|Good news for Whitchurch, Overton and Weyhill - Broadband campaign rolls on
9 Jun 2003
Sir George has welcomed the announcement by BT that it will be bringing the benefits of broadband technology to Overton and Whitchurch, thanks to the efforts of local residents and businesses. The news was announced as BT revealed it had passed its national target of one million wholesale broadband connections by this summer.
"Both Whitchurch and Overton have launched successful campaigns to get linked to Broadband, and these are now paying off. I have raised this issue on several occasions in the House. As a resident served by the Weyhill exchange, I am glad to see we are nearly there!"
To mark the achievement of one million connections, BT is cutting every “trigger level” in the UK by fifty registrations, a reduction of up to 25 per cent depending on the exchange.
As a result of this reduction, Overton’s exchange has been put straight into BT’s broadband upgrade programme. The exchange which covers more than 1,900 homes and businesses had a trigger level of 250. More than 200 local people had registered their interest in receiving broadband by the end of last week so the reduction has taken the exchange through its trigger level.
Trigger levels reflect the number of people who need to register their demand for broadband before BT will upgrade an exchange with ADSL technology.
Lizzie Beesley, BT regional director for the South East, said: “I am delighted to announce that Overton has hit its trigger level and that BT will be bringing the benefits of broadband to the local community. In, addition, I am also pleased to announce that Whitchurch also hit its trigger level last week, thanks to the support and determination of the local residents.”
“BT’s decision to reduce trigger levels may have pushed the exchange over the finishing line, the real credit belongs to the local people and businesses who have played such a constructive role. I would personally like to thank everyone who has worked with BT to make this happen, BT’s decision to reduce triggers is great news for other areas as well as it means that many more exchanges are that much closer to getting broadband.”
Sir George Young, MP for North West Hampshire welcomed the news:
“I am delighted that BT have been able to reduce the thresholds and will now enable the exchanges at Overton and Whitchurch – and now we are just three registrations away from meeting the trigger level at Weyhill, too. I know that my constituents will welcome this news and I'd like to put on record my thanks to all those who campaigned to get the sufficient number of registrations - and of course to all those who registered. I now urge people to take up the service as soon as it is available and reap the benefits broadband can bring to businesses and homes in the area”
BT’s registration scheme was introduced in July 2002 to identify where true demand for broadband exists. The triggers reflect only a proportion of the number of end users required by BT to make a return on their investment and so any reduction in their level reflects an increased commercial risk on BT’s part. Experience over the last few months shows that take up of broadband in areas enabled through the scheme has been higher than anticipated and these findings lies behind the decision to reduce triggers.
The past year has seen BT put broadband at the heart of its strategy with several significant developments:
• Two major wholesale broadband price cuts helping to make UK retail prices among the best value in Europe
• A registration scheme to extend broadband to areas where there is proven demand
• Introduction of BT Broadband, a high speed direct internet access product
• A major television campaign, “Broadband has landed” has stimulating demand
• Technological breakthroughs allowing trigger levels to be set that could bring broadband within reach of 90 per cent of UK homes
• Regional partnerships to stimulate demand and extend broadband availability
• The UK is the most competitive broadband market in the world. There are more than 100 ADSL providers and cable companies have more than 50 per cent market share
• Broadband in the UK costs only the equivalent of nine SMS text messages (or less than half a pint of beer) a day
• BT’s unique registration and trigger scheme - to identify where demand is strongest - is working, with 170 exchanges enabled so far, and over 262 exchanges in build - other countries are now beginning similar schemes
• BT is working actively with more than 600 local action groups to stimulate demand for broadband and reach their local trigger levels. 440,000 customers have now registered their interest in broadband and one million leaflets have been distributed to promote the scheme and boost demand.
• BT is pushing to make broadband available as widely as possible through, for example, a number of partnerships with regional and local stakeholders to deliver ADSL broadband or to increase take-up.
• BT was considered the most innovative telecommunications company in the EU in its approach to delivering rural broadband by the Yankee Group
• In the time you took to read these broadband facts, another 10 people have signed up for broadband in the UK