Super-fast Broadband Comes to Cornwall


Super-fast broadband will arrive in parts of Cornwall three months ahead of schedule

Nine communities in East Cornwall are set to receive super-fast broadband, three months ahead of schedule.

The high-speed technology will be delivered to a number of communities including Launceston and Bude by December, with 90,000 homes and businesses receiving access to the service by the end of March 2012.

The Big Build

Superfast Cornwall, a partnership between BT, the European Union, Cornwall Council and Cornwall Development Company, is responsible for the huge engineering operation which has been dubbed the “Big Build.”

The project involves laying 130,000 kilometres of optical fibre, upgrading 100 telephone exchanges and the installation of about 500 new green roadside cabinets.

The aim of the project is to provide access to optical fibre broadband to at least 80 percent of premises in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by the end of 2014, with alternative technologies such as wireless and satellite being used to boost speeds in locations where it is not available.

Chris Ridgers, the portfolio holder for economy and regeneration for Cornwall Council, commented “This is great news – it will give local businesses a much deserved boost and help the economy of South East Cornwall at a crucial time of the year.”

Jon Reynolds, BT’s South West regional director, said, “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.”

Around £53.5 million of the funding for the project came from European Regional Development Fund, which aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the EU by correcting imbalances in its regions. Similar funding was used to build a new fibre optic network for residents and businesses in Shetland and forms part of the EU’s plans to invest billions to roll out high speed broadband across Europe.

The EU has adopted several measures in a bid to fulfil its goal of giving every European access to broadband by 2013, one of the key goals of the Digital Agenda for Europe.

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