Winning village misses out on BT super-fast broadband

Winning village misses out on BT super-fast broadband

Summary: West Hagbourne will not get a high-speed fibre connection despite being connected to a winning exchange in BT's Race to Infinity contest, an outcome the company says it warned might happen


BT has acknowledged it cannot deliver super-fast broadband service to everyone in the rural locations that won its Race to Infinity competition.

West Hagbourne village

West Hagbourne will not receive fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) service, despite being connected to an exchange that won BT's upgrade competition. Image credit: Oxfordshire Villages

The contest aimed to identify six exchanges to be upgraded to high-speed fibre connections by asking people to vote. In the end, 10 winners were chosen in February 2011 to have their local exchanges enabled for BT Infinity broadband "in early 2012".

However, West Hagbourne, one of the villages connected to the winning Blewbury exchange, will not be able to receive the fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) service, BT confirmed to ZDNet UK on Friday. Unlike fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP), FTTC uses copper for the final connection to the building.

"Blewbury is one of 10 communities in the UK to secure super-fast broadband following BT's hugely popular Race to Infinity competition," a BT spokeswoman said via email. "The race offered the winners an upgrade to an exchange, but we clearly stated throughout the competition and during conversations with campaigners subsequently that when an exchange is enabled, there will be some premises not able to receive fibre."

Blewbury took the number-one position in the contest, which looked not only at the number of votes cast, but also at what percentage of total premises connected to the local exchange those votes represented.

BT said that work being carried out at Blewbury will result in higher speeds for West Hagbourne, even though it will not be providing a fibre-based service.

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"We expect every premise attached to the exchange will see an increase in their broadband speeds. While West Hagbourne is at the end of a long line, we still believe people living and working there to see an improvement in their broadband service," the company said.

BT has said repeatedly that it will "roughly double" the speed of its Infinity service to around 80Mbps during 2012. It has also announced a new method of delivering fibre-based super-fast broadband, which will soon reach 300Mbps, called FTTP-on-demand.

Virgin, BT's largest competitor for super-fast broadband, has also started to increase the headline speeds of its packages. At the beginning of March, the company announced the first 30 towns and villages that would see their speeds doubled up to a maximum of 120Mbps.

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Topics: Broadband, Networking

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • Tavistock was the largest Exchange that came in the highest position 17th out of 2,495 Exchanges. But there is no superfast fibre broadband connection is sight. It is under 3 miles away from Superfast Cornwall.

    It is outside BDUK funding from Connecting Devon and Somerset. So happy superslow days to come. If I go on I will a suitable candidate for Deal or No Deal...