Superfast Cornwall Update
New programme to deliver Superfast to 8,600 additional premises in Cornwall
First coverage phase announced – 1700 premises by Sep-16
Forecast of postcodes now available
Satellite scheme now launched
This is the first update that we are sending to help keep you informed about the new Superfast Cornwall programme. This new programme builds on the ground-breaking work undertaken by the original part-EU funded Superfast Cornwall programme (2010-2015).
The 2010-2015 Superfast Cornwall programme made Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly the best connected rural area in the Europe, with around 255,500 premises able to connect to fibre broadband, and 237,500 of these able to connect to 24+Mbps superfast speeds.
We pushed the fibre footprint well beyond our initial target of 80% coverage. However, we are the first to recognise that there is more to do. There are still around 42,500 premises in Cornwall not yet able to reach the benchmark superfast speed of 24Mbps. Demands for ever higher speeds increase and investment into networks continues around the world. We want to keep Cornwall in front. Through the next programme we will continue to rollout fibre into harder and harder to reach parts of Cornwall, an immense engineering challenge.
The new programme is expected to cover at least 8,600 further premises in Cornwall. BT, Cornwall Council and the LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) have partnered to deliver this work, investing £7.6m together with BDUK (the Government’s Broadband Delivery unit), Cornwall’s Growth Deal, and the Regional Growth Fund.
The rollout will be phased, and design work for the first phase has recently been finalised. This will upgrade 1,700 premises by Sep 2016, with the 8,600 completed by the end of 2017. The postcodes forecast and mapping can be seen at www.superfastcornwall.org/future-programme. Important: these are subject to change based on the engineering challenges encountered as the rollout progresses.
Further phases will be communicated as soon as design work is completed.
How has the rollout been determined?
The rollout has been designed to bring superfast broadband to as many remaining premises in Cornwall as possible with the available investment while trying to reflect existing speeds and economic priorities.
The rollout plan is only able to take into account premises in existence at the point at which the contract was awarded. BT engages directly with developers of new housing sites and business parks.
It is the responsibility of developers to ensure that they secure adequate connectivity from BT to be able to market their developments. We have briefed the council’s private developers forum about this, and will continue to brief other developers.
Possible Future EU funded activity
Cornwall Council’s longer term ambition is to reach 100% coverage of superfast broadband. This level of coverage has not yet been achieved in a rural area on this scale anywhere in the world and would be a tremendous result for Cornwall. Securing further investment is something that the Council is exploring with public sector partners, including Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’s new EU funding programme.
Never Say No – BT’s Community Fibre Partnerships scheme
BT is running a Community Fibre Partnerships scheme across the UK in which it works directly with local communities not yet included in any superfast broadband roll-out programme to try to find a suitable and affordable fibre solution. Costs can be quite significant, but this is another option available that has been taken up by some communities elsewhere in the UK. We can provide points of contact to any interested communities. Further details are available at www.communityfibre.bt.com
Beyond the Fibre Footprint?
We are now offering a subsidised satellite service under BDUK’s scheme to premises outside the fibre plan. Further information is available at www.superfastcornwall.org/satellite.
There will be a briefing for councillors on 22 January at 1330 in New County Hall, providing further background and a view of our vision. Others are welcome to attend – please book with [email protected]
We rely on you to support the programme and to help people understand the challenges and patience needed to deliver the best possible rural fibre coverage. It is not easy and has taken determination to put Cornwall in front – and this will continue. If you have any queries, or if you do not wish to receive these updates, please contact [email protected] using the subject ‘Superfast Cornwall Update’.
Cornwall Development Company