BT has told V3 that its rollout of superfast broadband in Cornwall is nearing completion, and that 93 percent of premises in the county are connected by its network.
The goal for the county is 95 percent, and the rollout now includes 235,000 premises out of a total of 253,000. Between 56,000 and 57,000 customers in Cornwall are already signed up to the faster services.
Ranulf Scarbrough, director of the Cornwall Superfast Broadband Programme at BT, told V3 that the project is now in its final stages, but that some of the most challenging locations are still to be connected.
"Every extra premise you can add is a real win. So we are inching towards our target and we are getting huge amounts of people connected, with 53 service providers offering services, so take-up is racing away," he said.
Scarbrough told V3 that 6,500 to 7,000 of these connections are businesses, giving them a vastly improved service.
Firms such as the Driftwood Spars pub in St Agnes and engineering firm Arcol have benefited from faster broadband for two years.
The £132m BT project began in 2010, and has been funded by a £53.5m subsidy from the European Union (EU) and a £78.5m investment from BT.
BT used innovative fibre delivery methods, such as from telegraph poles, to run services to as many properities as possible (pictured left).
However, even with an impressive 95 percent coverage goal, the project will still leave some 13,000 properties unconnected.
Scarbrough noted that there is still some funding in the mix for future rollouts, which BT could bid for to get the entire county wired up.
“Cornwall has some Broadband Delivery UK funding [£2.96m] and the council is talking to industry about bidding for that and BT would potentially be one of those [bidders],” he said.
"[Cornwall Council is] looking as well at future EU funding that could be used to complete the job.”
While Cornwall may need more funding to be completely hooked up with broadband, one area of the rollout that is now finished is the Isles of Scilly.
BT turned on services to the islands on Friday, bringing speeds as high as 80Mbps to the five islands, making them some of the best connected islands in the world.
The project used a disused undersea cable to bring services to the islands via the mainland at Porthcurno in Cornwall to Porthcressa Beach on the main island of St Mary's, shown below.
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