Wales (Cardiff)|
|Thu 07 Aug||South West (Bristol)|
|Tue 12 Aug||East of England (Cambridge)|
|Wed 13 Aug||London|
|Thu 14 Aug||South East (Ashford)|
Following these regional events, a grand final will be taking place on 12 September in London.
Entries vary showing the diversity in uses of broadband. One of the youngest entrants, and winner of the youth category at the Birmingham final, is Jenny Worrall, 14, from Cheshire. She learnt how to design web sites and now runs various music fan sites including www.triple8unofficial.com. One of the oldest entrants, Harvey Levinson, is 65 years old and has used broadband to improve the communications networks for St. John's Ambulance in the Cambridgeshire area showing that it is not exclusively a technology for young people.
One entry we find particularly interesting is from Patrick Lidstone in London who has automated his home to allow for him to set the adjust the temperature and set the video remotely, watch any activity through his web cameras, and be notified when an alarm has been triggered or someone has rung the doorbell. With increasing availability of gadgets from simple timers to Internet fridges, more and more individuals will be able to do the same without necessarily spending the amount of time early adopters have.
We will also be keenly watching the results of the South East regional finals as one of our most devoted staff, Andrew Ferguson (MrSafftron) has been nominated. To find out more, visit www.broadbandbritainchallenge.co.uk [seb]
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