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Superfast Cornwall: Bonded ADSL and Satellite for the last ten per cent

Yesterday we reported how Superfast Cornwall was ditching wireless, white space and 4G broadband methods for the last ten per cent of those who won’t be getting FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) or FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) by the time the project finishes in 2015.

The last ten per cent will instead be served by a combination of bonded copper lines – providing the minimum 2Mbps speed over distances of 12km – and satellite broadband in places where copper or fibre can’t reach.

Here’s exactly how it’s all going to break down.

Superfast Cornwall: Bonded ADSL and Satellite for the last ten per cent

Superfast Cornwall – We are the last 10 per cent

Regarding the last 10 per cent, in Cornwall this will be about 20,000 premises.

Of these, roughly half currently have access to ADSL speeds of at least 2Mbps – the Government mandated minimum for all by 2015 – while the other half have sub-2Mbps speeds.

For customers in the last 10 per cent who currently have at least 2Mbps ADSL Superfast Cornwall has committed to deliver ADSL2+ upgrades which will provide typical downstream speeds of up to 15Mbps.

For customers in the last 10 per cent who currently have less than 2Mbps ADSL, the plan is to address the majority of these customers with advanced copper solutions including broadband regenerators which will boost the speed of existing ADSL based services.

Broadband regenerators are pieces of kit that can be installed on copper lines up to 8km in length and can boost speeds by 3-5Mbps.

It’s expected that the final 1-2 per cent of customers will require satellite connections, and in Cornwall we are providing these in partnership with Avanti.

Details of the type of service available aren’t yet available but Avanti’s site shows that the basic service provides download speeds of up to 4Mbps and upload speeds of 1Mbps. Recent advances in satellite broadband technology have seen download speeds on the Ka-band jumping to 18Mbps, so perhaps we’ll see faster speeds beaming down to this last 1-2 per cent.

Looking at the last 1-2 per cent Dr Ranulf Scarbrough, Director of Superfast Cornwall said that “the last couple of per cent will be really hard [to supply with fibre] but we’ll see some rural FTTP in some extraordinary, unexpected places.”

The plan is to get as many places connected to fibre as possible, with satellite broadband being relied on as a last resort.

Dr Ranulf Scarborough, Director of Superfast Cornwall added that “the last couple of per cent will be really hard [to supply with fibre] but we’ll see some rural FTTP in some extraordinary, unexpected places.”

Finally, BT expects to offer FTTP On Demand to some (but not all) customers in the final 10 per cent. FTTP On Demand is currently in trial and the product details will be announced closer to the launch.

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