A LARGE part of the borough of Warrington looks set to miss out on superfast broadband connections being rolled out across the UK by telecoms giant BT.
The whole of the town centre, important business areas like Birchwood and outlying areas like Culcheth, Glazebury, Croft, Padgate and Woolston seem likely to be at the back of the queue when BT introduces fibre optic cables enabling 40 meg broadband.
Only leafy areas like Lymm, Appleton, Stockton Heath and Grappenhall have so far been earmarked to get the upgrade in about two years’ time.
But part of the blame for that could be down to local people – not BT.
The company has launched a competition, The Race to Infinity, to decide who gets the faster broadband first.
To be included in the roll-out, a telephone exchange must have 1,000 subscribers voting for it.
Warrington, with a potential 34,310 subscribers, has so far received only 40 votes – 0.12 per cent.
Culcheth and Glazebury, with 4,784 subscribers, has received 23 votes – or 0.48 per cent.
Padgate – which includes the Birchwood area – has 18,593 subscribers but has received only 15 votes.
One businessman is urging local people to vote.
Paul Taylor, managing director of the Taylor Business Park at Culcheth, said: “We need the help of local people to put Culcheth on the map for high speed broadband.
“We need as many Culcheth and Glazebury-based companies and residents to vote to try and get fibre optics in Culcheth.”
But many people say they have never heard of BT’s “Race to Infinity.”
One company boss said: “How are we expected to vote if nobody tells us about it?”
In fact, the Race to Infinity initiative has been widely publicised.
To vote in it, Warrington internet users must go to the website www.racetoinfinity.bt.com and fill in their postcode and a number of other details.
They will then see how many votes their local exchange has received towards the target of 1,000 votes.
Picture: Warrington’s telephone exchange needs 1,000 votes
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