BT is expanding the scope of the programme under which it is rolling out fibre-based broadband services in Cornwall, with the fixed line incumbent confirming it now expects 95% of homes in the county to be able to access superfast speeds once the project is complete. As part of the GBP132 million (USD196 million) ‘Superfast Cornwall’ project, a partnership between the European Union (EU), Cornwall Council and BT launched in 2010, it was originally planned that fibre broadband would be made available to at least 80% of Cornish homes and businesses by the end of 2014. However, as a result of efficiencies having been achieved since work got underway – thanks to innovations such as the use of lightweight overhead fibre cables – BT has agreed the new coverage target with its partners in the venture.
According to BT, more than half of Cornish premises already have access to fibre broadband, while take up for services over the new infrastructure is reportedly stronger than in most parts of the UK. With around 30 communications providers offering fibre-based products in the region, more than 20,000 customers are said to have signed up for such services so far.
Commenting on the development, Openreach chief executive Liv Garfield said: ‘We have been able to test run some new innovations in the county and as a result we have delivered efficiencies which are now enabling us to go further than we first thought possible. This is a public private partnership that is delivering with the upside of the efficiencies being reinvested in the county.’