Plans to make superfast broadband available to 99% of Cornwall by 2019 are set to be approved. The next stage of the Superfast Cornwall programme will be discussed next week by Cornwall council’s cabinet with regards to contributing £3.1million.
Since 2010, work has been ongoing to make superfast broadband available to 85% of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly; the next stage of the programme, which will cost £18.75million, will aim to achieve near-total coverage in the county by March 2019.
Other funding for the first phase of the next stage is coming from government broadband programme Broadband Delivery UK, a growth deal - funds provided by the government for partnerships between local authorities and businesses, the regional growth fund - government grants for projects that create economic growth and employment, and businesses. More money for phase two is being sought from the EU.
Phase one will see superfast broadband extended to a further 13,000 home and businesses in the county between July 2015 and March 2017, focusing on the 5% in areas that currently get really slow broadband.
Phase two will see another 22,000 properties get access to superfast between April 2017 and March 2019, which would increase coverage to 99%.
If both phases get the green light, they're expected to create more than 800 jobs, safeguard almost 900, see £5million GVA (gross value added - the income generated by the country) for Cornwall and benefit the economy to the tune of £27.5million.
The original £132 million Superfast Cornwall programme has already benefited people as far flung as the Isles of Scilly, with residents and businesses now able to get download speeds of up to 80Mb - 10 times faster than they could previously get - thanks to the repurposing of a 939km cable between the village of Porthcurno in Cornwall and the city of Santander in Spain, which had been unused since 2006.
You can find out if you can get superfast broadband in seconds using a postcode checker like the one on our homepage. If you can't get it yet, head to www.superfast-openreach.co.uk, which is the superfast broadband website of Openreach, the division of BT that looks after the national communications network.