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Superfast Cornwall UK Project Hits 90% Fibre Broadband Coverage Milestone

Friday, Apr 11th, 2014 (8:14 am) - Score 847
superfast-cornwall

The £132m “Big BuildSuperfast Cornwall scheme, which involves a public and private partnership where BT are aiming to make their “high-speed fibre optic broadband” (FTTC/P) network available to 95% of Cornwall in England and the Isles of Scilly by the end of 2014, has reached another crucial milestone by covering 90% of local premises.

The project, which is a partnership between the European Union, BT and Cornwall’s County Council, is separate from the Government’s national Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme and launched in 2010. Meanwhile the funding split represents £78.5 million from BT and up to £53.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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Unfortunately the latest update is a little short on raw statistics but it does reveal that 50,000 customers are either connected to the service or have placed an order for it (representing roughly 1 in 5 of everybody in the county), which is up from 41,000 in February 2014. At the last count earlier this year it was also noted that the service had passed over 207,000 premises, with 130,000km of fibre optic cable deployed.

Gavin Patterson, BT’s CEO, said:

Superfast Cornwall is proving an outstanding success. It has set the standard for rural areas not only in the UK, but also across the continent. Local authorities and organisations from Europe and even further afield have studied the achievements of the Superfast Cornwall partnership with a view to running their own programmes.

Across the UK, we are now seeing successful broadband partnerships forging ahead with their own plans, but we should not forget the vision and pioneering role played by Cornwall with this exciting project. As well as building excellent fibre broadband coverage for a rural area, the partnership is achieving very strong take-up of the technology by local households and businesses. More than 50 broadband service providers are providing services over the Superfast Cornwall network, thereby ensuring that Cornish customers benefit from highly competitive products and pricing.

It is heartening to hear from Cornish firms how superfast broadband is transforming their businesses, helping to make them more efficient, improve their services to customers and creating high value jobs.”

Apparently new homes and businesses are currently being connected to BT’s local FTTC/P network at a rate of more than 2,000 a month. BT has also used Cornwall as a test-bed county for a number of new technologies, such as “ultra light” overhead fibre optic cables and lest we not forget last years “hyper-fast10Gbps demo using the XGPON (10G-PON) standard (here).

The operator is understood to have deployed a fair bit of 330Mbps capable fibre optic Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) coverage into the county but whenever we’ve asked for a figure they’ve always recoiled away. Never the less today’s news suggest that BT are well on target to achieve their goal and it must be remembered that the original aim was actually to cover around 80% of homes and businesses (here).

As usual connecting that next 5%, many of which will be in rural areas like the Isles of Scilly, will surely take a little longer but so far so good.

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Mark-Jackson
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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