BT names 6 winners of its FTTX broadband contest

BT Retail (NYSE: BT) named the six communities that are the winners of its "Race to Infinity" competition, a process designed to gauge where the interest in its ultra-high Fiber to the X broadband (both FTTC and FTTH) services is the highest.

Under the plan, these six communities--including Baschurch, Shropshire; Blewbury, Oxfordshire; Caxton, Cambridgeshire; Innerleithen, Scottish Borders; Madingley, Cambridgeshire; and Whitchurch, Hampshire--will be able to receive BT's Next Generation Access (NGA) 40Mbps+ services before 2012. However, Marton in Warwickshire, Capel in Surrey, Burley in Wharfedale in Bradford and Lindfield in West Sussex, fell short of making it into the top six.

Due to the strong response that the program received when it was initially announced in October, the UK incumbent increased the number of winners from five to six. When the contest concluded on Dec. 31, over 360,000 votes were cast for the contest.   

Despite the promise of the program, an ISPreview report revealed that the contest was not without controversy. Because BT's online voting system enabled any person to vote for other addresses in their town, there have been concerns over possible voting abuse by communities that participated in the contest.

Regardless of any controversy, BT's Openreach division will conduct a survey to assess and plan the according fiber deployment for the chosen communities.

But it looks like these six communities won't be the only ones that will be getting the FTTX service. Not long after it announced the six initial communities, BT is considering extending it to ten communities, which could possibly give those communities that slightly missed the cut to get a chance to participate in the program.

"We're also looking into the possibility that we might go even further and add the top ten to BT's deployment list," a BT spokesperson told ISPreview. "We'll make a decision about this by the end of January."

For more:
- see the release
- ISPreview has this article

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