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BT survey locates fibre broadband demand

Telecom giant to upgrade top five exchanges

BT is calling for web users help identify 'hot spots' where there is great demand for fibre broadband.

The 'Race to Infinity' survey will run until December 31 and will allow communities to "express their desire" for next-generation net connections.

BT has also pledged to offer funding to upgrade the five exchanges with the highest demand to handle fibre connections by early 2012 at the latest. BT said this "could see commercially viable exchanges brought forward to the front of the queue or non-viable exchanges added to the deployment plans. BT is also pledging to engage with any community that expresses a high level of demand".

"The Race to Infinity is an opportunity for the country to make its voice heard. We want to hear from towns and villages across the UK and so I would encourage people to take part and register their interest," said BT's Retail chief executive Gavin Patterson.

The Race to Infinity website will display votes received for each exchange, and the top five will also be listed.

"The Race will map demand for fibre across the UK and so will help to influence BT's future deployment plans."

BT says by the end of this year, four million homes and businesses will have access to fibre broadband. However, it hopes that by 2015, two thirds of the UK will be able to surf the web via fibre connections. The telecom giant is investing £2.5bn to help reach this target.

Last week, BT unveiled a similar £132m project, in conjunction with Cornwall Council, which hopes to bring broadband to every resident in the county.

To register demand for fibre in your area, visit BT's dedicated web page.

See also: BT upgrades phone & broadband bundle customers to fibre for free

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