Issue 20 * October 2010 Constituency noticeboard
BT has launched a UK wide survey to see how much demand there is for fibre broadband services. This survey will give your constituents and local communities a voice as BT decides where to deploy the high speed broadband technology, by helping us to identify where consumer and business demand is high.
An extra exciting dimension is that BT is running the survey as a competition - the 'Race to Infinity'. The five exchange areas with the highest demand will be enabled by the start of 2012 at the latest. BT Retail is promising to fund this where necessary, providing funding if a winning exchange area is outside Openreach's commercial plans. Openreach is the part of the business responsible for deploying fibre across the country - making its network available to all communications providers to sell fibre broadband services to customers.
BT is already committed to investing £2.5bn to rollout fibre broadband to two thirds of the UK by 2015. Some form of public sector funding will be needed to assist with the 'final third' where deploying fibre is not commercially viable.
The survey, the first of its kind, will run until December 31st 2010 enabling communities to express their desire for the service. The five winning exchanges will be enabled by early 2012 at the latest. Participants can register their interest in fibre broadband at www.bt.com/racetoinfinity which shows the number and percentage of votes received for each exchange. The site will display the top five exchanges leading the race as exchanges hit 1,000 votes. The five successful exchanges will be added to BT's deployment list for late 2011 or early 2012. This could see exchanges in areas deemed commercially viable by Openreach brought to the front of the queue to get fibre services, or non viable exchanges brought into the plans.
In addition, BT will meet to discuss and explore all options with any community that gathers 75% of possible votes for their exchange but doesn't manage to get into the top 5 winners. This is in the hope that those exchanges can either be included in future commercial phases – if the exchange is deemed commercially viable - or enabled as a result of either public sector or community support as has already happened in some parts of the UK.
For more information, or for support in helping promote this scheme to your constituents, contact us.