Winner takes all
BT has finally announced the winners of its Race to Infinity competition where communities battled it out to get their hands on super fast broadband.
While there were meant to be 5 winners- the 5 communities that expressed the most interest in getting fibre broadband- BT said because the competition was so popular and the result so close that 6 areas will now get BT Infinity fibre optic broadband.
The winners are:
Innerleithen, Scottish Borders
Over 360,000 votes were cast across the UK in the 3 month-long competition that closed on New Year's Eve. The results of the competition or survey will now be used by Openreach to map out the winning areas and ‘to assess and plan fibre deployment'.
Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT Retail, said: "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."
He also said that votes from communities that did not win will not be wasted as the results of the survey will help influence BT's plans in the future. BT's Infinity fibre package will offer download speeds of up to 40Mb and upload speeds of 10Mb.
The firm said that several areas narrowly missed out on a place in the top 6, including: Marton in Warwickshire, Capel in Surrey, Burley in Wharfedale in Bradford and Lindfield in West Sussex.
These areas will no doubt be among those that BT promised to engage with in its competition campaign. It vowed to work with communities where at least 75 percent of homes and businesses had voted for an exchange.
It will look into whether exchanges can be included in future commercial phases of fibre broadband and are commercially viable or can be rolled out because of public sector or community support.
BT has pledged £2.5bn of investment to deliver fibre broadband to two thirds of the UK by 2015 and is planning a trial of 1Gb broadband speeds in Kesgrave, Suffolk as well as including up to 40 rural towns in the next phase of its fibre roll-out.