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Councillors call on Residents to Vote for... Faster Broadband

Councillors call on Residents to Vote for... Faster Broadband

BSTC - 6th October 2010

We're all familiar with politicians asking for our votes but in Bradley Stoke, Councillors are calling on residents to vote, not for them, but for better Broadband connections after BT launched a nationwide contest to nominate telephone exchanges for upgrade to Superfast Broadband.

So far despite a high profile campaign which has seen local politicians, residents and media organisations join forces to put pressure on BT and Virgin Media, the Town has been largely overlooked when it comes to Broadband provision and many homes are unable to receive broadband speeds over 2mbs.

Councillors are now hoping that BT Race to Infinity, which gives the public an opportunity to nominate their local exchange for an upgrade, will provide a solution to the problem as Cllr Robert Jones explains: "BT have promised to upgrade the 5 exchanges nationwide that receive the highest percentage of votes from residents. Bradley Stoke is served by two exchanges at Filton and Almondsbury and we need residents help both here in Bradley Stoke and in neighbouring Parishes to nominate their exchange."

The contest, which requires the public to log on to www.racetoinfinity.bt.com and enter their postcode, has already seen the Almondsbury exchange get off to a strong start with over 100 votes already in the past few days. However as the winner of the contest is determined based on the number of votes cast as a percentage of households linked to the exchange there is a long way to go. Cllr Robert Jones says "There are over 9,000 homes or businesses connected to the Almondsbury exchange alone. We need every one of them to vote, tell their friends and neighbours to vote and send the clearest possible message to BT that we want faster broadband now!"

A Link to the competition site can be found on the town council's own website and Mayor Cllr Ben Walker has also backed the campaign. He says: "As a council we will do all we can to encourage residents to vote, I have already arranged for posters to be displayed at our activity centres and will be writing to our neighbouring councils seeking their help."

Town Councillors visit Westminster in Campaign for faster Broadband

Bradley Stoke Town Councillors visited Westminster recently to step up the campaign for faster broadband connections in the Town. Town Mayor Cllr Ben Walker and Councillors John Ashe, Brian Hopkinson, Robert Jones and Sarah Pomfret attended a meeting at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport with Communications Minister Ed Vaizey MP.

The meeting, which was organized by newly elected Filton and Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti, was described by councillors as a success and the Minister has agreed to write to both BT and Virgin Media about the issue.