..:: Broadband 4 Lhanbryde
The Broadband 4 Lhanbryde site
came about after I decided to take on the role of local ADSL Broadband campaigner
for the Lhanbryde telephone exchange (further details of this campaign can
be found here). Obviously a campaign encouraging people to register an interest
in Broadband will need a website for promotion and gathering registrations.
So the site Broadband4Lhanbryde was launched in March 2003!
was toned around being very open and inviting to visitors in the hope of gatherings
registrations for Broadband in the local area. Therefore a bright yet clean
site design was required (Graphics done by me!). Above all else the site needed
to load quickly on a 56k Dial-up connection. It would have been a 'kick in
the teeth' effect if the site was most suitable on a ADSL Broadband connection
when the whole point of the site was that the most likely visitors didn't have
access to ADSL Broadband.
There were many key features which were required on the site to help the campaign.
Most importantly an easy to use on-line registration form where visitors could
register their details there and then on the website without having to be sent
off to another site. Only the minimum amount of information as required from
the visitor to allow for a valid registration to be passed onto BT, this kept
the registration form simple and trouble free.
The site also includes a discussion forum where people can have discussions
about Broadband, the campaign, the technology e.t.c. The forum also allows
for other local gossip to be posted, this would help bring a sense of community
to the whole campaign.
The site was not just about getting registrations, visitors could keep track
of the progress towards the targets of the campaign on a regular basis as the
site was updated daily with the latest news which affected the campaign. Probably
the best feature of the site was a graph which showed how many registrations
had been achieved so far and how far the campaign was from it's target! This
information was pulled automatically, without any user intervention from the
BT tracker website on a daily basis and cached locally on the broadband4lhanbryde.co.uk
website. This reduced the load on the BT web servers as well as speeding up
the site because information was taken from the local server instead of having
to pull the information from elsewhere every time a page was being viewed.
There was an additional feature implemented which would allow the administrator
to override the update process throughout the day if a jump in registrations
were detected. This means that the latest results could be cached at anytime
without having to wait until the automated update the following day.
of results was not just for the Lhanbryde telephone exchange. The site also
included a list of exchanges in the local region (Moray) and kept up to date
details on the progress of those other exchanges in the same way the information
was gathered from the BT site of the Lhanbryde exchange and cached locally.
Now you can see why the caching was useful! Pulling details of several exchange
details from a 3rd party web server would have slowed down the campaign website
dramatically and would have had an adverse affect on the BT site. The downside
of the caching was that the details were not updated in real-time but for the
purpose of the campaign, a daily update was all that was required.
In order to keep the site user friendly and attract more visitors there were
also featured added which allowed someone to refer a friend to the campaign
website quickly and easily, by simply entering in their email address and their
friends email address into a form on the left hand side of most pages on the
site. The result would be the referred friend would receive a friendly email
informing them that a friend of their has visited the site and suggested that
they might be interested in taking a look! (Thankfully this service was never
abused by spammers)
As part of keeping the local residents information about what was going on,
there was another option allowing users to signup for a Newsletter which was
sent out on a regular basis to keep people interested in the campaign and
keep them up to date with the campaign, incase they had not been checking the
site as often as they would have liked. The signup process was easy and painless.
A visitor interested in signing up for the newsletter would simply enter their
email address into a small box at the left hand side of the and press submit.
It's that easy! If a user decided they no longer wanted to receive the newsletter
then there were instructions in the email newsletter sent out which directed
them to another page on the site where they could un register for the newsletter,
simply by confirming their email address.
Despite trying to keep the information on the site as clear as possible without
being too techie, there were a few pages describing exactly what ASDL Broadband
is and why it is important to register. Other useful pages included what sort
of computer system was required for access Broadband services, also a page
detailing the costs involved with getting an ASDL Broadband line installed
in your home. These costs were clear cut with no tricky wording to confuse
the visitor. If anyone was ever confused by the content on the site, they could
easily leave some feedback by using the contact form form available on the
Overall the site was a great success. Many rewarding emails were received
stating how good the site was and how helpful it has been to the understanding
of broadband. The site later spawned off a 'sister' site Broadband4Longmorn.
Taking the same basic site and using it for another local Broadband campaign
for the Longmorn exchange.
So, your probably wondering, was the campaign a success? I'm pleased to say
yes it was! Just before we turned the page into 2004 the campaign reached it's
target registration level and the Lhanbryde telephone Exchange was upgraded
to support ADSL Broadband on the 26th May 2004!...
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