£17M ultrafast investment

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A new £17.6 million deal has been announced to take ultrafast broadband to thousands more homes and businesses in some of Cornwall’s most remote places.

The third phase of the Superfast Cornwall programme will see the latest Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology – capable of delivering speeds up to one gigabit per second (Gbps) – rolled out to more than 7,000 premises by the end of 2019.

The first locations to benefit are expected to be announced on the www.superfastcornwall.org website before the end of 2017.

The new phase builds on the multi million pound first two phases of Superfast Cornwall, which have already made Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly some of the best digitally-connected rural areas in Europe.

Latest independent research shows that the high-speed technology is delivering huge economic benefits. The first phase of Superfast Cornwall has so far provided an estimated £275 million annual boost to the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, creating 3,120 jobs and safeguarding 3,430. An estimated 16,150 businesses have connected to high-speed fibre broadband with the technology helping the creation of around 3,300 start-up businesses.

Funding for this new initiative comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which will provide £8.5 million; BT £5.1 million; the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme £3 million; and Cornwall Council £1.1 million, and the programme will be managed by Cornwall Development Company.

The phase three roll-out is expected to reach the first premises by spring 2018.

Cllr Bob Egerton, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for economy and culture, said: “Our digital infrastructure is going from strength to strength, I’m delighted that this latest investment from the European Regional Development Fund will further improve our position, particularly in geographically challenging areas.”

Cornwall Council will announce details later this year of a grant scheme, which will help to provide faster broadband for the remaining premises not included in any planned fibre broadband programmes.

Separately, the new Superfast Satellite Broadband project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), provides eligible SME businesses not covered by these plans with broadband speeds up to 40Mbps. The scheme enables businesses to take up a service with subsidised installation and service charges. To find out more and grow your business visit www.avantiplc.com/cornwall