BT refuses to connect remote communities

04 Oct 2010 View Comments
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BT has admitted it won't consider upgrading lower population exchanges

BT has decided not to connect exchanges with fewer than 1,000 customers to its super-fast fibre network.

The telecommunications giant has launched a website – Race to Infinity – which enables the public to vote for which exchanges get upgraded first. Some exchanges are already slated for upgrade, but BT is allowing five more to be selected by level of demand.

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A BT spokesperson said: "We're trying to be more consultative in our approach to [the upgrades]. This is an opportunity for those that really want the upgrade to get to the front of the queue."

However, leaving the project open to popular vote could mean that smaller, remote communities are less likely to get a look-in. Arguably, it is these communities that have the most to gain from faster broadband access.

"We excluded exchanges below 1,000 customers, as these are more expensive to upgrade," said the spokesperson. We may look at other solutions for those areas. "

He went on to state that votes from less well-subscribed exchanges would show that demand exists, meaning the organisation would be more likely to explore other solutions in future.

Regulator Ofcom said: "We welcome greater competition in super-fast broadband, and the greater awareness and availability of these services across the UK."

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