In 2011 it was announced that Superfast Broadband was coming to Cornwall. Collaboratively funded by the EU, BT and Cornwall Council, the project set out to transform communities in the region by creating the world’s biggest rural network. In the years since, the project has received a lot of attention from the media, resulting in some confusion over exactly what people and businesses can expect from Cornwall’s connective capabilities.
This article is the first in our ‘Tales of the unexpected’ series, created to separate fact from fiction, and give businesses with an interest in Cornwall an insight into all aspects of living and working in the region. We’re kicking things off by demystifying the broadband bewilderment.
As of 2017, 85% of premises (approximately 238,000 premises) are covered by the Superfast fibre-based network, delivering speeds of up to 300 Mbps to businesses and homes across Cornwall. The project’s second phase, the Superfast Extension Programme is currently underway with the aim of extending the reach of the network to cover at least 8,600 premises of the 40,000+ premises that could benefit from an upgrade by the end of 2017. This includes the new wave of connectivity, UltraFast Broadband, currently available in 84,000 premises and catapulting Cornwall into the position of best connected rural region in the UK.
It is important to note, the work that has been done by BT to date has been extensive and revolutionised the connectivity in Cornwall with approximately £140m spent on infrastructure to date. The original ambitions for the network were set at 80% coverage; the target was however far exceeded contributing to Cornwall’s thriving digital economy and diverse community of creative, tech-based businesses. Not only that, it has transformed the way that these businesses operate with many businesses working on a global scale and doing so from home or office.
So what does all this mean if you are a business looking to set up an office in Cornwall but you require access to fantastic connectivity?
Here are our top tips:
For Toby Parkins, Founding Director of leading software company Headforwards, Superfast Broadband is crucial to the success of his business. “Cornwall has got a massive advantage from a connectivity perspective. It’s pretty hard… to find an office in Cornwall without Superfast Broadband.”
In 2016, the region’s cluster was recognised by the UK’s Tech Nation report as achieving the 2nd highest level of growth in the UK exceeding London by over 50%, this could not have been achieved without a solid digital infrastructure.
Final fact check:
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Whether you’re looking to locate in Cornwall, or to start exporting beyond its borders, get in touch with our friendly team to talk through your needs.