Volunteers went out in the snow 3 years ago to promote corporate giant BT on their promise of speed...

Three years ago this month the campaign to bring faster broadband to the Whitchurch area was launched.

Now, nearly 3 years on from winning the BT “Race to Infinity” many people are still without the ability to order the service – this has been well documented. We weren’t the only town let down either.

Last August, BT made yet another promise for service availability – but the deadline came and went.

This broken promise has left not only residents in some parts of town without the service, but also the many businesses too – including the ones on the Ardglen industrial estate.

In the summer, Town Councillor Mike Kean contacted BTs Customer Service Team about the poor service at the Ardglen industrial estate. BT told him that each business should report their complaint. It is not known how many complained.


Gavin Patterson, the chief executive of BT claimed in today’s Guardian that his ‘high point’ is the:

Successful rollout of BT Infinity high-speed network and launch of BT Sport

This prompted B&DBC Cllr Keith Watts to comment:

BT’s “Infinity” might have been a high point for Gavin Patterson but it isn’t for some of his victims.

In the autumn of 2010 BT launched a contest called “Race to Infinity” with a promise that the winning community would be the next to receive high speed broadband. A brilliant campaign team led Whitchurch in Hampshire to an arithmetic miracle, a score of 104% under the rules, but in the declared result we were first among six contestants on 100%.

I suppose we should have realised then that this was a public relations exercise without any rigorous engineering backing. Perhaps that sums up BT under its new Chief Executive.

I am one of those in Whitchurch still waiting for high speed broadband after three years. Any one wanting to watch live European football in future should scrutinise the contract carefully before signing up for BT Sport.


Cllr John Clark, mayor of Whitchurch said,

Recently BT was working outside of my house and I spoke with the engineer. I asked “does he know why we are not connected to the Faster Broadband” and his reply was “there is no reason as the broadband is in Whitchurch and connected.”


BT was queried last week by the town website about their installation progress.

They now sing:

In summary we hope the majority will be completed by early December, which will just leave the final cabinet [number 7] to be completed.

BT estimates that it will take 10 weeks, starting sometime in December, for cabinet no.7 to be up and running.

Oh no it won’t.

Oh yes it will.

Oh no it won’t….

Comments (1)

  • Vicar

    I offered BT the opportunity to attend a public meeting and explain what is happening. They proved incapable of understanding my invitation. This is their reply:

    Hello Reverend Inglis

    Thank you for your e-mail. I would like to apologise as I sent the incorrect email. I have reviewed your complaint with my manager and they informed that you would need to tell me what exactly you want to complaint about in regards how the BT Race to Infinity competition was run. As I mentioned in the previous email we wouldn’t be able to send a member of management to your local area but I will do my best to provide answers to any question you have.

    Thanks for getting in touch.

    Best wishes,
    […] BT Digital Care

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked (*).