Superfast fibre-based broadband is now available to 90 per cent of Cornwall, giving homes and businesses access to faster, next-gen speeds.
The Superfast Cornwall project has seen BT connect hundreds of thousands of residents and firms to FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) and tens of thousands can access faster FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) lines.
BT chief executive Gavin Paterson said: “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.
Around 2,000 new customers are taking up superfast broadband every month and roughly 50,000 customers are either using superfast or have placed an order for it.
BT’s FTTC lines currently provide download speeds of up to 80Mbps, while tens of thousands can access faster FTTP lines, which deliver a top download speed of 330Mbps.
Originally, the joint venture between BT, the Cornish Council and the EU aimed to get 80 per cent of the county connected to next-gen broadband, but Superfast Cornwall upped its game and aimed for a bigger target.
By the end of the year, Superfast Cornwall aims to have connected 95 per cent of the county to superfast broadband.
Locations not in line to get a fibre-based upgrade will get a basic service guaranteeing speeds of at least 2Mbps.
Though Superfast Cornwall is not part of the Government’s BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) programme, it has effectively become the template for superfast broadband projects elsewhere.
BDUK was set up to increase availability of next-gen broadband in areas which would not likely see network providers installing improved connections in the near future. Though the process began with many companies bidding for contracts, BT has won every BDUK job so far.
Paterson added: “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 new technologies including ultra light overhead fibre optic cables, vectoring and G.fast emerge, we could see both the 95 per cent coverage target increase and even faster speeds achieved over FTTC lines where the so-called ‘last mile’ is a copper connection.