BT is rolling out superfast fibre optic broadband across the UK with download speeds of up to 40Mb. The Race to Infinity is giving people the chance to vote online for their area to become one of the first to enjoy fibre optic broadband. The five areas which have the largest percentage of votes by December 31st 2010 will win the chance to bring fibre optic broadband to their area and BT will give a donation of computer equipment worth £5,000 to a local community project.  

If you go online to vote for the Hemel Hempstead exchange you will find that it is already within BT’s programme of upgrades to enable superfast broadband. This means that if you are a BT customer you can upgrade your service now or contact your service provider to check whether this is possible. 

Rachel Boxall from the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry said, ‘this is great for domestic users locally but still doesn’t help the businesses in Maylands who urgently need better infrastructure. BT currently say there isn’t a commercial case to improve the service, but have promised to look again at the situation and I feel confident that we can improve things. It is frustrating that BT appear to be dragging their heels when a lot of people would say it was pretty obvious that the level of broadband speed is unworkable. Having said this, I would encourage people to vote in areas outside the Hemel Hempstead exchange as it is important that as many people as possible can access better broadband speeds, especially in more rural areas.’ 

To vote for your area and help spread the word, visit It takes less than 2 minutes to vote and every vote matters.Winning exchanges will be enabled by early 2012 subject to availability, survey, terms and conditions. Exchanges need 1,000 premises to be eligible to be one of the winning exchanges. One vote per address. Race ends midnight 31st December 2010. 

Annette Thopre, Regional Partnership Director from BT will be coming to discuss the broadband situation at the next Maylands Partnership meeting on February 3rd. If you would like to attend this meeting, please contact Rachel Boxall ( or Becky Oblein at DBC (