NGA Broadband Pilot aims to bring speeds of 40mb download and 10mb upload through ‘Fibre to the Cabinet’ roll-out in 8 rural areas of Cornwall in March 2011, with further roll-out plans to be announced in the spring
Leedstown, Chiverton Cross area, St Agnes, Portreath, St Day, Devoran, Stenalees and Par named in pilot scheme prior to major broadband roll-out
Eight Cornish communities will have super-fast broadband within less than five months at the start of a £132 million project to make Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly one of the best connected locations in the world.
More than 10,000 businesses and homes in Leedstown, Chiverton Cross area, St Agnes, Portreath, St Day, Devoran, Stenalees and Par are expected to be able to access the service by the end of March. This pilot scheme will run in advance of the main roll-out programme, which in its early phases will focus mainly on South East Cornwall.
The ambitious partnership project funded by BT and the European Union is expected to have delivered super-fast fibre broadband to between 80 and 90 per cent of businesses and households in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by 2014. It is being managed by Cornwall Council’s economic development arm, Cornwall Development Company.
Up to £53.5 million is coming from the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) Convergence programme, which is the largest ever single European investment in broadband infrastructure, and £78.5 million from BT. It is expected to create 4,000 new jobs and protect a further 2,000.
The high-speed network installed by BT’s local network business Openreach will be available on an equal basis to all companies providing broadband services.
Carolyn Rule, Cornwall Council cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said: “The project has been making very good progress since it was announced less than two months ago. It shows the power of the public and private sectors working together to help build a bright, strong future for us all.
“The businesses and people of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have good reason to be very optimistic about the years ahead.”
Nigel Ashcroft, director of next generation broadband for Cornwall Development Company, said: “This is an incredibly innovative and pioneering project never before done on this scale. A pilot scheme in these eight locations will provide valuable feedback at an early stage as we prepare for the early phases of the roll-out programme primarily in the South East of the county.
“A huge amount of engineering work is required for this complex project, but our surveys have shown that these communities can be upgraded relatively quickly.
“It means that early next year the first Cornish customers will be experiencing the huge benefits offered by super-fast broadband and we will be obtaining useful information, which will assist the project’s progress elsewhere.”
Jon Reynolds, BT South West regional director, said: “It is excellent news that the first Cornish businesses and homes will have access to super-fast broadband at such an early stage. This is a transformational project, which will boost the productivity of local businesses and help to attract a more diverse range of high-growth companies to the area. It will play a major role in creating a more prosperous Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”
While most premises in the eight pilot areas will be able to access fibre-based broadband immediately, a minority will not be able to do so. People not able to benefit initially will in future receive faster speeds than today through a mixture of technologies expected to include wireless, satellite broadband, advanced copper and a further extension of the fibre network.
Super-fast broadband benefits include users being able to run multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time and sending and receiving large amounts of data much more quickly and efficiently.
Computer processing and storage of files will also become more sophisticated and secure using ‘cloud computing’ technology. There will be faster back-up of computer systems and wider use of high quality videoconferencing within businesses and between them and their customers.
Local residents can find out more about the project at www.cornwalldevelopmentcompany.co.uk Businesses can contact the project on 0800 800 935. Further phases of the roll-out programme will be announced in the Spring.
For further information
Enquiries about this news release should be made to the BT Regional Press Office on 0800 085 0660 or Cornwall Development Company on 0800 800 935. All news releases can be accessed at: http://www.btplc.com/News.
For further information on next generation broadband in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly visit www.cornwalldevelopmentcompany.co.uk
Super-fast fibre optic broadband can be delivered as “fibre to the cabinet” (FTTC) or “fibre to the premises” (FTTP). FTTC is where the fibre connection is from the exchange to the street side cabinet with the remainder of the connection being over copper. FTTC provides download speeds of up to 40Mbps and upload speeds of up to 10Mbps.
FTTP is where the fibre connection runs all the way from the exchange to the customers premise. This technology provides download speeds of up to 100Mbps and upload speeds of up to 30Mbps.
BT believes that both services can provide substantially higher speeds in the future if there is sufficient commercial demand for higher speeds.
Further information about next generation broadband is available from www.bt.com/ngb
About the Convergence Programme www.convergencecornwall.com
About Cornwall Development Company www.cornwalldevelopmentcompany.co.uk
About BT www.bt.com/aboutbt