Communities in furthest reaches of county starting to get access: from Penzance in the far West to Torpoint in the East and Newquay in the North
About 4,000 Cornish homes and businesses already using superfast broadband - and orders are flooding in
A major milestone was reached today in Cornwalls rapid roll-out of superfast broadband.
Superfast Cornwall, the pioneering partnership between the EU, BT and Cornwall Council, announced that a quarter of all Cornish homes and businesses now have access to the high-speed technology.
Superfast broadband has just started to become available in Newquay, Penzance, Torpoint, Lostwithiel and the villages of Pensilva and Probus. About 66,000 Cornish premises can now get the service with the technology operating in 35 of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly's 100 telephone exchange areas.
Ranulf Scarbrough, BT's Superfast Cornwall programme director, said: "This is great progress. The fact that we have just brought superfast fibre broadband to communities as far afield as Penzance in the far West, Torpoint in the East and Newquay in the North helps demonstrate the scale and breadth of the roll-out. We are well on course to reaching 100,000 premises during the Spring."
Nigel Ashcroft, programme director of Superfast Cornwall for Cornwall Development Company, which manages the £132 million Superfast Cornwall initiative, said: "The momentum of the roll-out programme is matched by Cornwall's enthusiasm for this exciting technology. We're now seeing over 200 Cornish homes and businesses signing up to superfast broadband each week with about 4,000 premises already using this exciting technology.
"There are many examples of firms and individuals transforming their businesses and their lives with superfast broadband. It can give businesses a competitive edge and offer a wide range of educational and entertainment opportunities for households. We plan to boost take-up even further to ensure the maximum contribution to the future prosperity of our communities."
Among the Cornish businesses reaping the rewards of superfast broadband is Boutique Retreats, a company offering luxury self catering holidays, which is based in a converted engine house in St Agnes.
Philippa Barton, who established the business in 2007, said: "Superfast broadband is incredible, totally brilliant! It is making everything so much easier for us and means the world is our oyster.
"Our customers are generally high net worth individuals with very little time to spare, so it is vital that the website experience we offer is completely swish and instantaneous. We recently invested in a new website and now all the features, such as the online booking and the videos, are running at peak performance.
"We can upload new videos in a second to keep the content fresh and, of course, superfast makes it far easier to upload videos and photos to social network sites, to raise our profile.
"Now we have superfast, we are using a brilliant VoIP (Voice over internet protocol) system and we routinely hold telephone conferences with owners overseas - in California, Canada or Europe. The quality is superb; it is as though we are in the same room.
"We have set up a virtual private network and so now around 10 people can access our systems from remote locations. This includes our IT support staff so any glitches of any kind can be sorted out in a flash."
The Superfast Cornwall partnership expects to make fibre optic broadband available to at least 80 per cent of premises in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by the end of 2014. Alternative technologies, such as wireless and satellite, will be used to boost broadband speeds in locations where optical fibre is not currently viable.
Up to £53.5 million of the funding is coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Convergence Programme, the largest ever single European investment in broadband infrastructure, whilst BT is investing up to £78.5 million.
A superfast broadband connection allows people to do much more online, all at the same time. For example, a family can download a movie, watch a TV replay service, surf the net and play games online simultaneously. The latest chart hit can be downloaded in around two seconds and a CD in 30 seconds. Upload speeds are the fastest in the UK, with large video and data files being sent almost instantly. Posting hi-resolution photos on Facebook takes seconds.
The new network is available on an open wholesale basis to all companies offering broadband services. Customers can check their phone line at www.superfastcornwall.org to see if they can get the service straightaway and, if so, there are a number of internet service providers from which to choose. Prices start from £16.49 per month. Introductory offers can be even cheaper.
For further information
Enquiries about this news release should be made to the BT Regional Press Office on 0800 085 0660 or Cornwall Development Company on 01209 311104. All news releases can be accessed at: http://www.btplc.com/News.
For further information on the Superfast Cornwall programme visit www.superfastcornwall.org
Notes to Editors
*In addition to the communities announced today, superfast broadband is already becoming available in the following telephone exchange areas: Truro, Liskeard, Launceston, Bude, Bodmin, St Austell, Falmouth, Redruth, Camborne, Marazion, Coads Green, Widemouth, Dobwalls, Chiverton Cross/Chacewater, St Agnes, St Day, Portreath, Devoran, Leedstown, Stenalees, Lanivet, Penryn, Porthtowan, Gunnislake, Par, Callington, Roche, Cockwells and Kilkhampton.
Superfast fibre optic broadband can be delivered as "fibre to the cabinet" (FTTC) or "fibre to the premises" (FTTP). FTTC is where the fibre connection is from the exchange to the street side cabinet with the remainder of the connection being over copper. FTTC provides download speeds of up to 40Mbps and upload speeds of up to 10Mbps. Technical improvements should see these headline speeds roughly double from the Spring of this year. FTTP is where the fibre connection runs all the way from the exchange to the customers premises. This technology typically provides download speeds of up to 100Mbps and upload speeds of up to 15Mbps. And from this Spring FTTP download speeds will be boosted to up to 300Mbps.
Further information about next generation broadband is available from www.bt.com/ngb
About the Convergence Programme
The Superfast Cornwall programme is part financed by the European Union with up to £53.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme.
For further information see: www.convergencecornwall.com
Convergence helpline telephone: 0800 028 0120.
In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly the Convergence programmes are made up of European Regional Development Fund (£374 million) and European Social Fund (£153 million) Convergence Programmes and will run until 2013.
The ERDF Programme investment is intended to boost the region's economy by providing focussed support for business creating better quality, higher paid jobs. This support includes training and access to higher education, strengthening links between academia and business, improved IT infrastructure, additional high quality workspace and specialist support to boost business productivity.
About Cornwall Development Company
Cornwall Development Company Ltd is the economic development company for Cornwall Council and its mission is to achieve sustainable prosperity for all in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Further information is available at www.cornwalldevelopmentcompany.co.uk
Openreach is responsible for the last mile of the UK access network - the copper wires and fibre connecting homes and businesses to their local telephone exchanges. Openreach provides communications providers with services and products associated with that network.
BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach.
In the year ended 31 March 2011, BT Group's revenue was £20,076m with profit before taxation of £1,717m.
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
For more information, visit www.btplc.com