UPDATE: Campaign won but BT takes years to deliver on its promises

OVER 100% of households and businesses registered…

Whitchurch wins the Race to Infinity!

Notes:

  • a list of articles about the campaign and the (very slow) installation of the equipment is in this separate article: FASTER BROADBAND – LIST OF ARTICLES
  • The original campaign page is archived below.

The area’s MP, The Rt Hon Sir George Young Bt supports the campaign.

The Town Council pledged support for the campaign to bring super-fast Broadband to Whitchurch and the surrounding area, being led by local residents and businesses, this website and the Whitchurch Association, a charity.

Update 03/01/2011: WE WON! See article HERE and BT’s press release HERE. Please come to the media event Tuesday 10am on Town Hall forecourt. Then party with everyone on Saturday 7:30pm at White Hart – free nibbles!

Update 01/01/2011: Voting has closed and Whitchurch finished at 100% and at the number 1 position in the BT scorecard. Official results will be announced on Monday, 3 January at 8am. Please consider all info below as historical reference now. Many thanks to everyone – truly! – Whitchurch finished no.1 in the UK (unofficially).

The Whitchurch Exchange serves a wide area, mostly rural:

    • Whitchurch,
    • Wells-In-The-Field
    • Hurstbourne Priors
    • Freefolk
    • Laverstoke
    • Tufton

Best estimate for area served by Whitchurch telephone exchange.

  • Litchfield
  • Twinley
  • Cole Henley
  • Ridgeway
  • Whitnal
  • Dunley
  • and all other rural areas in between! Whew!

In total 2,460 homes and businesses – all eligible to vote!

UPDATE 30/12/2010: in fact, more than 2460 are eligible, or so it seems – BT are investigating – in the meantime, keep the votes coming in from the sign-up sheets collected by door-knockers – they are our best proof of a true person in a household or business casting a vote.

Fibre-optic broadband will benefit businesses, schools, groups, and individuals with speeds of up to 40 Megabytes per second. Read this story of how it has transformed business where it has already been installed: Why We Can’t Afford To Wait for Fibre.

School children will benefit from faster Internet. Headteachers support the campaign.

Transfers of files will be faster and more reliable, high quality video conferencing will be possible, while in the home the use of the internet for education, films, shopping and gaming will all be improved.

Many in the community will benefit – for example:

The campaign now has the backing of our local MP:

BT Race to InfinityTHE ‘RACE’

BT has launched its ‘Race to Infinity‘ initiative to provide the service to smaller communities which show support. Residents and businesses are being urged to register their ‘vote’ on the special website and the top five will have their exchanges upgraded. To be eligible, a minimum of 1000 votes are required; and votes need to be registered before 31st December 2010.

Faster Snowmen in front of a Faster Decorated Window

As well as the faster speeds which will help the whole town, one of the five communities selected will also receive £5000 of computer equipment towards a community project. Just think what that could do for some of the less well-advantaged groups in the area.

Voting is quick, easy and does not commit you to be a BT customer, now or in future

PLEASE VOTE NOW…

…to HELP WHITCHURCH’S EXCHANGE WIN! Click here to go to the BT site to vote:

> > VOTE HERE: BT Race To Infinity < <

Q: I’m a BT customer and the website doesn’t recognise my phone number when I go to vote, or I don’t have email

A: If this happens, select “No”, when asked if you are a BT customer and you will still be able to vote. You need to enter in an email address when voting online – if you or the person you are helping vote doesn’t have email, just invent one – it still counts as a vote!

HELP SPREAD THE WORD

Please ask your co-workers, employers, employees, friends, relatives and neighbours to vote – EVERY VOTE COUNTS! If they don’t have broadband they can vote at the library or in the White Hart hotel foyer.

Door Knocking

Leaflet no.2 including the Five Vote Challenge

If you can, then go a step further and head out for some door-knocking! Take the latest leaflet (right) and collect written votes in the FIVE VOTE CHALLENGE – you can win prizes!

Be sure to return the CHALLENGE to the Town Hall by midnight Dec 30 (there’s a mailslot in left hand door of Town Hall) – we must register the votes by Dec 31 and retain each sheet as proof of voting to BT.

Please send your post code to faster@whitchurch.org.uk and we’ll let you know what places near you haven’t voted. We will also supply you with printed copies of the leaflet to hand out at those places.

PRIZES

Prizes kindly donated by local businesses.

CONGRATULATIONS to all our prize winners!

Our last batch of prizes were given out at our Broadband Party on Wednesday 29 December in the White Hart – congratulations everyone! The prizes included a perfume gift set donated by Lloyds chemist, a dinner at the Blue Ginger, a dinner at the White Hart, a mystery box, a weigh scale, a fancy bottle opener and two bottles of wine (the last few came from donations to the campaign team by various residents).

Before that, a Kodak Easyshare digital camera, donated by BT, was won by Sam Waterer – story HERE.

Our first prize winner Claire Kingston received £100 from the Newbury Building Society -story HERE.

Once you have voted, you can enter the next draw for great prizes (and, if you wish, offer to help the campaign):

>> ENTER PRIZE DRAW <<

Computer equipment for a local good cause

As well as the faster speeds which will help the whole town, one of the five communities selected will also receive £5000 of computer equipment towards a community project. Just think what that could do for some of the less well-advantaged groups in the area.

Do you have an idea for what that project should be? Email your idea to faster@whitchurch.org.uk

Major donors

Whitchurch Town Council

Whitchurch Town Council funded campaign literature and some distribution.

The Whitchurch Broadband Campaign team wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the Whitchurch Town Council in providing funds for campaign materials, and the below local businesses whose donations of prizes help drive public interest and participation in the campaign.

The White Hart Hotel

Also, thanks go to The Bell Pub, The Blue Ginger Restaurant and Lloyd’s Chemist.

Whitchurch’s Ranking

Note: Our ranking (shown at top of this page) is likely to be from several hours ago. The latest vote count is on the BT website HERE (technical details of the exchange itself are HERE).

We have done very well to get into the top-5 and even up to 2nd in the entire country! by the end of November.

Please help us to get people to vote  before midnight on 31 December:

The ONLY reason for Whitchurch exchange not to win is if people don’t vote.

The CHOICE is WHOLLY in the hands of the the people.

VOTE NOW, GET YOUR NEIGHBOURS TO VOTE TOO

How are we doing compared to other towns?

On 30 December we hit “100%” of the connections BT set as the top goal.

At the close of the competition, at midnight on the 31st December 2010, Whitchurch was at the number 1 position in the BT Scorecard! A truly fantastic result!

BT verified all the voting before officially announcing the winners on Monday, 3 January at 8am. Whitchurch was one of SIX (not five!) winners of the competition! Well done everyone!

Official Confirmation – Whitchurch is a Winner