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BT assures Cornwall fibre broadband rollout is on track

Wednesday, March 30th 2011 by Cable.co.uk

The telecoms giant has promised the initiative is on schedule, having been announced around six months ago.

BT has said its Cornwall fibre optic broadband project is right on schedule, with more than 150 km of cable having been laid just half a year after the scheme was announced.

A pioneering £132 million initiative - paid for by the telecoms giant and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) - is aiming to bring super-fast internet speeds to at least 80 per cent of homes and businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by 2014.

That goal is on course, with the company revealing the technology is now available to more than 1,000 properties in Chacewater and Chiverton Cross.

The rural Cornish communities of St Agnes, St Day, Portreath, Devoran, Leedstown, Stenalees and Par are expected to get access by tomorrow (March 31st 2011), benefiting another 14,000 residents and employers.

Up to £53.5 million of the cash for the Super-fast Cornwall project will be provided by ERDF Convergence, representing the largest single European investment in broadband infrastructure of all time. BT will stump up £78.5 million.

The organisation has pledged to spend up to £2.5 billion on its UK-wide fibre rollout programme, provided investment conditions are favourable.

As well as bringing faster speeds to the West Country county and the Isles of Scilly, the scheme is expected to create 4,000 new jobs and protect a further 2,000.

BT claims it will help local businesses to be more competitive, enable a larger number of people to work from home and boost the learning and entertainment opportunities available to locals.

Customers who sign up will be able to download an entire music track in two seconds and a high-definition feature-length movie in approximately ten minutes.

The company also insists the upload speeds offered by its fibre optic broadband network are "the fastest in the UK", allowing data files and large videos to be sent "almost instantly".

Ranulf Scarbrough, BT programme director for the initiative, revealed the length of cable already installed would stretch more than the length of Cornwall.

"Already this scheme is starting to make an important contribution to the success of the Cornwall economy and to the lives of Cornish residents," he added.

"We have a team of about 50 engineers, contractors, planners and technicians working together to ensure that the project is able to deliver the immense benefits of super-fast broadband to customers in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as soon as possible." 

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