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Superfast project reveals take-up has passed 60,000 mark
Tuesday 17 March 2015 12:57:07 by Andrew Ferguson

A telephone survey of some 2,200 businesses across Cornwall has revealed some interesting bits of data, with 43% of those surveyed using the fibre broadband that has been rolled out in the last few years across Cornwall.

"The Superfast Cornwall partnership has set the standard across Europe for the roll-out of fibre broadband. Not only does Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have world-leading coverage of fibre broadband for a rural area, but also we are seeing a great response from local businesses and households, which have been quick to recognise the great opportunities offered by this exciting technology. This is a great achievement when you consider that Superfast Cornwall was only first announced in late 2010."

Ranulf Scarbrough, Superfast Cornwall programme director for BT

The survey delved a bit deeper into the benefits businesses perceived from the access to a fibre based solution, and 52% felt the faster broadband solution had helped them grow and 79% indicated that they had saved money and/or time once upgraded. The issue of home working cropped up and 49% indicated that they were now able to have employees working remotely or from home.

The Superfast Cornwall project is not complete yet and is pushing towards 95% coverage of fibre based broadband, and with take-up running at more than 60,000 premises (representing nearly 25% of all premises in the county ) the £132 million project is leading the race in showing what is possible in very challenging countryside.

Reviewing our own data that we have on Cornwall, the current roll-out appears to have hit 90% with access to fibre based broadband, but once you add a 30 Mbps speed qualifier this drops to 72.8%. This drop is even with Cornwall having FTTP available to 23.6% of premises in the county, and really reflects the reality of the widely dispersed rural nature of the county. The average speeds from our speed test for Cornwall indicate a median download of 9.8 Mbps (mean 17.3 Mbps) and median upload 0.8 Mbps (mean 3.6 Mbps). The large gap between the median and mean values really shows the difference between those that have upgraded to a fibre based solution and those that have not. The speeds may seem slow but before the project started delivering the median speed was just 1.7 Mbps, with a top quartile speed of 3.6 Mbps.

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