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Fibre broadband comes to challenging part of Cornwall

Openreach engineers have overcome a number of challenges to bring fibre broadband to a Cornish village that previously had limited access to broadband.

The work done in the village of Coombe in Cornwall now means that around 80 homes and business now have access to superfast broadband.

The village of Coombe is served by a telephone exchange seven kilometres away. Around twenty years ago, the demand for more telephone lines in the village was met by installing a point-point microwave radio link from a pole on a hill north east of the village, linking directly back to the exchange building.

However, the microwave link prevented some villagers from getting broadband services as broadband ADSL requires a copper line from the exchange to the customer. While it was possible to provide a small copper cable to Coombe from an existing location nearby, it only had enough capacity for about fifty customers.

Openreach looked at a variety of routes to get to the village and, ultimately, 17km of fibre was installed, of which one kilometre consisted of brand new poles for aerial fibre. The project took eleven months of intensive work to complete involving fourteen different departments.

“A tremendous effort was made by the engineering team to deliver fibre to residents and businesses in Coombe,” said Nigel Ashcroft, Superfast Cornwall programme director for Cornwall Development Company. “Their perseverance in innovating and troubleshooting against a multitude of infrastructure challenges across Cornwall has been paramount to the success of the programme and is testament to the progress we’re achieving so far.”

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