Parts of East Cornwall are to get superfast broadband at least three months early as the first major phase of the pioneering superfast Cornwall initiative kicks off ahead of schedule.
The high-speed technology is expected to start to become available in Liskeard, Callington, Launceston, Dobwalls, Bude, Kilkhampton, Marhamchurch (near Widemouth Bay), Drakewalls (near Gunnislake) and North Hill (near Coads Green) by December.
None of these areas had previously been due to ‘go live’ before the end of March 2012 – and Dobwalls had actually been scheduled for 2013.
By the end of March 2012, it’s expected that some 90,000 Cornish homes and businesses will have access to superfast broadband as part of what is known locally as the ‘Big Build’.
Said Nigel Ashcroft, programme director of superfast Cornwall for Cornwall Development Company: “To build a fibre optic broadband network on this scale is a massive undertaking, never before attempted in such a rural location.
“The ‘Big Build’ represents the biggest single investment in the Cornish telecoms infrastructure since it was first constructed.
“Of course, this won’t happen overnight – it will take more than three years to roll-out this exciting programme to all 250,000 premises in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, and this announcement shows we are making an excellent start on the first phase,” he said.
Working in partnership, Cornwall Council and BT began the project in September 2010. The project is financed using an innovative gap-funded model under which BT is providing £78.5m and European Regional Development Fund is providing up to £53.5m.
The initiative will boost the county’s economy by creating new opportunities for existing businesses, attracting inward investment and improving the delivery of education and council services.