Super-fast broadband has gone live in parts of Cornwall under a £132 million investment programme launched last year by BT with additional funding provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The new faster broadband service is available to over 1,000 customers with 14,000 more expected to be live in a matter of days. 50 customers in the area have already been connected. Around 80% of households and businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are expected to have access to faster broadband through this deployment by 2014.
The first enabled areas are Chiverton Cross and Chacewater with St Agnes, St Day, Portreath, Devoran, Leedstown, Stenalees and Par expected to be live before the end of the month. These first enablements are part of a pilot scheme being run in advance of the main roll-out which is expected to focus initially in South East Cornwall. The original announcement of the scheme quoted a high penetration of full fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) at around 50% which will offer a fast (up-to 110Mbps) and future proof option to many people in the area, but pilot connections are on a fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) basis which offers only up-to 40Mbps.
"Already this scheme is starting to make an important contribution to the success of the Cornwall economy and to the lives of Cornish residents. We have a team of about 50 engineers, contractors, planners and technicians working together to ensure that the project is able to deliver the immense benefits of super-fast broadband to customers in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as soon as possible. The amount of optical fibre cable already installed - more than 150 kilometres - would stretch more than the length of Cornwall."Ranulf Scarbrough, (Superfast Cornwall programme director) BT
Fibre, whether it be full FTTH or FTTC, won't make it to everyone in Cornwall however. Those left out will see access provided via other means such as Wireless or Satellite, which may not offer quite such a 'super-fast' solution. It should however improve on current access technology in the region. More details about the plans to deliver faster broadband in the region can be found on the Cornwall Development Company website.