Skip Navigation

Superfast to arrive early in parts of Cornwall
Tuesday 25 October 2011 18:20:50 by Andrew Ferguson

While there has been news of slower than expected roll-out for Openreach Fibre to the Premises projects, the Fibre to the Cabinet solution appears to be progressing well, particularly down in Cornwall. Some nine communities are looking at getting the superfast service at least three months ahead of schedule according to Comms Dealer.

The current timeline means that by March 2012, some 90,000 Cornish homes and businesses will have access to the superfast network installed by Openreach and available through a range of broadband providers. The total number of homes in Cornwall being around the 220,000 mark. The FTTC and FTTP products are not expected to provide total coverage, and this has been the case since the announcement of the Superfast Cornwall initiative, with expectations that up to 20% will receive a broadband upgrade through wireless, satellite or other technology.

The areas looking to get the service earlier than expected are Liskeard, Callington, Launceston, Dobwalls, Bude, Kilkhampton, Marhamchurch (near Widemouth Bay), Drakewalls (near Gunnislake) and North Hill (near Coads Green) with service expected to be active by the end of December 2011.

"We are working hard to make faster broadband available to as many homes and businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as quickly as possible. As the engineering and survey work progressed we found it was possible to start in these exchange areas earlier than expected. It's a great Christmas present for the homes and businesses in these communities! Superfast Cornwall is an excellent example to other parts of the UK of the private and public sectors working together to achieve great results. Over the coming months this first major phase of the roll-out will make superfast broadband available to a further 700 Cornish homes and businesses each day."

Jon Reynolds, BT's South West regional director

In terms of numbers apparently the project will involve some 130,000 kilometres of fibre, upgrades in 100 telephone exchanges and 500 new green street cabinets. Also the recent news of the Access Network Frequency Plan being changed to allow the VDSL2 17a profile to be used rather than the current 8c profile, means that rather than some 7 MHz being available on the copper elements, this will expand to 17 MHz. The result being maximum downstream speeds will rise from 40 Mbps to 80 Mbps, the changes will involve trials in the first three months of 2012, followed by a product launch later in 2012.

While a fibre to the cabinet architecture is not perfect, it will remove a large section of copper wiring for those able to receive the product and thus vastly improve their broadband speeds and for businesses bring the option of vastly improved upload speeds. On our forums we see many people wondering about upgrading due to the online speed estimates returning what seem to be low figures, this is mainly because Openreach has chosen to provide conservative estimates that often work on worst case assumptions, to date the vast majority of people are connecting at well over the estimate, whereas with ADSL and ADSL2+ products the opposite was often the case.


Posted by MaddogBattie over 5 years ago
Anybody know what percentage are FTTC and what are FTTP? I would also be interested to know where each type end up. I guess FTTP ends up where there are a lot of houses close together which means my little hamlet will end up with FTTC. Oh well, only another 2 years to wait...
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
The thing is this type of national roll-out takes over 10 years... most european nations started pilot fibre rollouts in the first half of the 2000s, starting proper in the middle of the 2000s. Smaller and more densely populated nations like Belgium and Holland are well advanced. France which is of a similar size, is still looking to 2020 to get 60% FTTP. Some come first and others last, fact of life.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
On the FTTP/C split original figures suggest a 50% split, though the delayed roll-out, i.e. the amount of time to complete the civil works means we are likely to see the cabinets finished first.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
and public money is used to provide 'alternative technology' to the final third. stinks.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago

better public money to deliver to final third, than no money and nothing for final third.
Posted by fastman over 5 years ago

there will alwasy be a mixed economy of Fibre and wireless and alternative (majority fibre) think quite a few of these exchanges are Market 1 and therefore not likley to have done under commercial model (Liskeard, Callington, Launceston, Dobwalls, Bude, Kilkhampton, Marhamchurch (near Widemouth Bay), Drakewalls (near Gunnislake) and North Hill (near Coads Green)

Think alterative technology will feature in all bids for some small and heavily remote areas unless you DIY and fund yourself -- but they youd be a Communication provider

Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
Usual response from cd, why is it 'alternative'. Anyone in Cornwall or the industry complaining?
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Mostly EU money CD. As others have said would you rather no public money is spent and they get nothing?

I'm sure the residents of Cornwall would say different.

You still seem obsessed by the fibre everywhere dream, not sure how many times it can be repeated but alternative technology means more people benefit rather than your narrow minded lets do FTTH and cover virtually no-one.
Posted by New_Londoner over 5 years ago
IIRC only about a third of the total cost is public money, the rest is from the private sector - BT. It shows competitive tendering works well, gets value for (our taxpayers) money.

If I only had to pay a third of the price to get something I wanted I'd be pleased!
Posted by chrysalis over 5 years ago
I think the UK quite possibly has the best rural access in the world, but also probably one of the worst urban.
Posted by ypmud over 5 years ago
im amused by this i live in cornwall falmouth to be precise and im curious how much money is being put in by the other providers ? answers on the back of a post card please.

also i would be very happy with fttc means no more 9mb speed unfortunately my isp wont be providing the service when it goes live next march so im tempted to get my own line fitted in my room and accept the silly figure of the 30 quid a month service from bt shame really if the other providers actually helped out bt they wouldnt be stinging silly money for new tech
Posted by creakycopperline over 5 years ago
GMAN99 another statement i agree with.
this scaes me lol
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
Steady on! Convergence in opinion!

Some developments in my village, FTTC cabinet appeared for my road and the surrounds. Looking forward to when it goes live and to going from 1.5-2.5 Mbps to ~35 Mbps.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Lucky you, I'm looking forward to our exchange getting ADSL2+ on Monday! Although as I only get 3.7Mbps now I'm not getting my hopes up :|
Posted by ypmud over 5 years ago
I wouldnt hold your breath gman that sounds poor only getting 3.7mb
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.