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BT sets another 100 broadband trigger levels

There'll be dancing on the streets of Chafford Hundred tonight
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

There'll be dancing on the streets of Chafford Hundred tonight

BT announced details of a further swathe of broadband trigger levels on Monday, giving hope to 102 communities that currently aren't served by its ADSL network. These trigger levels are a measure of how many area residents need to register an interest in broadband before BT will upgrade the local exchange. Over half of the triggers are between 300 and 400 registrations, lower than generally expected, and just one local exchange - Hollinswood in Shropshire - was unlucky enough to receive a trigger of 750. BT had not set trigger levels for these 102 exchanges earlier because it either hadn't completed calculating the cost of installing ADSL, or had carried out an assessment and decided that the cost would be too great to make it financially viable. The list includes Essex's Chafford Hundred, which had achieved nearly 500 registrations despite not having been set a trigger level at all. Having been given a trigger level of 450, Chafford has now passed the test and been added to BT's ADSL rollout programme. A BT Wholesale spokesman explained that as some of the costs associated with upgrading to ADSL are falling, exchanges that once were uneconomic to upgrade are now becoming more viable. The total cost of upgrading an exchange is still formidable, and according to BT it will range from £200,000 to £500,000 for each of the 102 exchanges on the list. Some BT critics have claimed that its trigger levels are simply too high and don't accurately represent the raw cost of upgrading an exchange, but the telco is keen to sink these suggestions - including one argument that just 50 broadband users are needed per exchange. "If their numbers added up then we'd have done it (upgraded more exchanges)," insisted the BT Wholesale spokesman. He also pointed out that local loop unbundling means that any company can install ADSL kit in an exchange and offer broadband services. The primary cost is usually the expense of installing the bandwidth needed to connect the exchange to BT's main network and the internet, a process known as 'backhaul'. "Backhaul is the pretty much always the largest single cost of upgrading an exchange. In addition, there is the cost of the DSL kit, and the expense of accommodation and infrastructure - building new rooms where required and installing air conditioning and cooling systems," the spokesman explained. BT's latest trigger levels: Exchange County Trigger level BOVINGDON Hertfordshire 300 BRENCHLEY Kent 300 CANFORD CLIFFS Dorset 300 COMBERTON Cambridgeshire 300 FORDHAM (ESSEX) Essex 300 HERMITAGE Berkshire 300 LITTLE WALTHAM Essex 300 MARKYATE Hertfordshire 300 MELBOURN Cambridgeshire 300 NEWPORT-ON-TAY Fife 300 ROADE Northamptonshire 300 SILSOE Bedfordshire 300 SMALLFIELD Surrey 300 STOKE MANDEVILLE Buckinghamshire 300 STRENSALL North Yorkshire 300 STUDLEY Warwickshire 300 SUTTON VALENCE Kent 300 WADHURST East Sussex 300 WHITCHURCH (HANTS) Hampshire 300 ASKERN South Yorkshire 350 BATTLE East Sussex 350 BRIGHTLINGSEA Essex 350 BUNTINGFORD Hertfordshire 350 COGGESHALL Essex 350 COLLINGHAM BRIDGE West Yorkshire 350 COXTIE GREEN Essex 350 FARINGDON Oxfordshire 350 GLENROTHES SOUTH Fife 350 HADDENHAM (BUCKS) Buckinghamshire 350 HARTLEY WINTNEY Hampshire 350 HAWKINGE Kent 350 HENLEY-IN-ARDEN Warwickshire 350 HILLSBOROUGH Northern Ireland 350 HULLBRIDGE Essex 350 KIRRIEMUIR Tayside 350 LANGTON Kent 350 LISS Hampshire 350 MAGHERA Northern Ireland 350 ONGAR Essex 350 RANDALSTOWN Northern Ireland 350 SHEPSHED Leicestershire 350 WHEATLEY Oxfordshire 350 WHITBURN Tyne & Wear 350 WING Buckinghamshire 350 WINSLOW Buckinghamshire 350 BANCHORY Grampian 400 BOARS HILL Oxfordshire 400 BOROUGHBRIDGE North Yorkshire 400 COXHOE Durham 400 DONAGHADEE Northern Ireland 400 EGREMONT Cumbria 400 ERISWELL Suffolk 400 HETHERSETT Norfolk 400 HOLYMOORSIDE Derbyshire 400 LATCHINGDON Essex 400 MAGOR Gwent 400 MARKFIELD Leicestershire 400 MEASHAM Leicestershire 400 MELBOURNE Humberside 400 MIDDLETON CHENEY Northamptonshire 400 MOIRA Northern Ireland 400 MONIFIETH Tayside 400 NEWINGTON Kent 400 ROWLANDS GILL Tyne & Wear 400 ROYSTON South Yorkshire 400 SACRISTON Durham 400 SEDGEFIELD Durham 400 SENGHENYDD Mid Glamorgan 400 STOTFOLD Bedfordshire 400 WARRENPOINT Northern Ireland 400 WIRKSWORTH Derbyshire 400 WOTTON UNDER EDGE Gloucestershire 400 YELVERTON Devon 400 ADLINGTON Lancashire 450 AMBLE Northumberland 450 AMLWCH Gwynedd 450 BARTON ON HUMBER Humberside 450 BURNHAM ON CROUCH Essex 450 CATTERICK CAMP North Yorkshire 450 CHAFFORD Essex 450 CLAYDON Suffolk 450 CREDITON Devon 450 CRIEFF Tayside 450 FERNDALE Mid Glamorgan 450 KIMBERLEY Nottinghamshire 450 MAUCHLINE Strathclyde 450 PAKENHAM Suffolk 450 SEATON Devon 450 COWDENBEATH Fife 500 GLASTONBURY Somerset 500 HEBDEN BRIDGE West Yorkshire 500 MIDDLETON ON SEA West Sussex 500 BISHOPS CLEEVE Gloucestershire 550 CHIRK Clwyd 550 SKELMANTHORPE West Yorkshire 550 SLAITHWAITE West Yorkshire 550 SOMERSHAM Cambridgeshire 550 STAPLEHURST Kent 550 TIPTREE Essex 550 WESTBURY (WILTS) Wiltshire 550 ASH GREEN Kent 700 HOLLINSWOOD Shropshire 750 Graeme Wearden writes for ZDNet UK
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