By: MarkJ - 30 December, 2010 (9:01 AM)
BT FTTC-FTTP UK superfast fibre optic broadband cablebt fttc uk superfast broadbandThe sometimes controversial Race to Infinity campaign from UK ISP BT Retail, which seeks to gauge how much demand exists for its new "super-fast" ( FTTC / FTTP ) broadband services, will officially come to an end tomorrow (31st December 2010). The campaign looks set to reward five areas with a free superfast broadband upgrade, although so far only 20 telephone exchanges out of well over 2,000 potential candidates could qualify.

According to BT, the top five telephone exchange areas with the largest percentage of votes (must have at least 1,000 votes) will benefit from a super-fast service upgrade by 2012. Some have criticised the system for setting such a high threshold, which automatically excludes a significant portion of rural areas.

The ISP is also pledging to engage with any area not winning the competition where at least 75% of homes and businesses have voted (minimum of 1,000 votes) for super-fast broadband, yet so far just 6 telephone exchanges have reached that point.
BT's Race to Infinity Top 10 (Most Votes)
1. Whitchurch (Hants) (Votes: 2331)
2. Madingley (Votes: 2069)
3. Burley-in-Wharfedale (Votes: 1979)
4. Caxton (Votes: 1925)
5. Malvern (Votes: 1834)
6. Innerleithen (Votes: 1832)
7. Barrow-In-Furness (Votes: 1611)
8. Market Drayton (Votes: 1410)
9. Baschurch (Votes: 1384)
10. Lindfield (Sussex) (Votes: 1339)
BT's Race to Infinity Top 5 (Highest Proportion of Votes)
1. Blewbury (Votes: 1227 / Percentage of all Connections: 99.3%)
2. Madingley (Votes: 2069 / Percentage of all Connections: 97%)
3. Baschurch (Votes: 1384 / Percentage of all Connections: 96.6%)
4. Caxton (Votes: 1925 / Percentage of all Connections: 95.5%)
5. Whitchurch (Hants) (Votes: 2331 / Percentage of all Connections: 94.7%)
It should be noted that Innerleithen follows close behind Whitchurch, with 1832 votes and a percentage of approximately 1% less. As a result the 5th position is by no means secure and a few last minute votes could change everything.

Interestingly everything below the top six, as a proportion of votes versus all available local connections under a single telephone exchange, drops to below the 75% threshold required for BT's further assistance. For example, 7th place Capel (Surrey) holds 1299 votes but a percentage of almost 68%, which apparently isn't enough to gain BT's interest.

We certainly can't wait to see which exchanges BT picks for its upgrades, which will include submissions from several other ISPs and not just the 'Race to Infinity' campaign (an example). Some recent reports have also pointed out that BT's campaign could be abused by multiple votes, so we certainly hope that they do some proper validity checking first.

UPDATE 1st January 2011

Winning exchanges to be announced on Monday 3rd Jan.
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Comments: 15

asa logomy arse
Posted: 30 December, 2010 - 11:46 AM
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full of **** as with other isps cant supply what they say they can atm ofcom should get if its fat arse and stop looking into and start doing for the consumers
asa logoVM
Posted: 30 December, 2010 - 2:30 PM
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BT is a totally full of S*** and bloody waste of time. What the point of this stupid campaign as no ones wouldn't bother to votes cos they know BT are conned and very limit to areas by areas of fibre optic.

OFCOM should have ACT and let the whole exchanges 99.99% to have fibre optic!

I am not surprise whoever the winner of top five might have to wait more longer probably 2015!!!
asa logoVM
Posted: 30 December, 2010 - 2:40 PM
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I just look up BT the race to infinity and it look like a fixed cheated abused by using telephone numbers and post code out of phonebook.

Whitchurch Hampshire

Baschurch Shropshire

Innerleithen Scottish Borders

Madingley Cambridgeshire

Blewbury Oxfordshire

asa logoBE
Posted: 30 December, 2010 - 3:24 PM
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The number of lines listed is inaccurate, about 5% out, so it is completely probably for all the top six to reach 100%. no cheating, just a lot of bloody hard work, door knocking and a big dose of community spirit. Let's see what happens next
asa logoKyle
Posted: 30 December, 2010 - 3:41 PM
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Having campaigned for ADSL in my village back in 2003, I know what hard work it is to actually achieve even a small amount of interest.

There are issues such as nobody being at home, right through to pensioners who have never nor would they ever consider using the internet.

To have 100% of every single eligible telephone line registered sounds a bit too good to be true.

Just for the record, I ran the Eclipse campaign, where they provided all the leaflets and materials and quite a lot of shoe leather! Bring back the old school way please and let's stop this obvious abuse of the system.
asa logoVM
Posted: 30 December, 2010 - 5:17 PM
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We shall wait and see what BT had to say about this. I am not surprise if BT choose top 5 below the top 5's table chart
asa logoBE
Posted: 30 December, 2010 - 10:23 PM
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We have not cheated, the number of lines is incorrect. And I am fed up with all the crappy accusations. Clean campaigns have been run, duplicates have been removed. A good example is Caxton actually has over 3000 houses on it's exchange, but only 2000 plus are counted!! So there!
asa logoVM
Posted: 30 December, 2010 - 11:21 PM
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BT will going to check if it was genuine voting count or non-genuine (if more than 10% of non-genuine) BT had the rights to removed it.
asa logoManic
Posted: 31 December, 2010 - 1:45 PM
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Why has Castleton Newport dropped from over 75% with over 1000 votes to below 30% now showing 440 odd votes? Smells of a fix!
asa logoVM
Posted: 31 December, 2010 - 4:07 PM
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Yes everything is smells of a fixing scams!

I think BT should withdrawal it and start a new one again for January 1st 2011 until July 31st 2011 with a new proper voting system.

To be honest, voting system is always unfair and there is a chance to hack it, fixing, and scams.

What the point of it BT. They should sent out BT specialist in every areas to knock door by door and see if they are interest to bring fibre option rather than online voting scheme.
asa logoVM
Posted: 1 January, 2011 - 1:18 AM
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Final votes for The Race to Infinity are now being
checked and verified. The winning exchanges will
be announced on the 3rd January - be sure to check back then!
asa logoCapvermell
Posted: 2 January, 2011 - 10:10 AM
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I have campaigned in lots of elections and even on a non political matter there is now way you would get better than 85% of the line owners on an exchange to sign up to this. The rest will be people who are always suspicious of giving their name and address for anything or people who will not open the door to callers.

These 100% figures must represent either sophisticated cheating (given that 50% of numbers have been ex-directory for several years)or a screw up by BT on the exchanges in question by quoting far less lines for the exchange than actually exist. In my opinion the competition should be won by Marton, Capel, Burley in Wharfedale, Lindfield and Brenchley who clearly all have credible figures. The top 6 all appear to have cheated massively or BT has screwed up in a big way with the exchange data.

I am going to email (the CEO) to complain.
asa logoVM
Posted: 2 January, 2011 - 12:26 PM
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Me too. Already email to (the CEO) to complain

The voting scheme should be axed and scrapped.
asa logoDavidG
Posted: 3 January, 2011 - 11:51 PM
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Its impossible for BT to have "checked and verified" all the votes on the winning 5 (or is it now 6) exchanges within the space of 3 days.

If they claim they have, then it just lends support to the view the whole process is flawed
asa logoNew_Londoner
Posted: 4 January, 2011 - 1:24 AM
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I understand from comments posted against later stories ehere and elsewhere that the votes have been checked throughout the "race", which is why the number of votes listed against some areas has gone down from time to time.

I would be madness to wait until the end to start checking as this would make it impossible for anyone living in an area which has its total reduced to step up their campaigning to get enough real votes cast.

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