Super-fast broadband – Cambourne and Madingley are winners

Cambourne, via the Caxton telephone exchange, and Madingley are guaranteed to be connected to BT's high speed Infinity fibre optic broadband – their communities, having voted en masse, were among the six winners of the recent BT Race to Infinity competition.

The six winners were: 
      Baschurch, Shropshire
      Blewbury, Oxfordshire 
      Caxton, Cambridgeshire 
      Innerleithen, Scottish Borders
      Madingley, Cambridgeshire 
      Whitchurch, Hampshire 

"I am delighted that South Cambridgeshire communities campaigned in BT's Race to Infinity competition and that two of them are among the six country-wide winners," says Andrew Lansley.  "It is a testament to the strength of community action here – and evidence, if it were needed, that South Cambridgeshire has many people who use broadband a lot for work, study and play.

"This is why I will continue to work to get fast broadband right across South Cambridgeshire." 

BTs Race to Infinity competition, in which communities voted for their area to be one of the next to be upgraded to super-fast broadband, proved so popular that BT increased the number of winners from five to six.

"Race to Infinity set out to find five communities where demand for super-fast broadband was highest, but because six areas all achieved extremely high levels of votes, they will be among the first to enjoy the new BT Infinity fibre optic broadband," said Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT Retail.

Clayton leads the way, unlike the Lib-Dems

Clayton Hudson, Chairman of Cambourne Parish Council, was especially delighted when it was announced that Caxton was one of the winners, having been one of the lead campaigners encouraging residents of Bourn, Cambourne and Caxton to vote for their exchange.  "Virtually every eligible address voted," he said.

His hard work contrasts with areas such as Gamlingay where the two local Lib-Dem Councillors did almost nothing to get super-fast boradband linked to the exchange, leaving residents served by the Gamlingay exchange, which includes the villages of Hatley and Little Gransden, suffering with average download speeds of under 200 Kbps, compared to the 40 Mb the lucky people connected to the Caxton and Madingley exchanges can look forward to within the next 12 months.

More than 360,000 votes were cast across the UK in the three-month long Race to Infinity survey that finished on December 31.

Computer equipment too

The next step is for BT's Openreach to complete a survey of the winning areas to assess and plan fibre deployment.  "The Race to Infinity really captured people's imagination," said Mr Patterson.  "We've been so impressed by the passion and commitment of the people who signed-up to campaign for their areas up and down the country.  They've done a brilliant job and we'd like to thank them for their time and dedication and of course all the thousands of people all over the UK who have voted."

In addition to being among the first to get super-fast broadband, the six winning communities will also receive £5,000 of computer equipment from BT for a local community project.

Super-fast?  How about 40 Mb

BT Infinity fibre optic broadband is capable of offering download speeds of up to 40 Mb and upload speeds of up to 10 Mb, the faster speeds reducing the amount of time to upload and download files and improving the online experience of users whether it's for business, social networking, gaming or streaming video.

The St Ives and St Neots exchanges are due to be connected to Infinity by the end of March – Cambridge City and Huntingdon by late September 2011.