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Businesses Benefit as BT Fibre Broadband Reaches 82% of Cornwall UK

Monday, Nov 11th, 2013 (1:22 pm) - Score 424

The latest update from the £132 million public and privately funded Superfast Cornwall project has confirmed that 82% of Cornwall in England (206,000 homes and businesses) can now access BT’s superfast broadband (FTTC/P) service and this is apparently providing a “major economic boost” to local businesses.

So far 35,000 premises have taken the service (up from 31,000 in October, 28,000 in July and 24,000 in May 2013) and this includes an estimated 4,130 small and medium sized enterprises. In other words the project has an uptake of around 17%.


Now a new study (Superfast Cornwall Evaluation Final Midterm Report), which was published today by SERIO at Plymouth University and Buckman Associates, has claimed that some 83% of the above businesses have saved time and money over the past 12 months thanks to the faster connectivity (note: 83 of the 4k+ firms took part).

The research claimed that 58% of the SMEs surveyed felt as if their business was growing because of the new service and 26% are said to have either created or safeguarded jobs as a direct result of the “efficiency and innovation that superfast broadband encourages“. Overall some 37.5% also reported that superfast broadband had helped their business to generate new sales and 24% of that group pointed to new trade from overseas.

Liv Garfield, CEO of BTOpenreach, said:

We’re very proud of the work BT is doing in Cornwall, and in many ways the region has become a perfect template for us in other rural areas of the UK.

Cornwall Council has shown strong leadership and real commitment to this project. We’ve been able to go even further than originally planned and, thanks to the success and skill of our engineering team, we reached our original target of 80 per cent coverage some 15 months ahead of schedule.

All of this means homes and businesses across Cornwall are in a position to exploit the speeds that superfast broadband brings and reap the benefits – including a boost to prosperity.”

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission, said:

This research has real international significance because it starts to vindicate what we’ve said all along – that fibre broadband will energise our economy, generate jobs, and save public money.

With the help of major investment by the European Regional Development Fund, businesses can now take advantage of fibre broadband in Cornwall to become more competitive and more productive. For both businesses and the communities they serve, there can be no better investment in our future than superfast broadband.”

The project was originally only supposed to expand the reach of BT’s “fibre broadband” network to “at least” 80% of homes and businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by the end of 2014. But thanks to efficiency improvements this target was expanded to 95% during March 2013 (here).

Superfast Cornwall is funded by £78.5 million from BT and up to £53.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It is not officially a part of the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme but does clearly aspire to the same goal.


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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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