BT Wholesale has set up a website to help local campaigners to get their exchanges ADSL enabled. It's team will provide the groups with leaflets, tailored to local areas, encouraging people to show their interest in receiving broadband by signing up with an ISP. These registrations will then count towards BT's trigger figures for upgrading exchanges.
The site can be accessed by visiting www.bt.com/broadband and clicking on the 'Broadband Campaigns' or 'Where I live' links. These pages provide advice on starting a campaign, a list of areas currently carrying out campaigns and links to their websites, plus first-hand quotes and experiences of other campaigners and an order form for leaflets and posters.
The BT Wholesale support team has also set up email contacts and a free telephone helpline to offer advice and support.
BT has already worked with 240 local groups to help them campaign for broadband, and so far 53 of those groups have hit their trigger levels. Some successful strategies include the Broadband4blackpool campaign, which drafted in local MP Joan Humble to help push for the Blackpool North Shore exchange to be upgraded. It is set to go live on 21 May.
Great Yarmouth and Thirsk, North Yorkshire have also used BT-supported leafleting to push for their exchanges to be ADSL enabled. Great Yarmouth went live on 9 April, and Thirsk is set to be switched on for broadband on 14 May.
BT has also announced trigger figures for a further 200 exchanges. If these all hit their target levels, ADSL broadband coverage would reach 85 percent of UK homes and businesses. A list of these exchanges can be seen as a PDF here. BT plans to add a further 400 exchanges to its list this summer, which would mean that 90 percent of the country would be covered by its trigger figure scheme.