Not covered by the Superfast Cornwall programme?
If your premises do not fall within the current Superfast Cornwall programme plans for receiving fibre broadband, there are a number of options that you could consider. Whilst each has its own pros and cons, these broadband alternatives could help provide significant improvements in speeds for people on slow and possibly unreliable broadband.
Privately Funded Fibre Solution
Check out Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnership, which will enable properties to fund a fibre based superfast broadband solution The team at Openreach will provide you with a quote using the most appropriate fibre technology for your area. This will usually be a Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) solution.
A wireless network is capable of providing superfast broadband speeds to many properties, particularly those in rural areas which have poor broadband speeds over the long phone lines. Wireless services often provide uncapped monthly data allowances and will usually be much easier to install than upgrading the wired broadband network. The wireless footprint is expanding in Cornwall, so please contact one of the wireless providers if interested.
In some cases, you may be able to access a superfast solution near your proeprty. You could then use a wireless link to transmit the signal to the location you need it.
Cornwall has seen recent improvements in mobile coverage, particularly 4G, which is capable of providing superfast broadband services to many locations beyond the superfast fibre footprint. You can check the current availability of 4G broadband services using the Ofcom mobile coverage checker.
Some people use a more sensitive internal device that will pick up a weaker signal if placed in a window. This can give a much faster and more reliable service than using your phone or a small dongle. Superfast Cornwall have a couple of such devices that we can loan out for a short test. Email us for details.
Others have installed even more sensitive external antenna, which can give even better speeds. Mobile broadband is beyond the scope of the Superfast Cornwall programme, so you would need to arrange your own solution with a mobile provider of your choice.
A satellite broadband connection is available virtually anywhere, and can now provide superfast download speeds of up to 40Mbps. Satellite has an inherent delay due to the distances involved, but you should get used to this when using applications like Skype and general web surfing.
Satellite and Mobile Broadband
Please note that both satellite and mobile services tend to have a monthly download limit. Some satellite services do allow unlimited overnight downloads.
You should seek professional advice (e.g. from your IT provider) to check that all the services you plan to use are compatible with a satellite or mobile connection and whether any reconfiguration is required for things like your network, router and email set-up. Carefully consider your expected use before signing a contract for a satellite or mobile service.
There is support available to help you pay for alternative solutions
Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme
The Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme has been revamped. As before, the scheme provides vouchers of up to £2,500 for businesses to connect to a Full Fibre solution (i.e. Fibre to the Premises – FTTP) and up to £500 for residents, willing to connect to a 100Mbps service. Details are available at gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk
Rural areas are now able to benefit from an enhanced scheme providing up to £3,500 for businesses and £1,500 for residents willing to commit to a 30Mbps service. Details are available at gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/rural
Superfast Cornwall is encouraging businesses and residents that are beyond any existing superfast broadband rollout plans to apply to this scheme.
This scheme could be used to contribute towards the costs of a Full Fibre solution, for example through Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnership scheme at communityfibre.openreach.co.uk, by aggregating the vouchers available across a number of premises. Openreach are a listed supplier on the scheme, so you should be able to work with Openreach to access the government contribution.
Superfast Cornwall Grant Scheme
The Superfast Cornwall grant scheme is funded by Cornwall Council, and will be available to most registered properties not covered in the 2018-2020 rollout, as long as their broadband speeds are less than 15Mbps. This could be used to contribute towards the set-up costs of any viable technical solution capable of delivering superfast speeds, including fibre, 4G mobile, wireless and satellite.
Properties eligible for the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS)
Properties that are eligible for the GBVS must first make an application for GBVS vouchers. This is particularly important for businesses as up to £2,500 per business (including sole traders) is available. If this does not raise sufficient funding, then an application to the Superfast Cornwall Grants Scheme can be made.
Properties not eligible for the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS)
Properties that are not eligible for the GBVS can apply for a maximum of £1,700 from the Superfast Cornwall Grants Scheme. This could be used to cover the costs of fibre, 4G mobile, wireless or satellite solutions.
If you would like to discuss the Superfast Cornwall Grant Scheme or for an application form please email us or call 01872 324991. You should wait until you have your Grant Offer Letter before paying for an installation from your chosen provider. Note that some properties are not eligible for the scheme, including those subject to a Holiday Occupancy Restriction and New Builds. (See FAQ).
Avanti Superfast Satellite Broadband Project
The Superfast Satellite Broadband project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will provide SME businesses across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with up to 40Mbps broadband speeds. The scheme enables businesses, which currently cannot get access to superfast broadband, to take up a 40Mbps service with subsidised installation and service charges. Find out more at Avanti.
Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme
The Better Broadband Voucher Scheme is a UK-wide government subsidy scheme to provide an affordable, basic broadband installation to homes and businesses that are unable to access a broadband service with a download speed of at least 2 Mbps – and who will not benefit from the superfast broadband roll out within the next 12 months.
Since its launch in December 2015, the scheme has boosted the broadband speeds of more than 20,000 homes and businesses in some of the hardest to reach areas of the UK.
Households and businesses that are eligible to take advantage of the scheme have the installation and hardware costs of their connection subsidised to ensure their first year costs are no more than £400.
To find out more about the scheme and whether your premises could be eligible please go to: https://basicbroadband.culture.gov.uk/