As widely expected the contract between Cornwall Council and BT has been signed, the plan announced in January 2015 was to start an extension contract to take superfast fibre coverage to 99% of premises across the County.
The £7.6m contract includes £1.23m of BT money and £2.96m from the Governments Superfast Extension programme. The time line is such that the first phase running from July 2015 to March 2017 will deliver fibre based broadband to 99% of premises (superfast to 89%) and then subsequent to this work will run until 2019 to take the superfast target to 99%. The targets suggesting a continuation of the current FTTC and FTTP mixture initially, but with infill using FTTrN, G.Fast or FTTP in areas where VDSL2 is below the superfast threshold.
|thinkbroadband calculation of Cornwall Superfast Coverage - 9th June 2015|
|Area||% fibre based||% superfast (>30 Mbps)||% cable||% Openreach FTTP||% Under 2 Mbps USC||% Under 5 Mbps (new USO)||% Under 15 Mbps|
|Camborne & Redruth||93.7%||80.6%||0%||31.2%||2%||5%||12.6%|
|Isles of Scilly||94.6%||84.4%||0%||0%||0%||4.5%||11.9%|
|South East Cornwall||88%||67.6%||15.2%||9.5%||4.8%||11%||22%|
|St Austell & Newquay||94%||79.4%||0%||20.6%||2.4%||4.8%||11.3%|
|Truro & Falmouth||89.6%||76%||0%||28.6%||1.6%||4.4%||12.2%|
Our analysis of what has been delivered to date shows the progress down in Cornwall and the almost unparalleled amount of native FTTP, where for example in the St Ives constituency 1 in 3 premises have access to FTTP at 40 to 330 Mbps speeds. Cornwall accounts for almost one third of the GEA-FTTP rolled out by Openreach since 2009.
"We’ve seen the transformational potential that access to superfast broadband can bring so it is crucial that we continue to increase our fibre broadband capability to enable more Cornish businesses to benefit from access to superfast speeds. Increased connectivity also underpins opportunities to specialise in new and emerging markets in areas such as the digital economy, creative, e-health, space and aerospace related industries."Chris Pomfret, Chairman of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership
The original Superfast Cornwall project was done without any funding directly from Westminster and arguably was the showcase for what Openreach and BT could deliver when the phase one BDUK contracts were up for grabs. Now that the project has come into the fold with the extension funding from distant Westminster it will be interesting to see if the same degree of innovation takes place, e.g. will Cornwall be the place where G.Fast is put through its paces to allow slow FTTC lines to bypass superfast and enjoy ultrafast speeds (ultrafast being a service with 100 Mbps or faster downloads).