Broadband News

Cornwall to decide on whether to spend to reach 99% superfast target

Cornwall has been ahead of the curve for first generation and fibre based broadband, and with 23% of households having the option to buy a FTTP service it has the largest proportion of FTTP in the UK.

The Cornish County Council is set to debate whether to go ahead and match the £2.96m of funding from Westminster to extend the current target of 95% of households having access to a fibre based solution (council estimate is that 85% will get superfast speeds). This 95% target should be reached in March 2015 as more FTTC and FTTP areas go live each week.

The council is considering putting £2.5m from the council’s capital programme EU match funding budget and another £500,000 plus an unknown amount of investment by the commercial partner which one presumes will be BT. This extra money is thought to be enough to take superfast coverage to 99% of households and businesses in the county.

The next round of work will be done in two phases, the first running from July 2015 to March 2017 will focus on getting fibre based broadband to 99% of premises (around 89% superfast) and then another phase will run from April 2017 to March 2019 that will boost the speeds for those already on a fibre based solution to superfast speeds to result in 99% at superfast speeds.

We would expect the first phase to be not unlike the existing roll-outs, with FTTC, FTTP and maybe some of the newer FTTrN for those small communities where FTTP would be too costly. The second phase will be interesting as it is likely to be addressing those who can already get FTTC, but at slower speeds e.g. 5 to 10 Mbps and the Surrey BDUK project with its use of FTTP for infill in slow areas provides a clue as to what may happen.

The geography of Cornwall means that the distance limitations of FTTC are more acutely felt than most other parts of the UK, hence why even official estimates suggest a 10% gap where people do not get superfast speeds. Our own figures estimate that this gap may actually be closer to 15%. For other counties in the UK, the gap is often in the 3 to 5% region and illustrates why so much FTTP has been used in Cornwall already.


I got the impression that phase 2 is not yet funded - and is waiting for more EU funds.

I wonder if the year's delay to FTTRN will allow its use in phase 1, or phase 2.

  • WWWombat
  • over 6 years ago

About the last para, on geography vs percentage who don't get SFBB speeds...

Cornwall isn't the worst for population density. North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Northumberland all have half the density or less.

Any noticeable gap in those counties?

  • WWWombat
  • over 6 years ago

North Yorks yes, not so bad in Northumberland and the standard gap for Cumbria.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 6 years ago

I'm in Cornwall and honestly I find the total randomness of the FTTP rollout infuriating.

I've seen streets where half of it is FTTP and then you see a PCP and FTTC cabinet for the remaining half. Or, in one case, a rural farmhouse have an FTTP splitter mounted on the pole that exclusively serves that house.

Meanwhile I'm on FTTC but a 5 minute walk takes me to a part of the village with FTTP.

  • ivhr
  • over 6 years ago

I'm also in Cornwall and agree with ivhr about the randomness of the rollout.
In my village half has FTTC but the other half is still on ADSL. I'm in the lucky half and have had FTTC for 18 months but the rest are being told they may get it by April.

  • GrahamMills
  • over 6 years ago

I'm also in rural Cornwall. I moved from Maidenhead a few months ago, where I got 60Mbps down via Virgin cable.

Here I get between 1.40Mbps and 1.50Mbps down and between 0.3Mbps and 0.4Mbps up via BT. Main reason is that I am 3000mtrs from the Superfast cabinet. I'm now on Broadband over Copper to the exchange - which is about around 7Km away.

All the properties in this area suffer the same problem.

  • silverdove
  • over 6 years ago

I agree with previous writer. I live 4 miles outside Penzance and my 'cupboard'is 2 miles from me. So I
have no chance of any speeds worth talking about. Unless Cornwall U.C fork out for microwave transmission
as some councils have in Dorset.

  • Grahamk47
  • over 6 years ago

I live in Cornwall and our village has FTTC which I live about 400 meters from. I have now gone back to ADSL as it is quicker than the fibre. All the money put into enabling the cabinet is wasted if the local field wiring is a joke.

  • AXL74
  • over 6 years ago

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