Cornwall Council made a decision in 2009 to get fast broadband to as many areas of Cornwall and as soon as possible. Like communication links of roads, rail and air, internet connection was seen as vital in Cornwall if we were to encourage employment into the county.
This was a political decision because it did mean some significant investment from Cornwall Council but it was (and still is) seen as vital to the county if we are to compete with the rest of the UK. Cornwall Council, BT Open Reach and Cornwall Development Council (CDC and funded by the Council) formed a very ambitious plan which would see superfast broadband to 80% of the population by 2013.
This is now starting to be rolled out and before Christmas, homes and businesses in Bude and Launceston, will be able to achieve connection speeds up to 100mbs. (At the moment some of us are still on less than 1mbs so you can hopefully appreciate the difference).
The fastest speed connections will need the fibre optic connected right into the building and is called fibre to the premises or FTTP. However speeds of 20mbs can be achieved in the more rural networks and will depend on the distance back to a fibre connection. This is not the distance back to the exchange as it is now, rather it is to the roadside green box and most villages have one of those close to a large percentage of the local community.
It means business can be done all over the world as quickly as being in the same building. Our FTTP connections will acheive connection speeds better than most other companies in the UK and Cornwall is the place to employ people and stay connected. This progress is far far more advanced than other rural counties and will ensure that Cornwall is a place to do business.
What about my line I hear you say. Well navigate to www.superfastcornwall.org where you can enter your phone number and see what date your ‘green box in the road’ will be updated. More importantly you can register your interest for the upgrade and get an understanding of providers and the costs. There is an opportunity to ask them to “keep me in the loop” and you will be informed of progress in you exchange. The costs will be about £20 per month which is little more than you are probably paying now. You can get phone connections and Skype phones which will reduce your costs further and you can watch on demand programs, many completely free, from the broadcasters like BBC, Channel 4 and others.