BT Wholesale's registration scheme, which enables users to register their interest in broadband services, is being exploited by a small number of people who are falsely registering details in order to boost so-called 'trigger figures'.
The company requires 200 to 500 people to register in each area before it will upgrade an exchange to support ADSL. So far it has upgraded just one exchange, Todmorden in West Yorkshire, as a result of the scheme. But it has just approved a further 16 upgrades, which will be rolled out imminently.
But when one (undisclosed) ISP passed BT the details of hundreds of interested registrants in Wrexham North, it discovered that one person had registered over 200 times.
"We noticed a large number of entries with consecutive [phone] numbers," said a BT Wholesale spokesman. "This was a fairly unsophisticated attempt and we spotted it before the entries had been entered into our official database."
This could spread concern that other exchanges have also received false levels of interest. "It is a possibility," admitted BT's spokesman, "but for the most part the scheme has been very useful and it has shown a genuine level of interest."
The Wrexham North figures will be reset to the lower level, with the false entries removed. There is also concern over some of the entries for Knaresborough, Yorkshire.
"We are still encouraging people to register," added the spokesman. "This is most frustrating for those people who registered a genuine interest in the scheme and believed their exchange had received enough interest for an upgrade. "[False interest] is not helping anyone as it's not going to make broadband services arrive any faster."
The broadband registration scheme can be accessed here.