BT revises up Cornish superfast broadband delivery targets


BT has revised up its fibre broadband coverage targets for Cornwall, after previously vowing to deliver superfast services to 80 per cent of the region's homes and businesses by 2014.

The telco claims it is now on course to deliver fibre broadband to 95 per cent of the area's homes and businesses, as part of its ongoing involvement in the Superfast Cornwall project.

The 132m scheme is jointly funded by BT and the European Regional Development Fund and since its launch in 2010 has succeeded in rolling out fibre broadband to more than 20,000 people.

Meanwhile, the Cornwall Development Company and Cornwall Council's economic development company have been responsible for coordinating the project.

In a statement, BT said the revised target had been made possible through the introduction of new technologies, such as lightweight overhead fibre cables.

Liv Garfield, BT Openreach chief executive, explained: "We have been able to test run some new innovations in the county and...have delivered efficiencies which are now enabling us to go further than we first thought possible."

Nigel Ashcroft, Superfast Cornwall programme director for the Cornwall Development Company, said the ongoing deployment of superfast broadband will bolster the area's economy for many years to come.

"The success of the programme shows what can be achieved when the public and private sectors work effectively together. We are not just achieving our ambitions, but finding ways to go even further," said Ashcroft.

Communications minister, Ed Vaizey, added: "The UK already does more business online than any other European country, and widespread access to superfast broadband will provide a tremendous boost to Cornwall's local economy."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.