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By: MarkJ - 30 September, 2010 (12:48 PM)
fibre optic cablebt uk cornwall fibre optic broadbandSome 80% to 90% of local businesses and homes across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (UK) can now expected "super-fast" fibre broadband ( FTTC , FTTP ) speeds of up to 100Mbps by 2014, thanks to a new £132 million BT project, which is also partly funded by £53.3m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The project should benefit tens of thousands of local businesses, with estimates predicting the initial creation of 4,000 new jobs; it will also help to protect 2,000 existing jobs.

BT's CEO, Ian Livingston, said:

"This is a very significant project that once again positions Cornwall as a broadband leader. It will make the county one of the best connected areas in the world and provide a major boost to its prosperity.

This partnership shows what can be achieved when people work with BT. The ‘final third’ of the UK is undoubtedly challenging to reach with fibre but this project shows it is possible. Our door remains open to others who are keen to work with us to bring fibre broadband to their areas."

The Governments Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, added:

"This project is very exciting news for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It shows how the public and private sectors can work together to deliver local solutions to local problems. Households and businesses in this largely rural area can now look forward to having one of the best broadband connections in the world, thanks to Cornwall Council’s vision, European funding and BT’s investment and expertise.

The Government wants the UK to have the best broadband network in Europe by 2015, so today’s announcement is a big step towards that goal."

Around 50% of local businesses and homes in the area are expected to be connected using BT's fastest 'up to' 100Mbps Fibre-to-the-Premises ( FTTP ) technology, with the rest being covered by its slower 40Mbps FTTC service and other solutions. Of course while 90% is extremely good news, it's important not to forget the 10% that always seem to get left out.

Businesses and homes that exist outside of BT's fibre footprint will apparently also receive faster speeds than today through a mix of alternative technologies, such as advanced copper ( ADSL2+ ) upgrades, wireless ( Wi-Fi ) and Satellite broadband. Sadly no detail is given.

The roll-out is expected to begin immediately and run until 2014, with the first customers being connected during early 2011. The project will be supported by a major marketing programme, skills programmes and support to ensure businesses make the most of the new technology.

BT notes that the areas to benefit will be announced on a rolling basis and are to be agreed by the project partners in consultation with other broadband ISPs.
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