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Local Church Help BT Deploy Superfast Broadband in Cornish Fishing Village

Monday, Aug 6th, 2012 (2:04 pm) - Score 1,398

The coastal fishing village of Polperro in Cornwall (England, UK), which has so far been unable to benefit from the massive £132 MillionBig Build” scheme to roll-out BT’s superfast broadband services around the region (here), has finally found a solution after the local Methodist Church stepped in to help.

Polperro’s layout is similar to a number of fishing villages along the coast. It is built into the side of a hill and features very narrow roads with a distinct “lack of pavements“. As a result BTOpenreach were unable to locate any suitable locations to build the new street cabinet for their superfast Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) service.

Thankfully Rev Ruth Goodland of the local Methodist Church came to the rescue and allowed the operator to build its big green box within their grounds. As a result some locals are now, according to Thinkbroadband, able to enjoy speeds of around 67Mbps (Megabits per second). So far just 20 people have connected to the new service but then it’s only just been installed.

Mark Morris, Manager for BTOpenreachs Local Network, said:

Polperro is a beautiful village, but the narrowness of the roads and the lack of pavements made it impossible to find a roadside location for a new cabinet. Without this equipment, there could be no high-speed broadband in Polperro.

So we started talking to Polperro Methodist Church in the hope that they would allow the equipment to be installed in their church yard. It was really the only location which was viable. Thank heaven, they were tremendously helpful and allowed us to go ahead.”

This certainly marks a much more positive approach than the sometimes scathing criticism of other communities around the UK, where BT’s new cabinets haven’t always been quite so well received (example).

It’s tempting to think that the Polperro model could now be followed in more locations, which is indeed very possible, although at the same time such a solution would not work everywhere; all location have their own particular challenge(s).

Meanwhile the “Big Build” scheme ultimately hopes to makes superfast internet access available to “at least” 80% (ideally 90%) of premises in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by the end of 2014; over 10,000 customers have already taken the new service.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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