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Wharfedale and Aireborough communities in race for faster broadband
A village is still beating towns in Wharfedale and Aireborough in a race for faster broadband services, but hundreds more votes are needed to be in with a chance of qualifying.
Burley-in-Wharfedale is beating its neighbours in BT’s Race to Infinity, as internet-savvy villagers continue to gather support for bringing fibre optic broadband to the area.
Campaigners in Ilkley, Burley and Bramhope have been calling for support in bids to fast-track the arrival of the latest superfast broadband connections to local communities.
Burley now has 243 households or businesses registered in the online poll – just over eight per cent of the total number of premises eligible to vote in the village.
But at least 1,000 votes need to be cast in each telephone exchange area for that community to qualify for the ‘race’.
The poll closes on December 31 and BT will then select those areas around the country with the highest percentage of local votes to get fibre optic broadband ahead of most of the country.
Other telephone exchanges across the country, including Guiseley – which also serves addresses in Menston – are already on BT’s schedule for the upgrade. The new technology will mean broadband connection speeds of up to 40 megabytes per second.
Ilkley-based telecommunications business Talk Straight has been trying to rally support in Ilkley. The company says faster broadband could give local businesses the edge over firms elsewhere in the country.
However, Ilkley so far has just 53 of a possible 7,110 premises registered – just 0.74 per cent of the eligible voters in the community.
Once fibre optic equipment is installed at an exchange, customers will be able to access faster broadband connections from the internet provider of their choice.
Posters have gone up around Burley in a bid to win the race, and campaigners have been gathering support via the online Wharfedale Forums.
Addingham yesterday had 1.17 per cent of its premises registered – a total of 21 votes from 1,795 premises.
Otley’s bid for faster broadband has started to catch Ilkley up. So far, 44 votes have been cast for the town’s exchange, of 7,091 eligible premises – equal to 0.62 per cent.
The smaller Arthington telephone exchange, which covers Pool, Arthington and premises in Bramhope, currently has 16 votes, or 0.77 per cent of the local community.
The Rawdon exchange, handling phone lines in Yeadon and Rawdon, has 28 of a possible 8,795 premises registered, equal to 0.32 per cent. In Horsforth, 23 premises have registered of a possible 9,914, or 0.23 per cent.
Votes can be registered online at the racetoinfinity website.
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