BT Reveals Race to Infinity Front Runners

Caxton and Malvern are the first towns to reach 1,000 votes in BT's Race to Infinity, but they won't get their super-fast broadband until 2012.

The towns of Caxton in Cambridgeshire and Malvern in Worcester will be among the first to benefit from BT's 'Race to Infinity', designed to assess the demand for fibre optic broadband in different areas of the country.

The Race to Infinity competition was launched in October as part of BT's Vote for Fibre scheme. The project encourages web users nation-wide to register their interest in fibre broadband. BT promised to provide the first five exchanges to hit 1,000 votes with a new 100Mbps fibre optic service.

This is seen as BT's move to identify areas of greatest demand, after it vowed to roll out super-fast broadband to four million households and companies by the end of 2010.

However, BT has admitted that those towns that win the Race to Infinity may not be upgraded until early 2012.

According to research conducted by broadband comparison website Top10, the three worst broadband blackspots in Britain are Farningham in Kent (1.3Mbps), Duns in Scotland (1.4Mbps), and Harbury in Warwickshire (1.5Mbps).

"It is a shame that in this day and age broadband blackspots continue to exist. The UK needs to offer top broadband speeds across the county, regardless of geographic location, which is something the UK's networks are failing to deliver," said Alex Buttle, director of Top10.

The Vote for Fibre project will run until the end of December 2010. So far, there are as many as 200,000 votes cast across Britain.

For those communities that do not make the top five, BT is pledging to engage with any community that gathers 75 percent of possible votes for their exchange but does not win the competition. These exchanges will either be included in BT's future commercial phases - if the exchange is deemed commercially viable - or enabled as a result of public sector or community support.

Meanwhile, the coalition government has pledged to roll out 2Mbps broadband to all British homes by 2015.

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