Superfast Cornwall has announced that it will connect 30 per cent to ultrafast pure fibre connections by 2015.
BT, responsible for rolling out the network, has connected 206,000 homes and business premises to superfast broadband, representing 82 per cent of the county.
Nigel Ashcroft, project director of the Superfast Cornwall Development Company said: “We’re aiming for 30 per cent FTTP coverage in Cornwall. About 0.3 per cent of premises are getting FTTP from BT across the UK. What we wanted is something designed in the most future proofed way. FTTC is extendable. Eventually it’ll be the case that you’ll be able to upgrade from one to the other.”
Read Recombu Digital’s guide to Superfast CornwallFTTP (Fibre to the Premises) from BT currently provides speeds of up to 330Mbps and is only available from 15 exchanges across the UK. Cornwall, which is one of the best connected regions in the country right now, will benefit from greater availability of the faster, future-proofed technology.
There’s no telling where the 30 per cent will lie just yet, but customers not on the upgrade path for FTTP will eventually be able to make use of the FTTP On Demand programme or incoming technologies BT is trialling right now.
Chief executive of Openreach Liv Garfield mentioned that new technologies could extend the availability of FTTC broadband across Cornwall and the rest of the UK. While Garfield didn’t refer to vectoring and G.fast by name, she said:
“If you build fibre within 400 metres of people’s houses they can get superfast. We are working with with clever new creations so we can take it much closer than that 400 metres, should we need to take it further.”
Of the 206,000 Cornish premises able to get superfast, 35,000 customers are currently taking the service.
Ranulf Scarbrough, Director of Superfast Cornwall for BT said that roughly 150,000 locations are now connected to FTTC and 54,000 places can get FTTP which currently provides speeds of up to 330Mbps.
Scarbrough said: “Take-up of fibre broadband is progressing very well. Of the 35,000 connections around 4,100 of these are for Cornish businesses getting superfast from 40 different ISPs delivering speeds of up to 330Mbps. We’re the best connected rural area in Europe and we haven’t even finished yet.”
Ashcroft added that 95 per cent of Cornwall would be connected by 2015 and spoke of ambitions to push even further. Ashcroft said: “We’re certainly hoping that we go above 95 per cent. The last five per cent is the really difficult stuff and it’s the last five per cent that are typically the most vocal and quite rightly so.”
Superfast Cornwall is co-funded by BT, the local authority and the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) and aims to have 95 per cent of the region covered by superfast by 2015.
The government’s BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) fund has been set up to fund similar projects around the country. These are on target to deliver similar levels of coverage by 2017, with a view to coverage increasing to 99 per cent by 2018.
Given the headway that Superfast Cornwall has made it’s highly likely that 99 per cent could be reached before other parts of the UK hit their 95 per cent coverage targets.