New multi million pound deal will make Superfast Broadband available to thousands more Cornish homes and businesses
Cornwall Council has agreed a new £7.6m deal that will enable the region to remain at the forefront of digital connectivity.
A new programme of investment is being launched to build on the legacy of the pioneering Superfast Cornwall partnership between the European Union, BT and Cornwall Council, which is forecast to deliver fibre broadband access to 95% of premises in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, far beyond the project’s initial 80% target. 89% of premises are expected to be able to access superfast broadband speeds of 24Mpbs and above.
The new project sees the Council investing alongside the UK Government, through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), and BT to extend the fibre broadband network and provide increased access to superfast broadband speeds across Cornwall. Match funding is also being provided through the Regional Growth Fund and Growth Deal.
Councillor Julian German, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture, said ‘Digital connectivity is essential in addressing Cornwall’s peripherality from national and international markets.”
“This new investment will build on the achievements of Superfast Cornwall and enable Cornwall to retain its leadership position as one of the best connected rural areas in the world, increasing prosperity by bringing benefits to businesses and households. We will again be breaking new ground as we deliver fibre broadband into yet more rural areas and will be pushing to bring superfast broadband access to at least 8,600 more Cornish premises across the region by early 2018.’
The project has been made possible through £2.96m of investment from the Government’s Superfast Extension Programme. Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said ‘Superfast Cornwall has made incredible progress with their rollout of superfast broadband. Government wants to take coverage even further though, and this additional funding will boost superfast availability in Cornwall as part of our commitment to reach 95 per cent of the UK by 2017.’
Bill Murphy, Managing Director of Next Generation Access for BT, which will invest £1.23 million in the new programme, said ‘BT is delighted to be working with Cornwall Council to make superfast broadband available to thousands more homes and businesses in Cornwall.
“Through our joint investment with the EU and Cornwall Council in Superfast Cornwall, we have already delivered world-leading fibre broadband coverage for a rural area and this new programme will build upon that investment. Our engineers will be overcoming new challenges in rolling out superfast broadband to some of Cornwall’s most remote and rural areas and a detailed planning phase will now commence before the building of the new network gets underway.’
Chris Pomfret, Chairman of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, which helped to secure Government funding for the project, said ‘We’ve seen the transformational potential that access to superfast broadband can bring so it is crucial that we continue to increase our fibre broadband capability to enable more Cornish businesses to benefit from access to superfast speeds. Increased connectivity also underpins opportunities to specialise in new and emerging markets in areas such as the digital economy, creative, e-health, space and aerospace related industries.’
The project is the first of a two phased approach that aims to bring access to superfast broadband to at least 99% of premises in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly. It will be managed by the Cornwall Development Company, the arm’s length economic development company for Cornwall Council. It is anticipated that the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Programme will be a principal source of investment for the second phase of the project.
Public investment in the project comes from the following sources:
- £2.96m UK Government / BDUK Superfast Extension Programme
- £1.878m Cornwall Council
- £1m Growth Deal
- £500K Regional Growth Fund
BT will be investing £1.23m in the delivery and deployment of the new infrastructure
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
BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of five customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.
For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group’s reported revenue was £17,979mwith reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
For more information, visit www.btplc.com.
Superfast Britain is a UK government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race.
The portfolio is comprised of three elements:
- £780 million to extend superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK by 2017.
- £150 million to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities.
- £150 million to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services.
Administered on behalf of government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.
For more information visit: www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk
Thursday 11 June 2015