Fibre broadband coverage target is increased to 95%
The number of homes and businesses in Cornwall that are set to benefit from superfast broadband by the end of 2014 has been increased from 80% to 95%.
Project leaders behind the £132 million Superfast Cornwall scheme say that this will mean that Cornwall will become one of the best connected parts of Europe.
More than half of Cornish premises already have access to fibre broadband with take up stronger than in most parts of the UK with more than 20,000 customers already using fibre services from around 30 communications providers.
The infrastructure is being provided by Superfast Cornwall, a partnership between the European Union, BT and Cornwall Council which was launched in 2010 using up to £78.5 million from BT and up to £53.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund.
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BT said that it had been achieving efficiencies, such as using lightweight overhead fibre cables, since the programme began which had enabled it to set higher coverage targets.
Openreach chief executive Liv Garfield said: "Cornwall was the first English county out of the blocks when it came to fibre broadband. The council's strong focus on extensive fibre coverage for Cornwall and the Scilly Isles is generating great results. We have been able to test run some new innovations in the county and as a result we have delivered efficiencies which are now enabling us to go further than we first thought possible."
Nigel Ashcroft, Superfast Cornwall programme director for Cornwall Development Company, said: "It means that tens of thousands more Cornish businesses and households will have access to high-speed fibre broadband than was originally expected. Superfast Cornwall was designed to bring maximum benefit to the people of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, providing a lasting legacy which would boost the local economy for many years to come."
Among the Cornish businesses benefiting from fibre broadband already is Camborne-based Music Publishing Services, which was established by Peter West in 1981.
The firm works with music publishers across the world including London, New York, Copenhagen and Paris, receiving handwritten manuscripts from composers and then producing the musical scores and individual parts for each person in the orchestra on computer.
"Superfast broadband has transformed my whole experience of the internet. Music publishing is an international business and it is critical that I can transfer files efficiently on-line," he said.
"The ability to provide a fast turnaround means my business has a real competitive edge in this fast moving sector. Delivering my work used to be really cumbersome – the files are often very large – but with superfast broadband it is quick and easy."