Superfast Cornwall announces extra build to remote communities
The Superfast Cornwall programme today announced plans to include additional remote communities in its roll-out of fibre optic broadband.
Another 10 hard-to-reach communities will now receive fibre broadband by early 2015. They are the villages of Badgall, Laneast, St Clether and Tregeare, near Bodmin; Nancledra in West Cornwall; and Philleigh, Polhendra, Trethewell, Trewithian and Rosevine on the Roseland peninsula.
Superfast Cornwall has already made the fibre broadband network available to 90 per cent of Cornish homes and businesses – making it one of the best connected rural areas in Europe – and it will achieve 95 per cent coverage by the end of the year. These new areas are in addition to those already planned and still being built, which already include many challenging rural locations as well as further work in some town centres. .
Nigel Ashcroft, Superfast Cornwall programme director for Cornwall Development Company, the economic development company of Cornwall Council, said: “Cornwall has many small villages with up to 100 premises. Some of these villages are in isolated and challenging geographical areas and are difficult to provide fibre to. We are excited that we can make this announcement to bring the additional areas into the plan through our efforts working with BT and the local communities.
“We understand the importance of improving connectivity in remote areas of Cornwall and the impact it can have on communities. We are really proud of our achievements this far and this additional coverage will be a vital economic and social advantage to some of those communities we thought we wouldn’t be able to cover in our current programme.”
He continued: “There is still work to do as the build continues until the end early next year. We have not forgotten about the 5% that aren’t included in our current programme and we are developing a new project to look at those areas over the next few years.”
Ranulf Scarbrough, BT’s Superfast Cornwall programme director, said: “We are committed to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible. We will look at each area in turn to determine the best way to provide fibre broadband. It will be a combination of Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). Our team have worked really hard to meet the needs of businesses and residents and, in reaching these additional communities, are leading the way in Europe with rural fibre broadband infrastructure. Some of BT’s most senior directors and representatives from many other organisations across the UK and much further afield have paid fact-finding visits to Cornwall to see the pioneering work being carried out here.”
Liberal Democrat MP for North Cornwall Dan Rogerson said: “I’d like to thank Nigel Ashcroft and the team at Superfast Cornwall for working to make sure the funding for the scheme stretches further. I am delighted that this investment will bring superfast broadband to Badgall, Laneast, St Clether and Tregeare. The decision is a testament to the hard work and positivity of residents in the villages who looked for solutions and campaigned to bring much needed superfast broadband to local homes and businesses.”
Residents and businesses interested in connecting to superfast broadband can find out if they are able to order by checking their line at www.superfastcornwall.org/line-checker.
For more information contact:
Mandy Feldon, Marketing Manager, Superfast Cornwall
firstname.lastname@example.org 01209 311104 or 07896 436732
The BT Regional Press Office, on 0800 085 0660
Notes to editors:
About the Convergence Programme
The Superfast Cornwall programme is part financed by the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Convergence European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding
About Cornwall Development Company
Cornwall Development Company Ltd is the arms length economic development company for Cornwall Council. Further information is available at www.cornwalldevelopmentcompany.co.uk
ERDF Convergence investment: Up to £53.5 million
BT Investment: Up to £78.5 million
TOTAL: Up to £132 million
For more information visit www.erdfconvergence.org.uk