Better Broadband campaign off to a flying start

Broadband - photo by charmcitygavin (licence: cc-attr)

The Journal’s campaign for better broadband speeds in Bradley Stoke and the surrounding area has got off to a flying start with more than 270 residents registering votes to have the Almondsbury telephone exchange fast-tracked for upgrading to fibre optic broadband.

The Better Broadband for Filton, Almondsbury & Bradley Stoke (BB4FABS) campaign was launched a fortnight ago and began by urging residents to vote in BT’s Race to Infinity competition.

In its first week, the campaign received coverage on the BBC website and also on BBC Radio Bristol’s Breakfast Show, where local businessman Rob Wilson of Fortyfour Creative described the difficulties of trying to run a high-tech business on the 0.63Mbps connection that he gets at his Diana Gardens home.

Bradley Stoke Town Council is helping the campaign by promoting the Race to Infinity competition on its website and Mayor Ben Walker says he has written to neighbouring Councils asking them for support.

The Race to Infinity competition is open to both business and residential telephone users and it is important to note that you don’t need to be a BT customer in order to vote. So, even if you are a Virgin Media customer and already have fast broadband, please help your less fortunate townsfolk by registering a vote now!

The Journal’s Editor has urged all Town Councillors to register a vote for their private lines and (where applicable) for their business numbers. The Town Council itself has also promised to register votes for all its premises.

Of course, the BB4FABS campaign is not just focusing on BT’s Race to Infinity competition, as this represents just one possible means of solving the area’s broadband woes.

Although the Bradley Stoke Examiner’s 2009 campaign to get Virgin Media to complete its cable network in Bradley Stoke was ultimately unsuccessful, we have recently heard from local MP Jack Lopresti that the company might be prepared to reconsider that decision. We hope to be able to bring you more news on this in the very near future.

The campaign’s third front will be to investigate the possibility of setting up a Community Interest Company to provide superfast broadband to slowspots in the area via a specialist telecommunications provider. Bradley Stoke Town Council has been asked to discuss this approach at its next Full Council meeting on 17th November.

BT Race to Infinity standings at midnight on 25th October 2010:

  • Almondsbury 278 votes (2.93% of total possible)
  • Filton 146 votes (0.78% of total possible)

Related link: BB4FABS Better Broadband Facebook group

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  1. Meanwhile out in the real world where cable rules rather than BT’s antiquated damp string and a couple of matchsticks approach to internet provision in BS, Virgin Media today confirmed they are beginning the roll out of their 100Mb service.

    BS isn’t amongst the first batch of upgrades but everyone will be done by mid-2012.

    Bah humbug!

  2. I would not consider 2.93% and 0.73% a flying start!!

    As far as I am concered the Town Council appears to be doing sweet FA

    Why is there not a big advertising campaign at the Willow Brook Centre urging reidents to sign up?? Why are the Town Council not handing out flyers?

    Most people do not know about the Race to Infinity!!!!

    This is a missed opportunity for Bradley Stoke and its broadband woes.

  3. Mr Bradley Stokes, the Town Council may be doing little but, behind the scenes, The Journal has been doing a lot! Expect to see an advertising blitz around town very soon. Funding from two local businesses is in place and we are in the process of designing the publicity material. We will need a army of volunteers to distribute leaflets and canvas residents – can we count on you to do your bit?

  4. Sounds like a good plan. I was looking at the results and although we are not doing great percentage wise compaired to some (smaller) areas I did notice in the small print that a minimum of 1000 votes is need to qualify. No one has reached 1000 yet so if we can we’ll be in with a great chance. I’m happy to help out however I can. Will email my details.

  5. I have lived in BS for 3 years I have never had a connection above 1Mb Not able to stream standard def video with that. I would be happy to lend my support to get as many votes as possible in the south of Bradley and the surrounding area.

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