BT enlists broadband supporters with 'campaign in a box'

An online toolkit will let activists order leaflets and posters, and gives advice on how to drive local interest in broadband

BT is giving a boost to local groups who are campaigning for broadband by giving them advice and practical assistance on how to persuade more of their neighbours to sign up for ADSL.

The telco announced on Tuesday that it has developed an online toolkit that aims to help broadband campaigners to drive awareness and interest in high-speed Internet services.

Described as a "campaign in a box" Web site, www.bt.com/broadband now lets people order promotional leaflets and posters. It also allows potential campaigners to check whether there is already any promotional activity already running in their area, and gives advice on how to get a campaign up and running.

BT's ADSL network currently reaches around two-thirds of the UK population, covering the local exchanges that were commercially viable to upgrade.

For many of the remaining exchanges trapped on the wrong side of the broadband divide, BT has calculated the number of people that would need to pay for broadband to make an upgrade financially viable.

These trigger levels typically vary from 200 to 750 registrations, and hundreds of campaign groups have already sprung up as broadband-hungry people try to hit their local exchange's trigger level.

BT hopes that its new campaign toolkit will help grassroots activists to increase interest in broadband -- which will then allow the telco to cost-effectively roll out ADSL in more parts of the UK.

"The key to successful local broadband awareness campaigns has been the energy and drive of the individuals who can see what broadband will mean for them and their communities," said Philippa Winterburn, BT Wholesale's head of broadband marketing, in a statement.

"Their enthusiasm is infectious and highly effective at a local level. This Web site provides them with an online 'campaign in a box' toolkit to build a strong campaign, which will help speed up the arrival of broadband in their area," Winterburn added.

BT's broadband site is already attracting interest. In March the site was visited by 233,000 unique users and delivered over 46 million page impressions, BT said.

BT also announced on Tuesday that it is setting another 200 trigger levels. Two of these exchanges -- Shillington in Hertfordshire and Limpley Stoke near Bath -- will immediately be added to BT's ADSL rollout programme as enough local people have already registered their interest.

Details of these 200 trigger levels should be available on the BT broadband site from Tuesday.

Several other Web sites also help broadband campaigners to hit their trigger levels, including www.wewantbroadband.co.uk, which is run by Eclipse Internet. It contains details about the availability of ADSL, SDSL, satellite and wireless broadband.


See the Broadband News Section for the latest on cable modems, ADSL, satellite and other high-speed access technologies, including a comprehensive guide to the best deals out there.

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