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Residents of St Kew in Cornwall UK Start Petition for Superfast Broadband

Friday, January 3rd, 2014 (8:05 am) - Score 929
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Locals residing in the Cornish parish of St Kew, which includes various smaller hamlets and villages, have launched a new petition that calls upon the joint BT and EU funded £132 million Superfast Cornwall project to extend its faster broadband connectivity into the area.

So far the project has managed to cover 82% of Cornwall in England and the Isles of Scilly (total of over 206,000 premises) with fibre optic based broadband (FTTC/P) connectivity and the target is to reach 95% by the end of 2014. The project remains separate from the national Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme.

But that still leaves around 5% which could be left with slower connectivity and this appears to include at least some of St Kew’s 1,000+ strong population. Naturally, and much like the many rural areas that BDUK will leave similarly un-served, those that risk being left in the slow lane aren’t happy and don’t wish to be ignored.

Dan Rogerson, North Cornwall MP (Lib Dem), said (here):

Our current broadband service is frustratingly slow. My children are making increasing use of the internet to complete homework tasks and I am busy running my own business from home. For us all to be productive and be online at the same time we need a faster connection to the internet.

If our small but beautiful area is left outside the fibre footprint we will all be at a significant disadvantage to other more urban areas. This would be a great shame and I think it would reduce the capacity for life and learning in this small rural community.

I have been campaigning to make sure that as many rural communities as possible in North Cornwall are able to access decent broadband so that residents and businesses aren’t held back because of a rural location. At a national level, the Government has made funding available for rural broadband projects, but it is up to the local delivery body, Superfast Cornwall, to deliver broadband upgrades locally.

I am still working with Superfast Cornwall to look at bringing both fibre and alternative technologies to broadband ‘not-spots’ and will raise the concerns of residents in St Kew and Trequite as part of my efforts to make sure that all parts of our area have a 21st century internet service.”

Apparently the average broadband line speed in St Kew currently stands at around 0.7Mbps (Megabits per second), which is well below the Government’s national Universal Service Commitment to ensure that everybody can access an Internet download speed of at least 2Mbps by 2017 (though this is not a legal service obligation).

Meanwhile the Superfast Cornwall project has similarly pledged that the remaining 5% will benefit from “faster broadband speeds thanks to alternative technologies, such as satellite,” which is hardly inspiring. It’s therefore hoped that the new Superfast Broadband for St Kew campaign might be able to help make a difference by encouraging locals to sign a petition for better connectivity.

But at the time of writing only 6 people have signed the petition, which might be at least partly due to the fact that a lot of coverage for this story has failed to link to the petition like we have above.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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