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Baschurch tops list of towns to get high speed broadband

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A Shropshire village is punching above its weight in the race to be among the first communities to get the next generation of super-fast broadband. A Shropshire village is punching above its weight in the race to be among the first communities to get the next generation of super-fast broadband. Baschurch currently tops the list of towns and villages in the county where residents have shown the most interest in being at the front of the queue for the roll-out of high speed broadband, dubbed infinity broadband. Telecommunications giant BT has plans to roll out high speed broadband nationwide, but the places that will get the new service first will be those that register the most interest. Because the company has compiled its data based on the percentage of votes cast by customers using each exchange, Baschurch is ahead of towns like Shrewsbury, Market Drayton and Oswestry according to the latest figures. In order to get the enhanced speeds, BT will have to replace copper wires at its telephone exchanges with fibre optic cables.

A Shropshire village is punching above its weight in the race to be among the first communities to get the next generation of super-fast broadband.

Baschurch currently tops the list of towns and villages in the county where residents have shown the most interest in being at the front of the queue for the roll-out of high speed broadband, dubbed infinity broadband.

Telecommunications giant BT has plans to roll out high speed broadband nationwide, but the places that will get the new service first will be those that register the most interest.

Because the company has compiled its data based on the percentage of votes cast by customers using each exchange, Baschurch is ahead of towns like Shrewsbury, Market Drayton and Oswestry according to the latest figures.

In order to get the enhanced speeds, BT will have to replace copper wires at its telephone exchanges with fibre optic cables.

The firm has launched a nationwide survey called the Race to Infinity to gauge interest and in Shropshire, Shrewsbury has the most votes so far followed by Market Drayton, Oswestry and Church Stretton.

But in terms of votes as a percentage of customers connected to the telephone exchange, Baschurch currently leads the way with 13 per cent of customers having cast their votes.

It is followed by Church Stretton with 6.47 per cent, Market Drayton with 3.82 per cent and Bishop's Castle with 3.1 per cent.

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Further down the list come other telephone exchanges in Quatt, Whitchurch, Prees, Bomere Heath, Ellesmere, Broseley, Bayston Hill, Shrewsbury and Oswestry.

Emma Tennant, BT spokeswoman, said: "Shrewsbury, Market Drayton and Oswestry are still doing the best from the point of view of the number of votes cast, but Baschurch leads by percentage of votes cast proportionate to the number of people eligible to vote on that exchange.

"Indeed, Baschurch is currently the top exchange in the West Midlands, and ranked 20th in the UK."

The winning areas will be upgraded by early 2012 at the latest.

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Super-fast broadband will enable users to download large files like films much faster than currently.

The race, which runs until December 31 at www.bt.com/racetoinfinity, will map demand for fibre broadband across the UK, helping BT identify "hot spots" where demand is high.

John Dovey, BT's West Midlands regional director, said: "This is a golden opportunity for people in Shropshire to demonstrate the level of demand for fibre broadband in their communities."

By Tom Johannsen

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