At the beginning of October, BT announced its 'race to infinity' campaign, to gauge demand for super-fast broadband from communities that weren't currently scheduled for a fibre upgrade.
This news will be welcomed by campaigners in each area, many of whom have worked hard to achieve such a high level of sign-ups from residents and businesses to the campaign.
There have been some concerns raised by users on our forums about the accuracy of the process, with some exchanges achieving 100% of possible sign-ups, and based on some records over 100%, although this may reflect the estimated number of connections on each exchange being out of date. Nevertheless, some campaigners who did not reach the top six exchanges but still achieving over 75% sign-ups will no doubt be continuing to campaign for their exchange to be enabled, although some hope may exist as BT has stated it will be contacting users in those areas during January as well.
"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. They've done a brilliant job and we'd like to thank them for their time and dedication and of course all the thousands of people all over the UK who have voted.
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."Gavin Patterson, (CEO) BT Retail
The competition is based on BT Retail's promotion and the exchanges will go into the Openreach campaign announced in September, which requires the ISPs to ensure at least 10% of premises will connect to the new fibre-optic network, or possibly fund part of the rollout. Exchanges are expected to be enabled by early 2012.
BT have also issued an update this afternoon:
"The extremely high level of votes in BT?s Race to infinity reflects the fantastic efforts by campaigners right across the country. The response has been so brilliant that we've decided to name six winners instead of five. We're also looking into the possibility that we might go even further and add the top ten to BT's deployment list. We'll make a decision about this by the end of January."BT Statement