back to article BT bids bumpkins to beg for better broadband

BT has invited villages nationwide to compete to convince it to reverse the decision not to upgrade their broadband infrastrucure. The firm today promised to bring its faster broadband services - a mix of fibre-to-the-cabinet and fibre-to-the-premises - to five areas where local people show the most interest. BT Retail will …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Bloody Cornwall

    How come they get FTTH or FTTC and a posh village in Hampshire where I live (In an ex-council house not one of the 500K+ cottages) does not get it! Must be plenty of people rich enough to pay stupid amounts of money for fibre so I can leech off it.

  2. John Sager

    Why am I not surprised?

    Way to go, BT! Neither the 'Go' button nor the 'Skip to map' button works on Firefox 3.6.10 on Linux. I don't even get the front page up on Konqueror - it's just black:(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Works fine for me

      KDE 3.5.10

      Firefox 3.6.10

      Just a blank globe in Konqueror though

      1. Chemist

        Works fine for me


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Me too

      You wouldn't be running some plugin such as noscript would you?

  3. James Hughes 1

    Tried it...

    My village is not eligible to win the prize, not enough people (406 attached to the exchange, need 1000)

    So, not much of a competition then, really, when a quarter of the villages in the country are not able to enter. (figures from

    This is BT arse gravy of the highest order.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Not just BT

      "This is BT arse gravy of the highest order"

      Uh huh - what about the other three or four other telco companies that could also do the job?

      If you live in the arse end of nowhere you shouldn't expect the same service as people living in the bright lights of civilisation. At least BT is /trying/ to get you guys joined up. Most companies quite sensibly couldn't give a toss about you straw sucking, yokel types.

      Oooh bloody yarrr.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yea right another short sighted person

        The attitude of I live in the town and I get it stuff the rest of you is so childish.

        It's like all the farmers etc. saying well you don't live in the hills, valleys or plains so you can forgo our food. If you want any you have to use a horse and can only visit once a week.

        My example is completely absurd as it will never be done but it is akin to what your saying.

        And btw I live in the countryside but luckily close enough to my local town to be connected to that exchange (yes broadband is crap at that length but it means we may get fibre eventually).

        BTW Quote:"If you live in the arse end of nowhere you shouldn't expect the same service as people living in the bright lights of civilisation."

        You think your version of civilisation would exist without the countryside. If you can go for a week without using anything that is obtained from a countryside endeavour I would like to see it.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge


        "If you live in the arse end of nowhere you shouldn't expect the same service as people living in the bright lights of civilisation."

        Yet you townies expect the same service, at the same price for food, milk, and oh, yes, your water supply

      3. Toby Roberts

        What about the other telcos?

        The 'other telcos' were not gifted the copper infrastructure paid for by umpteen years of previous taxpayers.

        Given this, I think it _is_ reasonable to expect more basic services from BT than from the others.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I can guess what the C stands for.

        As AC put, it, the cities cannot survive without the countryside and visa versa. So live with it. To be honest, I am quite glad you live in the city, because our village has enough arseholes as it it.

        The reasons it is BT arse gravy, is because, and I don't know whether you noticed this, but the article was about a BT run scheme. If any of the other Telcos had announced the same scheme, I would have said exactly the same them.

        And, just for laughs, I pay more tax than you (probably), why shouldn't I get the same level of service for my tax pound? Or should people in the countryside get discounts on tax (Council, income, petrol) because they get less services. Would you be happy for that to happen?

        And just for the final nail, I live in Cambridgsehire, which contains Cambridge, one of the most high tech cities the UK. Not the arse end of no-where. And my village isn't eligible either.

  4. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Business policy by popular vote

    Let's take this a bit further. As well as turning their investment strategy into a game show, they could also have a website where customers can register a view on how much their staff should get paid. It could even be a "please stay on the line to vote" feature of calling their help-desk - once their victims have recited their personal details for the tenth time, been kept on hold for half an hour and cut off thrree times, they could be asked how much "My name is Steven" should be remunerated for the "help" he/she/it provided.

  5. noroimusha

    what about london ?

    Its ok to upgrade the network, but what about london? I live in south-east london and my exchange is not listed as it will be upgraded.... 30 year old or even older copper 2 miles away from central london.

    they are hopeless....

  6. Stephane Mabille
    Thumb Down

    Doesn't work for villages


    So you need a "village" of more than 1000 premises.... shame that most crappy BT exchanges that are REALLY in need of an update serve less than 1000 premises (mine 727 residencial + 29 non-residential), which put mine out of reach for an upgrade.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As usual BT seem to have a major problem with concepts like "rural" and "village".

    So their idea of rural is a village with at least 1,000 BT subscribers who express an interest in high speed broadband. How many houses would a village need to have in order to have more than 1,000 BT broadband subsribers? Let alone 1,000 who would express an interest in faster broadband via this method. Shirley you'd be looking at places with populations of over 10,000 and that certainly doesn't fit in with any reasonable definition of rural or village that I know.

    Like the Cornish infinity rollout it's all PR bollocks. How many homes in Cornwall won't be elligible for Infinity? BT aren't saying. And how many homes on these five upgraded exchanges will still get a shit service after the upgrade? They're not telling us about that either.

  8. Andrew Cooper

    Population versus Premises

    I don't think a village with a population of 1,000 would really cut the mustard with BT.

    I doubt they're going to take a serious declaration of interest if, for example, next door's new-born baby registers themselves.

  9. Steve 48
    Thumb Up


    I hate to come to the defence of Broken Telecom, but...people seem to forget that since good ol' Mrs T sold it off it is no longer there to provide a public service - it is a commercial entity and is duty bound to try and make as much dosh for its shareholders - rolling out this tech to everywhere will not necessarily achieve that. What I suspect is really going on here is that BT are trying to guage the overall demand for FTTC/FTTH in a slightly more inspiring way than they did with the BB rollout. At least BT are looking at widely rolling out as a posed to a certain competitor that refuses to invest in networks to new areas. The only response I ever get from a certain competitor is that bringing their services to our village would be prohibitively expensive despite them owning a multi-channel high capacity fibre link (with spare capacity) running 2 foot from my front door along the main street in the village & they have never canvassed the area to determine demand.

    1. Gavin McMenemy

      Certain Competitor ay?

      This certain competitor of yours will not install a cable in mt street...and I live in the centre of Edinburgh. Every street around here has been cabled up except this one... and they still flyer us periodically!

  10. Dave Murray

    Not impressed

    I'd be a little more impressed if they actually scheduled a date for FTTC + FTTP enabling my 8k+ residential premises exchange in Glasgow. We still don't even have 21CN yet!

  11. Adam Trickett

    3 Votes

    My village has 3 votes, I can only hope we get a few more!

    At the moment we do have ADSL but not ADSL2 and our exchange is not-unbundled, so actual speeds vary widely between terrible and acceptable.

    While it's a bit of a game show, it is probably best that BT spend their money where they are going to get the best return. It's probably not very reliable but it is some gauge of possible uptake. While I hate to defend BT it's probably better than nothing...

  12. HaplessPoet

    Rather amusingly, or tragically depending on which way you look at it...

    but when I 'voted' it put my 'village' in the middle of the Bristol Channel, approximately 90 miles northwest of where it actually is in the New Forest, but a lot closer to Cornwall than I am now, so thats good surely?

  13. adrianww

    Oh, it is to laugh...

    Having very recently moved house, I've just checked the local exchange details in my new neck of the (back)woods and we're supposed to have around 1001 residential subscribers and 22 business/commercial.

    Which basically means I'd have to go round and persuade everyone with a phone line to shout out for faster broadband just to make the entry requirement. Whether they currently have (or want or even understand) broadband or not.

    Hmmmm...unlikely to get far with that plan I reckon.

    Still, I'm not going to whinge about it 'cos I'm fairly happy with the stable 3-4M that I'm now getting. The old house was lucky to see 750-1250k. (Although, bizarrely, it seems that my old exchange actually has more subscribers - you'll only need to persuade about 3/4 of the local households there. Yeah, right...)

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Am I missing something...?

    "BT says it cannot commercially justify upgrading the more sparsely-populated "final third" of its network."

    ...but the Ofcom figures published recently show that the majority of BT users get only a fraction of the advertised speed. Much less than 2/3rds, since the average speed for a 10Mb connection was less than 5Mb!

    BT just need to get their arses into gear and either stop making misleading claims about the broadband speeds OR have the infrastructure in place to live up to their promises!

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Tony S

    Better idea

    Instead of this daft PR garbage, why don't they have a "reality show" where residents / contestants get to do increasingly stupid things in the hope of getting a half decent broadband connection.

    It's no worse than some of the other reality show concepts!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    maybe they shouldn't have ran that ad campaign pimping "fast internetz 4 all" with the post-apocalyptic graphics of earth being bombarded in slow motion by neutron bombs if they never really intended to go through with it?

  18. Russell Howe


    Surely rural locations far from the exchange benefit the most from FTTC.

    The difference between 15Mbit ADSL2+ and 40Mbit/s FTTC for someone in a city is what, 3a 300% boost? Nothing like the 8,000% difference between 500kbit rate-adaptive ADSL and 40Mbit/s FTTC for someone out in the sticks.

    You never know, it might even let BT close or downsize a few exchanges, since the fibre runs to the cabs are probably able to reach much further than the copper services traditionally provided by telephone exchanges.

    It's up to them how they spend their money, but it's a shame that they are sitting on all this infrastructure which was paid for by the taxpayer (I assume they bought this when they were privatised, but don't know and don't know if they paid a fair price) and to the layman it seems like they're doing what any sensible company would do - squeeze their existing cable plant for all it's worth.

    The telecoms industry is f'ed up man.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Villages? Really?

    The five exchanges with the highest number of votes will get Infinity (unless of course BT can think of a reason not to give it to them) so smaller exchanges don't stand a chance. I'm on an exchange with 2,019 subscribers so what chance have we got of submitting more votes than an exchange with twice as many subscribers.

    They may as well just say they're going to give Infinity to the five biggest exchanges not already on the list and stop pissing about.

  20. Kerry Hoskin
    Thumb Down

    been here before?

    We've been here before BT have form for this kind of bolloxs. They did it with their ADSL rollout, you had to go and register interest and if your exchange got enough interest they broadband enabled it. They used the same “not economically worth it” excuse, now what is one of their biggest revenue streams? Oh that’ll be broadband then. They could be making even more cash from broadband if they had rolled it put properly in the first place, without wasting time and effort with registering interest.

    I'm actually embarrassed to hold share in BT, total shower

  21. Da Weezil


    BTw cant even keep to a date for WBC here so what chance of fibre on a circa 10k exchange where there is nothing but vanilla ADSLmax across 2 counties?

    Oh and city dwellers.. when you fill your car// switch on a light or turn up the central hrating theres a more than even chance that some of that energy came through this rural area as we have LNG Oil and (soon) power generation. not much point in fibre if you are short of power to fire up your pc.

    Its just spin.... introduce pricing by profile and give us a reduction for the pathetic speeds we get out here, it works in other industries... lower service = lower price.

  22. Fractured Cell


    Im a bumpkin, with broadband (Or so they claim ... 2mbps/20 does not broadband make.)

    They even had the cheek to ring up and complain that I was using what I'd payed for!

    You just can't win.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "2mbps/20 does not broadband make"

      To paraphrase Andre the Giant: I don't think broadband means what you think it means. Clue: It's got nothing to do with speed.

  23. kain preacher

    Just a silly yank here .

    But it seems like BT is saying f you for living out in the sticks you country asshole. You should live in the city were we barely maintain our net work.

    Hugs cable modem with 20mb confection and stupid 250 gig monthly cap.

  24. AD 4

    The Real Reason For The Excercise

    The site requires far more information than necessary to administer a poll. It looks to me like a cheap way to build a list of customers who are prepared to pay for premium internet service.

  25. Farmer Geddon

    Town v's Country nonsense

    I live in the country and i get about 0.4Mbit/s. I tried the BT gameshow but of course with 300 residential and 100 business users I am kidding myself.

    We can go round in circles with the Town v's Country stuff. Bottom line for me is equity.

    I have kids just like many town dwellers. They want access not only to social networking and the fun side of the Interwebz but also the educational stuff that they frequently need for school.

    At the speeds I get its just impossible. The iPlayer? Whats that! 4OD - ?eh. Youtube = a slideshow.

    Basically BT and the other providers are just going to continue to cherry pick because they are commercial enterprises and equity of delivery is just not in their interests.

    For the money we have spent in Iraq, we could all have had 'super fast' broadband by now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Town vs. Country

      Living in the country you get shit service when it comes to all sorts of things, you pay the same for your council tax as a city dweller but most council services are either worse or you have to travel further to get them. This is fair enough because house prices are generally lower as a result. Some of you who have never lived in the sticks are probably suprised by this, but it's true.

      OK so there are some fashionable areas where this isn't the case, but for the most part rural house prices are low. The funny thing is there are a lot of tech obsessives out there who think that ADSL speeds should have some bearing on house prices, but they don't. No matter what some idiots may think about it being a human right fast internet access is not that much of an issue for the vast majority of the public.

      The only real whiners I encounter are people who have moved from urban areas to rural areas and don't like their slow ADSL. The same people also whine about the fact that supermarkets won't deliver and about the fact that the local shop doesn't sell everything they want. This is the countryside, get used to it. For some reason these idiots seem to think that living in the countryside should be just like living in the city, but with cows.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Hardly bumpins.

    Anyone seen the top 5?

    1. Bermondsey, London

    2. Bishopsgate, London

    3. Canonbury, London

    4. Clerkenwell, London

    5. Covent Garden, London

    Spot what all these bumpkin villages have in common....

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