Your Questions Answered

What is superfast broadband, ultrafast broadband and Gigabit broadband?

Superfast broadband is now taken to mean broadband speeds of 30+Mbps and ultrafast broadband speeds of 100+Mbps. However definitions do change over time.

Gigabit broadband means a broadband speed of 1+Gbps (i.e. 1000+Mbps).

What is FTTP, full fibre, FTTC and fibre broadband?

With FTTP (Fibre to the Premises), the fibre-optic cable runs all the way into the premises, giving very fast speeds of up to 1Gbps (1000Mbps).

FTTP is also known as Full Fibre.

With FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet), the fibre-optic cable runs as far as the green roadside cabinet and your copper telephone line is then used to deliver the last leg of the service. Speeds of up to 80Mbps are possible with this service.

With FTTC, your maximum speed will depend very much on the length of your copper telephone line from the cabinet. The vast majority of lines will support a maximum ‘superfast’ speed of 30Mbps. You can still upgrade your service if you are further away from the cabinet and get speeds of between 2-30Mbps. Although these are not ‘superfast’ speeds by the new definition, they will provide uplift in speeds for the vast majority of premises.

The term ‘fibre broadband’ is taken to include both superfast speeds of 30Mbps and slower speeds that can be delivered over the FTTC network of 2-30Mbps.

Can I get fibre broadband in Cornwall?

Please refer to the Getting Connected page.

Which industrial estates & business parks are covered by fibre broadband?

A large number of Industrial Estates and Business Parks are covered by fibre broadband. Please see the list here for further information.

If you believe there are fibre enabled Industrial Estates or Business Parks not covered on this list, please email us info@superfastcornwall.org and let us know.

What about the premises that can’t get 30+Mbps superfast broadband?

At the end of 2020 there were c45,000 premises that could not get 30+Mbps superfast broadband, of which c13,000 were on sub-15Mbps speeds.

If you can only get very slow speeds you can investigate alternative options including wireless broadband, satellite broadband and mobile broadband over 4G network - please see our Alternative Solutions page for further information, including the funding available towards the costs of this.

How do I find out about mobile broadband?

In some circumstances you may want to consider using a 4G (mobile) signal to provide you with broadband. Although this is not part of the Superfast Cornwall programme, the main mobile providers do have 3G and 4G services which at times provide coverage in areas beyond the fibre footprint. You can investigate coverage here

Weaker signals can be boosted by using an external antenna or a directional internal antenna such as a WiBE or EE Home Broadband Box.

Most mobile broadband packages have a data cap. If you are unsure how much data you are likely to need, there is a data calculator tool which may be useful to you.

If you require any further information please contact the Superfast Cornwall office on 01872 324991.

What is Fibre on Demand or FTTP on Demand (FOD)?

Fibre on Demand or FTTP on Demand (FOD) will allow some businesses connected to a fibre enabled cabinet to order a direct fibre to the premises (FTTP) connection. This is a premium service that will come with a significant connection charge.

FOD is a product that is available from Openreach to service providers. At present we are only aware of a few providers that are choosing to make this available to end users. These providers are FluidOne, Amvia & Cerberus Networks

If you are a business with less that 30Mbps broadband, this could be a solution to boost your speeds, please contact us to discuss possible funding oprions.

When fibre broadband becomes available will my broadband connection speed get faster automatically?

No, fibre broadband will not just automatically switch on. To get fibre broadband in Cornwall, you'll need to first check your line and then place an order with your chosen Internet Service Provider (ISP) – please see our 'Getting Connected' page.

My connection seems unreliable, how do I get this looked into?

The best thing to do initially is to run some speed tests using a checker like www.speedtest.net. You should try and do the tests by plugging into the router if possible, if you have to use WiFi then run the test in the same room as your wireless router. You should run several tests at different times of day, some at quieter times early morning and others at the busiest time of day in late afternoon and evening. Remember that broadband does not guarantee your fastest speed all the time, and will tend to slow down at the busiest times of day. There are some other useful tips on our Staying Superfast fact sheet that you can work through.

If it does look like your speeds are slow due to a fault with the connection, you will need to contact your service provider.

What does Mbps mean?

Mbps (or Mb/s) stands for Megabits per second, the way in which internet speeds are measured. One bit means one piece of basic information, and one Megabit is a million pieces of information.

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is when software and data are no longer hosted on your computer, but remotely at a data centre, which means you can access the 'cloud' wherever and whenever you need it, and from any internet enabled device (laptops, tablets, phones etc.) Fibre broadband will allow more businesses and homes in Cornwall to take advantage of cloud computing, bringing cost and time-saving benefits, plus greater flexibility when it comes to how, when and where you access the internet.

You're probably using cloud computing already, without even realising it, through things like email accounts, Facebook, You Tube and Google Maps. Some cloud computing services are free and some are available as a pay-as you-go option.

For businesses in particular, cloud computing offers a lower cost solution, keeping technology-based capital expenditure down. Users can access the most sophisticated software and applications without having to purchase them outright.

There are a range of cloud computing services available, here are just a few examples:

  • Amazon EC2 - virtual IT
  • Google App Engine - application hosting
  • Google Apps - software as a service
  • Apple MobileMe - network storage

Other business specific applications, like CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems, are available from a number of suppliers.

What is a virtual private network (VPN)?

A virtual private network (VPN) is a computer network that enables remote offices or individual employees to get secure access to their organisation's network. This network uses encryption and other security mechanisms to ensure only authorised users can access the network and that data cannot be intercepted.

Companies and organisations use a VPN to communicate confidentiality over the internet, sending text, voice, video or other data to remote workers, offices or partners around the globe. Fibre broadband in Cornwall means businesses can utilise a VPN, enabling greater flexibility, including home working, which can bring many benefits, in terms of productivity, cost savings and work-life balance.

Grants and Specialist Digital Advice

What support is available from Superfast 3 – Inclusive Growth?

12 hours of expert business support to assess and recommend digital solutions that enhance your business operations.  We have specialist Business Digital Consultants that work 1-2-1 with you.

Fully funded broadband connection solutions if your current download speed is below 30Mbps.  We can offer 100% funding to cover a new connection.

Grants of up to 80% of costs (max £6,000) towards new digital solutions that help you work cheaper, faster and better.

Is my business eligible for support?

To be eligible for the Superfast 3 – Inclusive Growth programme, your business must:

  • Be based in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly
  • Have no more than 250 employees and less than €50m turnover per year
  • Be actively engaged in an economic activity
  • Be formed as a sole trader, partnership, company or other recognised structure
  • Be in an eligible sector. Most businesses are included, but we can only support farming business with diversification and cannot support retail businesses with physical infrastructure but can assist with solutions to trade online (if you are applying from a farming or retail business, please discuss your requirements first with a member of the team).
  • Our aim is to reach businesses that cannot get support from other projects, so we will check this and may refer you on to another more suitable project for support
Can start-up businesses apply for a grant?

Yes, start-up businesses can apply for a grant. You will just need to provide more evidence such as:

  • Financial forecast for your first year of business and ideally for 3 years (in the form of a business plan or business case with financial forecasting.)
  • A good description of your business and why there is a market for it (gap in the market, demand greater than supply, no other businesses doing anything similar etc…)
What is involved in the 12hrs support?

We have experienced Business Digital Consultants that work with you to assess how you can develop your business with new digital solutions.  Support is typically provided through 9 individual hours of face to face support (either physically or via video conferencing) and attendance of a 3hr workshop chosen by you from a range of topics.  An initial meeting will help clarify your priorities and tailor the information, advice and guidance to be provided.

What if my business is on slow broadband speeds (less than 30Mbps)?

If your business is currently receiving speeds of less than 30Mbps, you should initially check the Openreach website https://www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband to see what the fastest expected speed is. If this is less than 30Mbps, you can apply for a grant to fully fund the cost of installation and equipment towards an alternative broadband solution. Further information is available here https://www.superfastcornwall.org/getting-connected/alternative-solutions/. You can email info@superfastcornwall.org for an application form or for further assistance about broadband grants.

What can a digital solution grant cover?

There are many digital solutions that can benefit your business both internally and externally.  This could include moving from analogue systems to digital for better customer management, as well as improving digital communications to attract more business.

Some examples include, a first website (or additional functionality like e-commerce or training platform to an existing website), digital marketing, setting up systems in the ‘cloud’, accountancy solutions, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and even equipment such as a digital camera/tripod etc where there is a business application..  However, this is not an exhaustive list and we are keen to hear what will make a difference for your business.

A Business Grant can cover up to 80% of costs up to a maximum of £6,000.

Can I apply for a grant if I have had other funding?

Yes, if you have had less than £170k of public funding within the past 3 years, you can still apply. If your organisation has received any Public sector funding over the last 3 years you will need to provide details of the funding so we can confirm eligibility. If you have previously received public funding, you should have received confirmation in writing confirming the funding source. We will use this information to ensure you have not exceeded State Aid funding limits and are eligible for any help the Superfast Cornwall programme can offer you.

Do I need to provide any quotes for items/work requested in my application?

We require a minimum of one quote to be submitted with your application.  Quotes should be on the supplier’s headed paper, dated and addressed to you as a response to your initial request for a quote stating what you need. If the quote is an internet screenshot this must contain the date, VAT registration details and delivery charge information. Quotes can also be a screen shot from a website or email threads of correspondence but must contain all the above quote information.

Although we only require one quote with your application, it is prudent to obtain a few quotes to get the best value for money.

Do I need to provide any costs up-front?

The work must be paid for after you have been approved for a grant, but before you claim your grant. This means we need to see you are able to cover the up-front costs of the work before a decision can be made on your application. This is typically achieved by providing a bank statement showing sufficient funds to cover the cost of work as described in your application. If you have insufficient funds available and are concerned you cannot access the grant support, please let us know so that we can look at options that work for you.

If it does look like your speeds are slow due to a fault with the connection, you will need to contact your service provider.

What if I am ineligible for a grant through “Superfast 3 – Inclusive Growth” but my broadband speed is slow?

If you are receiving a broadband speed of below 15Mbps, there is another scheme running which is funded by Cornwall Council. This is the Superfast Cornwall Grant Scheme and offers up to £1,700 per property towards an alternative broadband solution. This can be for both residential and business properties. Further information is available here https://www.superfastcornwall.org/getting-connected/alternative-solutions/.