Sidmouth voting surge in broadband race

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 December 2010 | UPDATED: 08:32 30 December 2010

A SIDMOUTH computer business director has urged the town to make a late charge in a race for super-fast broadband.

A SIDMOUTH computer business director has urged the town to make a late charge in a race for super-fast broadband.

Votes from Sidmouth residents doubled in just a week after the Herald reported how townsfolk were given a pasting by their Ottery neighbours in a nationwide internet competition that finishes on December 31.

Neither town currently looks set to triumph in BT’s Race to Infinity.

Director of Higher Hill View-based PC Rescue, Brian Webb, has called for fellow Sidmouth residents to get voting.

“Let’s not let Sidmouth become the also-ran for broadband. We can’t afford to lag behind,” he told the Herald.

BT launched the contest earlier this year to give communities the chance to net superfast web speeds and next-generation fibre optic broadband.

The top five communities with the largest percentage of votes per head will be handed the chance to bring the state-of-the-art internet to their area. BT will also donate £5,000 of computer equipment to a local community project.

Demand in Ottery was last week 11 times higher than in Sidmouth according to BT figures. However, Sidmouth residents launched a fight back, with votes rocketing from 167 to 350 in just seven days. Nearly five per cent of 7,104 eligible to vote in the town have done so.

In Ottery, 438 votes have been cast out of a possible 3,760 - 11.65 per cent.

Mr Webb added fibre optic broadband could see speeds in Sidmouth increase by up to 10-fold.

He said: “Whether you use the internet or not, the availability or otherwise of fast broadband is going to play a major role on the quality of your life. Like it or loathe it, it’s a big part of life now.”

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