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Who is leading the BT Infinity race?
Tuesday 16 November 2010 11:42:47 by Andrew Ferguson

The first exchanges have now breached the 1000 registration minimum threshold in the Race to Infinity being run by BT Retail. Infinity is the product name for the BT Retail fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP) products.

Caxton in Cambridgeshire, and Malvern in Worcestershire are the first to break the 1000 vote barrier. The five areas with the most votes will see their fibre upgrades by early 2012 at the latest, additionally if you don't win but hit a 75% of potential registrations figure then BT Retail is pledging to talk with the area to discuss options that may be available. The competition closes on 31st December 2010 with voting taking place at

"This is fantastic news for Caxton and Cambridgeshire as a whole. Communities across the East of England have really been demonstrating demand for fibre broadband.

However there is still quite a way to go until we reach the finishing line and everything to play for.

I hope news that these communities who had already registered 1000 votes will spur people into action as this data will help BT determine where fibre broadband will be deployed in the coming years."

Peter McCarth-Ward (East of England regional director) BT

It should be pointed out, that while the scheme is being led by BT Retail, people will not be tied to using only BT Retail Infinity products once the exchange is enabled, any provider buying the Openreach FTTC/P products will be able to sell the service in the winning areas.

BT Retail is not the only provider with the ability to influence the fibre roll-out plans of Openreach. The Openreach based scheme allows 24 exchange areas to be nominated, a maximum of six per provider. Unfortunately at this time, BT Retail is the only broadband provider to have publicly launched a scheme to gauge demand. This may largely be down to the requirements for a provider to meet a 10% take-up target within 12 months, and a £5,000 fee that may be levied for the area survey. More information on fibre broadband as used by BT Infinity and products from other providers can be found in our Fibre Broadband Guide.


Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
Caxton is presumably the Cambourne effect.

Didn't Trilogy Telecom (RIP) get EEDA (soon to be RIP) funding to provide broadband to bypass BT's TPON in Cambourne some 6 years ago ?

Parts of Cambourne also have Cable.
Posted by jumpmum over 6 years ago
Caxton has been increasing by a steady 20-30 a day, so I was wondering if someone had identified how to 'cheat' ie register others using tel no and Post code from a directory. Should be fairly easy for a local to do. Burley in wharfe dale exhibits the same symptoms!
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
Relatively simple to detect, and hopefully checks are made to discount this problem.
Posted by greemble over 6 years ago
"and hopefully checks are made to discount this problem"

But are the checks being carried out?
Could be worth a follow up call to BT by one of the journalists
Posted by cambourne over 6 years ago
Yes, it's the Cambourne effect. Residents have been running a campaign to get everyone to vote. There is no cheating occuring here. Make all the checks you want, we have nothing to hide.
Posted by greemble over 6 years ago
The area around 'Silicon Fen' may well be expected to be high in the race.
My wondering is if BT are checking as a matter of course, or are they not too worried about which exchanges are upgraded as they are gathering info on where to roll out fibre from this survey anyway.

And if they're not checking, I think I'll be getting out the phone book...
Posted by johnbeyond over 6 years ago
A full league table is available on Race To Infinity And Beyond at
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
It's a very skewed distribution, by the time you're at #10 the percentage votes has halved to 25% and #70 is 10%. This is out of 2500 eligible exchanges.
Posted by 2doorsbob over 6 years ago
BT's race to infinaty ..this makes me chuckle .the advert may aswell feature 2 OAP'S with zimmer frames instead of adam and jane maybe when there drawing a pension they might get it lol
Posted by adslmax over 6 years ago
it just cheating voted by enter telephone number and post code of the BT phone book.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 6 years ago
The Race to Infinity has made me realize how dependent I am on what the other people connected to be local exchange do. Despite my efforts at getting the local paper to publish an article, only about 5% have voted., though this does place us much nearer the top of the list than the bottom.
Whether or not this will influence BT’s future roll out plans for FTTC remains to be seen.
There are few other purchases that I would wish to make where there is this level of dependency.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Michael, you can rely on the public to vote as you'd want/expect, look at the X Factor and the General Election!
Posted by adslmax over 6 years ago
it really waste of time as BT statement just say: Despite being first, the two may not be upgraded until early 2012, BT said.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
Am I the only one who finds it odd that the bottom of the list has many large exchanges, with only a few dozen votes, in the top 10 9 of them are small exchanges with a big part of the population voting. urban areas are going to fall behind.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
Michael Clare, if it makes you feel better my exchange is 2400 out of 2495 eligible, 0.24% voted. Fair to say no FTTx probably here for decades.
Posted by greemble over 6 years ago
It might be that some of the larger exchanges already have cable and LLU, so many people there are not bothered.
Not all will have- my exchange being one without cable for example.

Still, it'll be nice for some small exchanges to get fibre, which they'd otherwise be unlikely due to their size.
Just a thought - will BT upgrade all the green Boxes in the area, or just the one or two nearest?
Keep an eye out and don't let them get away with doing the absolute minimum, cambourne.
Posted by Cambourne22 over 6 years ago
Our concerted campaign has attracted the attention of Virgin and NextGenUs, who have finally spotted an opportunity. Cambourne has only been partially cabled so we mainly rely on an ancient BT exchange, and these 2 firms have now spotted 2500 potential customers: BT need to respond or else!
Posted by domski over 6 years ago
To those allegations of us being cheats here in Cambourne I would suggest the comments are typical sour grapes! I am ONE of the lead campaigners and we are demonstrating exactly what a community can do in Cambourne. We have campaigned tirelessly with full support from the local parish council and the Sth Cambs MP. I myself spent 8 hours in the cold at our local supermarket this weekend campaigning for BT Infinity votes and we are continuing the campaign right up to 31st December.
Simple if you want Super Fast Broadband, move to Cambourne :-)
Posted by peterbell65 over 6 years ago
Is anybody in Widnes, Cheshire doing anything with this to try and improve our dismal broadband speeds? I'd be willing to join forces with you to try and make a difference.

Email me at
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