broadband Business

Read All About It – Wheel Invented – Or a Call Upon the People of Lincoln to Vote for Superfast Broadband

With a population of only 110,000, Lincoln is not on the list of Exchanges to be enabled for superfast broadband in the forseeable future.

Of course, the wheel was almost certainly invented before anyone could read all about it. However I do get the feeling that we are somehow still in the stone age. This afternoon I registered with the BT “Race to Infinity”.  I want superfast broadband (whatever that is).  Here are the stats from Lincoln, my hometown.

Percentage of votes 0.77%
252 votes have been cast out of a total of 32,844

With only 16 days to go this spells disaster. Lincoln is not on the list of Exchanges to be enabled in the forseeable future. With a population of only 110,000 or so (at least within the general area) you would think that constituted a reasonable sized conurbation. Clearly not reasonably sized enough!

This does pose an interesting question. Lincoln is not in what is described as “the final third” – the 33% of the country that is broadband impoverished so I would find it difficult to see a situation where the government would fund connectivity under its recently published superfast broadband strategy.

How therefore does the government decide which communities it should fund?

I can envisage a four tier society

  1. Areas where the business case easily merits initial investment – ie those where “FTTC/FTTP are currently planned
  2. Areas outside the above that can only get conventional broadband and are not in the plan for FTTC/FTTP
  3. Deprived areas that are currently not spots or have very slow connectivity and are obvious candidates for funding
  4. the final 10% that BT said it could not service even with the currently envisage level of funding

Now either BT isn’t doing a very good job promoting the Race to Infinity or nobody wants the product.

My message to the people of Lincoln?

We are talking wheels here.  When the wheel was first proposed to Og (3rd cave along) 10,000 years ago he didn’t at first appreciate the benefits. It was only after ha started using it that he saw the light (lightening of his load anyway).

Get voting!

PS Og and 10,000 years are made up names and dates. I could have Googled it I suppose…

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

10 replies on “Read All About It – Wheel Invented – Or a Call Upon the People of Lincoln to Vote for Superfast Broadband”

This ‘race’ has been rather a disappointment to me!
I’m at the other end of the scale – my exchange has under 2000 lines (but more than 1000 so still qualifies). I have neighbours often asking me “how they can improve their broadband” – who I help to optimise their wiring/setup to get the most of of things. So when this ‘race’ started I launched a local ‘campaign’ on the same day as BT.

I wrote to the local schools, all the local businesses etc. (only a few handfuls), 3 Parish Councils, the local papers and anyone else I could think of! I created web pages for local websites (Parish/Residents’ Association) which are regularly updated with the current stats/position.

So I felt I put quite a lot of effort into things!
The results haven’t been good. 150 odd registrations giving 9%. I was hoping having a small exchange would mean it would be easy to reach everyone and get people motivated – *wrong*
From my experience you REALLY have to SPOON FEED people to get anything done – and even then it doesn’t always work. Apathy seems to rule.
Perhaps BT have scared a few people off asking for contact details etc. where it looked like they may be signing up to all sorts of BT marketing.

I can guarantee that come January when the ‘race’ is over I’ll have locals asking what they can do to increase their broadband speeds :¬(

Can you get ADSL2+ from BT on your exchange Tref? If so then it’s a fairly good bet that Lincoln will be in a future round of FTTC upgrades as BT hasn’t really covered the next 26% of its rollout until 2015 yet (guesstimate). I just say this because the WBC/21CN rollout seems to be following a similar path to FTTC, at least up until the end of this year. Fuzzy logic 🙂 .

In any case the ‘Race to Infinity’ thing is just BT’s submission and other ISPs are involved too. However I think that in the grander scheme of things this survey is less about helping people and more about marketting.

My local telephone exchange has 1012 lines. It was 1013 when the race started, so we lost one potential voter right there. Two of the telephone lines are me, and you’re only allowed one vote per household, so that’s another vote that’s not available to us. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the odds of winning this race are not good where I live.

With an exchange the size of Lincoln, I’m sure you’ll be on someone’s activation plan at some point. Perhaps the lack of voting simply tells us that Lincoln residents are fairly happy with their broadband – probably true in a lot of places already on the FTTC deployment schedule.

@opticalgirl – In *theory* the smallest qualifying exchanges (1000+) stand a good chance of winning as the winner is decided on a vote percentage…

The current exchange leader has 1236 lines! The top10 exchanges seem to average around 2000 lines/connections.
This site is a useful resource.

Re. Your genius comment.
I’m “no genius” though – so perhaps I’ve fallen for something 🙂

The people of Lincoln already have fairlly solid FTTC in the shape of VM. RTI is aimed mostly at people in the middle of nowhere so it’s not really that surprising there isn’t much interest.

Also most people don’t belive BT can provide what they claim anyways. I’ve been calling 21CN 18CN for a while now for a good reason 🙂

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